16 giugno 2016
Le Mans, 16 June 2016 - The first two hours of qualifying saw the expected head to head between Ferrari and Ford in the GTE-Pro class while a 458 Italia was fastest in the GTE-Am.
GTE-Pro. The three 488s competing in the GTE-Pro class alternated with the Fords in the top seven positions. Car no. 51 AF Corse with Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, recorded a time of 3:51.568, less than four tenths of a second off the Ford of Team USA driven by Hand-Muller-Bourdais and 71 thousandths behind the other Ford of Briscoe-Westbrook-Dixon. Car no. 51 was followed by the two Fords that usually compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), while the 488 GTE no. 71 of Sam Bird, Davide Rigon and Andrea Bertolini finished sixth in 3:52.508, ahead of no. 82 of Risi Competizione car with Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli (3:53.176).
GTE-Am. In GTE-Am class the 458 Italia no. 61 of Clearwater Racing put in an astonishing performance with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Bob Bell clocking a time of 3:56.827, more than three tenths of a second faster than the Aston Martin of Lamy-Lauda-Dalla Lana. Cars no. 55 and 83 of AF Corse (Cameron-Griffin-Scott, 3:57.596, and Perrodo-Collard-Aguas, 3:57.742) took third and fourth respectively, while Christina Nielsen, Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac Jansen came sixth in 3:58.760. The 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa was ninth, driven by Bill Sweedler, Jeff Segal and Townsend Bell (4:00.008). There are two qualifying sessions on Thursday (7 pm - 9 pm and 10 pm - 12 am) but if things stayed the same the Ferrari no. 51 would win the two points for pole as the two Fords with the fastest times are not competing in the WEC.