14 giugno 2018
Le Mans, 15 June 2018 – The Ferrari crews in the GTE-Pro class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on the second, fifth and eighth rows. The 86th edition of the French classic, known to everyone as the toughest race in the world, will kick off at 3 pm on Saturday at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The fastest of the Ferrari in the GTE-Am class will also start from the second row. The six hours of qualifying, which can seem endless to anyone who doesn’t know Le Mans, were a sort of lottery because with 60 cars competing there really was very little free track with no yellow flag to slow down the drivers. Low temperatures and a particularly dirty track made things very difficult. In the last part of the third session the rain also started to fall.
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the times were obtained in the first minutes of the two night sessions. In the first on Wednesday, car no. 51 of world champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, together with Daniel Serra, recorded the fifth fastest time in 3:49:854 with Pier Guidi at the wheel. In the third session, the Italian driver improved to 3:49:494, moving up to fourth place. In car no. 71 Sam Bird, alternating at the wheel with Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, couldn’t do better than a 3:50:669, forced to limit his speed due to a slow zone called by race officials over the last few hundred metres of the lap. On Thursday evening the British driver cut his time to 3:50:246, moving from 12th to 10th. Car no. 52 recorded the sharpest improvement, with Pipo Derani cutting its time from 3:52:112 on Wednesday to 3:50:957 on Thursday. The Porsche no. 91 of Bruni-Makowiecki-Lietz set the best time in 3:47:504.
GTE-Am. The picture in the GTE-Am class was similar to the main category, with Ferraris fighting for a place on the second row. In the end, the 488 GTE no. 54 of Spirit of Race crewed by Giancarlo Fisichella, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr came out best with a time of 3:51:956 good for fourth position. Clearwater Racing no. 8 will start from the fourth row, with Weng Sun Mok, Matt Griffin and Keita Sawa stopping the clock at 3:53:409, 30 thousandths of a second faster than the 488 GTE of JMW Motorsport driven by Liam Griffin, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Segal. Ferrari no. 85 of Keating Motorsport, with Stolz-Keating-Bleekemolen, set the eleventh fastest time in 3:54:000, while MR Racing (Ishikawa-Beretta-Cheever III) were 13th in 3:54:951.