Alvaro Parente driving the No.52 Ferrari 458 Italia in the GTE professional class went off at the Ford chicane, causing heavy damage to the car.
Tonight was all about qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ram Racing but unfortunately just 30 minutes into the final two and a half hour session, Alvaro Parente driving the No.52 Ferrari 458 Italia in the GTE professional class went off at the Ford chicane, causing heavy damage to the car. Thankfully Alvaro escaped without injury and the team is currently assessing the damage.
Alvaro Parente No. 52: “We were on for a good lap and the Ford chicane is a part of the circuit where you can make up good time. Unfortunately, I braked a little bit too late and the pedal was a little bit long from the earlier kerbs and the rear just snapped on me. I tried to catch it, but it was too late, and I spun into the gravel and hit the tyre barrier. It was quite a heavy impact. The team has worked really hard, and now they have more work to do, so I am really disappointed for them.”
The sister car of Mowlem, Patterson and Hamilton ran well all evening and the team worked through a number of set up changes, tyre evaluation and fuel analysis. They qualified the No.53 GTE Am in 11th for the 82nd running of the world’s fastest and toughest endurance race.
Mark Patterson No. 53: “ With 50 plus cars on the grid it was always going to be challenging but our engineers always keep us back so that we could find some room and have an open lap for a couple of laps. I feel very comfortable in the car. The set up is great. The Michelin tyres are great. It really doesn’t matter where you start for a 24 hour race, but Johnny has had us running in the top five so we are optimistic.”
Dan Shufflebottom, CEO Ram Racing: “It was a tough qualifying session for us tonight. We were pretty confident that both cars would perform well after all the hard work and effort that the team has put in this week. Unfortunately, Alvaro just overcooked it a little going into the Ford chicane and lost the rear of the car. We wanted him to push as hard as possible and that’s what he was doing, and sometimes these things happen. We’re still assessing the damage and once we know the extent of it, then we will make a decision. I’ve no doubt that if we can repair the car we will. After that we decided to play it a little bit safer with the No.53 and make sure we had a clean qualifying session. They have great pace so I’m sure they will be right in the mix come Saturday.”