Two Class Poles for AF Corse Ferrari
Ferrari’s Le Mans 24 Hours got off on the right foot, especially for the AF Corse 458 Italia GT2 cars. In both the Pro and Am LMGTE classes, cars from the team run by Amato Ferrari set the fastest times in qualifying.
In the Pro category, Gimmi Bruni, the world champion in the class in the 2013 WEC, set a time of 3.53.700 so that he and Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander start ahead of the rest, first of those being the Chevrolet of Magnussen-Taylor-Garcia, over a second down and the Aston Martin of Turner-Mucke-Senna. However there was also a serious set back in this class, as James Calado destroyed his 458 number 71, injuring himself in the process. It was not that serious but the doctors have declared him unfit to race on safety grounds. AF Corse has been granted permission to change the car, just as happened with the Audi number 1 on Wednesday. Calado will be replaced by the German driver Pierre Kaffer, who has already won Le Mans in 2009 in the Risi Competizione Ferrari. However, it’s not entirely sure the Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta car will start, as it faces a difficult race against time to get the car race-ready. The RAM Racing 458 of Matt Griffin, Alvaro Parente and Federica Leo were fifth.
Fastest time too in the LMGTE Am class, courtesy of the 81 AF Corse car driven by Sam Bird, Michele Rugolo and Stephen Wyatt. The time of 3.54.665, set by Bird, was noteworthy because it would have been good enough for second fastest in the Pro category. The Ferrari clearly outpaced the two Aston Martins of Dalla Lana-Lamy-Nygaard and Poulsen-Hansson-Thiim. Outright pole went to the Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima, who did the fastest lap, in 3.21.789 with team-mates, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz. There is no track action today, apart from the drivers’ parade and the procession of historic cars. It all heats up again on Saturday morning with the warm-up session starting at 09h00. The Le Mans 24 Hours gets underway at 15h00, when the cars will be sent on their way by a special guest starter, Scuderia Ferrari driver, Fernando Alonso.
Source: Ferrari Media