On a historically track difficult for Ferrari, the 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse, crewed by Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, will start from the second row in the 4 Hours of Shanghai, the third round of Season 8 of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
LMGTE Pro. After waiting a few minutes before taking to the track, James Calado in the 488 GTE no. 51 recorded the second-fastest time of the first part of the session with 1:59.816, before making way for Alessandro Pier Guidi. The Italian driver improved on his partner’s time, clocking 1:59.588 on his last lap. The crew’s overall time of 1:59.687 yielded fourth position, just 534 thousandths behind the Porsche no. 92 in pole.
Davide Rigon was first to take to the track behind the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse. After recording a single lap time of 1:59.880, he handed over to Miguel Molina. The Spaniard set a best lap of 2:00.255, hampered by traffic on one of his attempts. An average time of 2:00.067 for the two performances gave the Italo-Spanish duo fifth place on the grid.
However, the Ferraris enjoyed a good qualifying considering that both cars used a single set of tyres throughout the session.
LMGTE Am. Maranello’s cars endured a difficult time in the LMGTE Am class, where the 488 GTEs finished in the middle of the group, in a session that saw the Porsche no. 56 of Team Project 1 in pole. AF Corse no. 54 was the best-placed Ferrari in qualifying, with Giancarlo Fisichella and Thomas Flohr clocking the sixth-fastest combined time of 2:02.404. MR Racing’s entry will set off immediately behind them, qualified by Kei Cozzolino and Motoaki Ishikawa just 198 thousandths of a second behind their teammates.
The leaders in the class standings qualified in tenth with François Perrodo and Nicklas Nielsen recording a time of 2:03.001, penalised by the performance ballast carried due to their previous results. The last car in the starting line-up will fly the colours of Red River Sport, qualified by Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem. The two British drivers failed to repeat the seventh position achieved in the free practice session.
Race. The 4 hours of Shanghai sets off on Sunday at 12 pm. The Ferraris will need to overcome the jinx of a track where they have never won in the LMGTE Pro class, as well as to confirm their excellent start of the season in the LMGTE Am class.