World Endurance Championship – The Ferrari 488 GTE of Rigon and Bird on pole position a Spa

5 May 2017

World Endurance Championship – The Ferrari 488 GTE of Rigon and Bird on pole position a Spa

Francorchamps, 5 May 2017 – The Ferrari 488 GTE driven by Davide Rigon and Sam Bird will start from pole position in the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours that will be held tomorrow and which is the second round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the world championship for GT cars. The drivers of car 71 took pole position by achieving the two fastest times of the qualifying session. The other car in the GTE-Pro class, the number 51 driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, took the fourth best time. In the GTE-Am class, it was the third best time for the team Spirit of Race Ferrari, driven in qualifying by Miguel Molina and Thomas Flohr, and fourth place for the Weng Sun Mok, Matt Griffin and Keita Sawa’s team Clearwater Racing 488 GTE.
 
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, starting off the sessions in the 51 and 71 cars were respectively James Calado and Davide Rigon. Davide, feeling at ease in the car right from the morning free practice, immediately did the best time at 2’14”938, leaving the car to teammate Sam Bird straight away. James, on the other hand, did 2’16”020 as his best time. In the number 71 car, Sam Bird was immediately fast stopping the clock at 2’15”114 on his first lap and improving to 2’15”096 on the second to take the combined time to 2’15”017, a time no one else was able to beat. In the number 51 488 GTE, Alessandro Pier Guidi did a good 2’15”511 that brought the combined time to 2’15”765. Two Fords squeezed in between the Ferraris: the #66 driven by Mucke-Pla-Johnson (2’15”418) and the #67 of Priaulx-Tincknell-Derani (2’15”565).
 
GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class, the two participating Ferraris took third and fourth place. The team Spirit of Race 488 GTE qualified with Miguel Molina and Thomas Flohr behind the wheel and in the race, they will be joined by Francesco Castellacci. Car number 54 took a combined time of 2’19”658, just over a second better than the twin number 61 car managed by team Clearwater Racing, where Matt Griffin and Weng Sun Mok were on the grid for qualifying. In the race, they will be joined by Keita Sawa. The overall pole went to the Porsche of Jani-Lotterer-Tandy. The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps strats on Saturday at 14.30.
 

Post qualifying quotes

 
Davide Rigon, driver Ferrari #71, pole position GTE-Pro: “I think today our qualifying was perfect. The 488 GTE responded perfectly and performed brilliantly on the corners as well on the straights. On the first lap I was able to do a very fast one straight away, so much that there was not even a need to try and improve on it. Starting from the front is always nice, but for the race nothing is a given. During practice we worked a lot to optimize tyre management and we hope to reap the fruit of our labours tomorrow afternoon. It would be great to win this race twice in a row”.
 
Sam Bird, driver Ferrari #71, pole position GTE-Pro: “It could not have gone any better than this. I am very pleased because I did not expect this pole. We are coming from a less than brilliant race at Silverstone, but here it was an entirely different story. I think I can say that the car I drove this afternoon is the best Ferrari I’ve ever driven. We did a lot of work in the simulator at Maranello and we are confident that we will be able to do well in the race. That said, it is impossible to know whether or not our rivals were holding back, but I have a feeling that we’ll be able to know in the race…”