PRACTICE/QUALIFYING The Care Racing supported Prodrive Ferrari team received a cruel blow from the weather gods this afternoon which has resulted in the two Ferrari 550 Maranellos starting from 4th and 5th in the GTS category for ...
The Care Racing supported Prodrive Ferrari team received a cruel blow from the weather gods this afternoon which has resulted in the two Ferrari 550 Maranellos starting from 4th and 5th in the GTS category for tomorrow's race.
A sudden downpour just before the end of the afternoon practice session - which was due to finish just ten minutes before the expected 20 minute GTS/GT qualifying session - saw the organisers introduce a force majeure measure for safety reasons and cancel qualifying. The fastest times of the day (set in the dry during the early part of the afternoon) were therefore used to determine the starting order for the 2h 45 minute race. No points will be awarded for qualifying.
Both Ferraris had been working on balance and set up, and were running with half tanks and old tyres, planning to save their optimum set up for a little later in the afternoon.
The disappointment of the entire team in the lack of opportunity to show the true measure of the cars' performance in qualifying trim was expressed by the drivers and Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell.
Jérôme Policand (F), Car 80: "I cannot understand why we are not running in qualifying conditions, in full wet conditions, to allow us to compete. It is very disappointing."
Tomas Enge (CZ), Car 88: "I am frustrated not to be able to take part in a competitive session. We were working on different set-ups this afternoon, getting ready for qualifying, and now we don't have that opportunity. We are here to compete - that's what we want to do."
George Howard-Chappell: "I feel very let down on behalf of all the Ferrari fans who were looking forward to seeing a really interesting and close qualifying session. Having said that, we have full confidence in the cars' performance and the abilities of all our drivers and we will just have to fight that little bit harder in tomorrow's race to make up the difference."