The eleven Ferrari 488 GTEs entered in the 2019 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the final round of the 2018-2019 Super Season, are in the middle of the standings after the first two hours of qualifying. Two additional sessions of qualifying are yet to come, so the results are subject to change, especially since rain affected this evening’s running. Rain is not expected for tomorrow’s sessions, running from 7pm to 9pm and from 10pm to midnight tomorrow.
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the three Ferrari cars pushed for lap-time only in the first part of the session, using most of the two hours available alternating drivers to allow each of them to become familiar with the more than 13 kilometers of the Circuit de la Sarthe. Teams instead used the time to find the best set-up and analyze the behavior of Michelin tires. The fastest 488 GTE was the number 71 of the AF Corse team. Sam Bird set the fastest time with a 3’50″850, valid for eighth place, before giving up the seat to Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon. The sister car, no. 51 completed a lap in 3’52″128, with James Calado behind the wheel, leaving the car to Daniel Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi who finished the round. James’ lap was good for twelfth place in the GTE-Pro category. The third Ferrari in GTE-Pro is fourteenth, with the best lap obtained by Pipo Derani in 3’52”997 in the car entered by Risi Competizione. Brazilian Oliver Jarvis and Jules Gounon will co-drive alongside fellow Brazilian Pipo.
GTE-Am. In GTE-Am class the best of the Ferraris was the no. 54 Spirit of Race entry which achieved the fifth-best time with Giancarlo Fisichella at the wheel, setting a 3’53”793. Giancarlo will share the car with Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci. The 488 GTE of JMW Motorsport is eighth with Jeff Segal, Wei Lu and Rodrigo Baptista (3’54″513), less than two tenths ahead of MR Racing number 70 with Olivier Beretta, Eddie Cheever III and Motoaki Ishikawa (3’54″737). Immediately out of the top ten was the car of WeatherTech Racing team with Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil and Rob Smith (3’55″544), followed in order by the cars of the Car Guy Racing (Kimura-Cozzolino-Ledogar), Clearwater Racing (Perez-Compac, Griffin, Cressoni), and by the two from Kessel Racing (Pianezzola-Piccini-Schiavoni and Gostner-Frey-Gatting).