The Ferraris monopolised the second row in the LMGTE Pro class and recorded the third-fastest time in the LMGTE Am class in Friday’s official practice session to decide the starting grid for the 8 Hours of Bahrain, the fourth round of the FIA WEC.
LMGTE Pro. The session, which was threatened by rain, took place under artificial lighting. Davide Rigon was the first to take to the track, clocking 1:55.808 in the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse. His teammate Alessandro Pier Guidi, at the wheel of car no. 51, posted the best time of 1:55.824. The team decided to use the same tyre sets also for James Calado and Miguel Molina, unlike the two Porsches that secured the first row. The British driver recorded an excellent 1:56.350, while the Spaniard clocked 1:56.829. The crews of Ferraris no. 51 and 71 recorded average times of 1:56.087 and 1:56.318 to take third and fourth place on the grid.
LMGTE Am. The 488 GTE no. 83 of AF Corse, crewed by Perrodo-Nielsen-Collard, was the fastest of the Maranello cars, with a time of 1:57.690 that yielded third place at the start of Saturday’s race. The Ferrari no. 54, qualified by Giancarlo Fisichella and Thomas Flohr, endured the biggest disappointment. The pair would have started in pole, but the Swiss driver’s two timed laps were cancelled for veering off the track, with the crew relegated to last position. Despite this, AF Corse is still delighted with Nicklas Nielsen’s splendid lap of 1:56.128 – the fastest of the session in the LMGTE Am class. The other Ferraris had a more difficult qualifying, with Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem in the no. 62 of Red River Sport finishing in eighth, with an average time of 1:58.217, and Olivier Beretta and Motoaki Ishikawa in ninth in the 488 GTE of MR Racing, with a time of 1:58.635.