Prodrive Ferrari claim pole and third place in GTS On his last lap of qualifying, David Brabham's Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello [ ...
Prodrive Ferrari claim pole and third place in GTS
On his last lap of qualifying, David Brabham's Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello [#80] this afternoon claimed pole position in the GTS category for tomorrow's 1000 mile Petit Le Mans race.
His team-mates Tomas Enge in car 88 and Jérôme Policand in car 08 were 3rd and 5th in class respectively, largely the result of some difficult track conditions due to a last minute shower prior to the start of the qualifying session.
In damp but rapidly drying conditions, Brabham posted a fastest time of 1m 26.338, two tenths of a second ahead of the Rafanelli Ferrari 550 which will line up alongside him on the first row of the GTS grid. Just behind the Australian will be the second Prodrive-prepared Ferrari of Tomas Enge, and behind him the third Ferrari 550 from the Care Racing and Prodrive Ferrari stable.
The team used the time in between the afternoon and night practice sessions to make substantial set up changes to the car, and all three cars showed they were able to run at a consistent race pace. Enge this morning set the timing screens alight with a time of 1m 17.931 - comprehensively beating the previous GTS track record by nearly a second.
David Brabham (AUS), car 80: "It's great to be on pole here and I must dedicate this to the team as they've gone through quite a lot this week, done a lot of repairs and engine changes. I went over a kerb this morning and it seemed to do something to the engine so they changed it as a precaution after the practice session ended, and got me out again in good time for this afternoon. We started on wets as the track was still quite damp. The car ran perfectly and, once the track started drying, we came into the pits with basically three Michelin tyre options open to us. We chose the intermediates, which seemed to be the right choice, and went out again with about 9 minutes of the session to go. I was slowly gathering grip each lap and on the last lap knew I had to really go for it. It was just enough - very pleasing for all of us."
Tomas Enge (CZ), car 88: "I am disappointed with my qualifying session. We went out on wets and came in to change to intermediates maybe one lap too late. I spun on my first lap out on the cold tyres and then, when there was some heat in the tyres, I had traffic and could not get a good time. I wish I had stayed on the other tyres as I am sure I could have had pole position."
Jérôme Policand(F), car 08: "After three laps on our wet tyres I could feel that the rears were not good any longer so I came in. I asked the team if I was to stop or not, and maybe we came in a little bit late. For sure the intermediates were the right choice as the car was nice to drive once the tyres heated up, but I got traffic on my last two laps and when it was clear again the chequered flag was out."