Ferrari celebrated its return to the top endurance class after half a century by scoring a historic pole position with the 499P number 50 driven by Antonio Fuoco at the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the opening event of the FIA WEC 2023. The Ferrari – AF Corse team’s qualifying also concluded with an excellent fourth place for Alessandro Pier Guidi in the Hypercar number 51.
As the sunset over the Florida sky illuminated the tarmac of the legendary Sebring International Raceway, the Maranello marque stepped into a new sporting era by setting the benchmark time among the Hypercars. The twenty-six-year-old Italian stopped the clock in 1:45.067, 0.214 ahead of the number 8 Toyota, securing pole position for the 499P number 50 crew also including Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen. The last Ferrari to start from the first grid box in the top class was the 312 PB of Arturo Merzario and Carlos Pace at the 1973 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ferrari number 51 will start fourth courtesy of the time set by Pier Guidi, 0.807 behind his teammate. In the final qualifying phase, the three-time LMGTE Pro world champion turned in his best time on the 6.019-kilometre US track, giving the car, shared with James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi, a favourable grid position.
The 1000 Miles of Sebring will start on Friday, 17 March, at 12pm (local time). You can follow it from the perspective of Maranello’s drivers through the onboard cameras of Hypercar numbers 50 and 51 live streamed on Ferrari.com and the official Ferrari YouTube channel.