Today’s qualifying for the 3 Hours of Hungaroring turned into a lottery due to heavy rain and standing water, and the two Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italias will start from 5th and 6th on the LMGTE grid.
Johnny Mowlem in the class points-leading No.52 entry, and Gunnar Jeannette in the second-placed No.53, were given the unenviable task of setting a time but both drivers erred on the side of caution and did minimal laps.
The team brought the cars in after 4 and 3 laps respectively, thus avoiding the possibility of any damage to the car prior to the race.
In a 20-minute session for the LMGTE and GTE classes, which saw multiple cars spinning off track, and where cars were aquaplaning at a mere 30 miles per hour, the GTC cars showed their superior traction in the wet conditions due to regulated ABS and commercial rain tyres, and four of them qualified ahead of the faster GTE cars. The only exception was Bertolini’s Dunlop-shod Ferrari which qualified on LMGTE pole.
“The conditions are pretty much undriveable, I would say equal to when the Silverstone race was red-flagged, and in these conditions, with this kind of standing water on the track, you are just a passenger. I spun three times on my out lap just by lifting off the throttle so I calmed it right down and did one lap where I didn’t spin. We qualified where we qualified but I wasn’t even thinking of qualifying; I was just thinking about not bending the car. Everywhere around there were cars going off left, right and centre so I was just hoping to come back with the car in one piece.
“The thing that really worries me is the race. If it continues like this to drive for 3 hours I would say is going to be virtually impossible for us.”
Gunnar Jeannette, No. 53 Ferrari 458 Italia Class: GTE, Position: P6, Time: 2.47.476
“It’s unfortunate, and I hate coming in specifically early without really setting a lap time, but we have two races left, we’re second in the championship and it’s very, very close. If we had a shunt now we might not be able to fix it for the race and the amount of time to gain in pushing it, but maybe having an off, wasn’t worth it. It’s a 3 hour race and starting from the back isn’t that much of a penalty, so while I hate being smart at times at least we have a car in one piece and hopefully it’s not raining as bad for the race.”
In order to secure the LMGTE championship title in today’s fourth round of the ELMS, the No.52 car must win its race. All eyes will be on the weather radar from now until the race start at 16:01 hours!