During a shortened first qualifying session, held in the hours of darkness, only four of the six drivers were able to complete the required three flying laps to qualify for the race.
Both of Ram Racing’s Ferrari 458 Italias ran well during free practice with the team focusing on fuel economy and tyre evaluation. In addition, they worked through a series of mechanical set up changes. During a shortened first qualifying session, held in the hours of darkness, only four of the six drivers were able to complete the required three flying laps to qualify for the race, and the No.52 car of Griffin, Parente and Leo developed a misfire.
Free practice was interrupted because of a major accident just 60 minutes into the four-hour practice session. Thankfully, Audi driver Loïc Duval has since been reported to have escaped injury by the Audi Sport team.
Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GTE #52 Pro
Matt Griffin (IRE)
Alvaro Parente (POR)
Federico Leo (ITA)
Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GTE #53 Am
Johnny Mowlem (GBR)
Mark Patterson (USA)
Archie Hamilton (GBR)
Archie Hamilton No.53: “I didn’t get that many laps in during practice because the session was interrupted by red flags. I went out on double-stinted tyres on my first run, but we were delayed because of the Audi crash. The main priority for the first session was to get laps in for Mark because Johnny and I did the test day, and we are up to speed. We did a new tyre run right at the end so that we could have a base line set up. I’m comfortable in the car and got a feel for the new tyres, so I’m confident that we have a good race car for the race.”
Matt Griffin No.52: “The session was cut short so it wasn’t a great first qualifying. We seem to have developed a misfire with the engine so that is something that the boys will have to look at before tomorrow to find out why we have it and what we can do to make it better. We have not had a great qualifying session but there are two more tomorrow so we will be looking to find a bit more pace and move up the grid.”
Mark Schomann, Technical Director, Ram Racing: “It was disappointing. Our plan was to get the required laps in for our drivers but we did not get that done. There were a lot of yellow flags, which prevented us from doing a flying lap, and then the session was red flagged. Unfortunately, we have developed a misfire on the No.52 so we have some work to do on that. We now have some clean up work to do which changes our schedule for tomorrow but all the drivers like the cars, and we finished first qualifying in one piece so that’s a good thing.”