AF Corse Ferrari took the top spot at the end of an interesting first day of running for the FIA WEC GTE classes at Spa-Francorchamps.
James Calado set the fastest lap of the day in the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE he shares with Italy’s Gianmaria Bruni.
The British driver’s time of 2:18.494s eclipsed that of Aston Martin Racing’s Richie Stanaway by 0.473 seconds.
Stanaway, driving the #97 Vantage, managed to split the two AF Corse Ferraris with Sam Bird slotting into third place with a 2:19.219s aboard the #71 488.
All three times were set during the second of two 90 minute sessions.
The morning session saw Aston Martin Racing’s Jonathan Adam go quickest with a 2:19.296s in the car that Stanaway would improve in later in the day.
Fourth quickest on day one was the #95 Aston Martin Vantage, which in the hands of Darren Turner recorded a 2:19.424s effort in session two. Turner’s lap ensured four of the five fastest times of the day belonged to British drivers.
Behind the Ferrari/Aston Martin monopoly were the two Chip Ganassi Racing-entered Ford GTs, although only one – the #66 car driven by Stefan Mucke – was able to dip under the two minute-20 second standard.
Porsche completed the field, with Dempsey Proton Racing ending the day almost two seconds off the pace of the leading Ferrari.
Aston’s Lamy leads GTE-Am
Aston Martin Racing’s Pedro Lamy claimed the bragging rights in the GTE-Am class as the British manufacturer completed an encouraging first day.
Lamy stormed to a 2:19.748s in the morning session that stood for the rest of the day as the time to beat.
That would have put the #98 Aston Martin Vantage fifth in the GTE-Pro ranks, ahead of both Ford and Porsche.
Equally, it was the only GTE-Am time to breach the two minutes-20 seconds barrier, as Rui Aguas claimed second place with a 2:20.130s driving the Silverstone-winning AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.
The GTE-Am charts were noticeably diverse, with four different manufacturers occupying the top five fastest laps.
Third place belonged to the Corvette C7.R of Larbre Competition’s Paolo Ruberti, who wound up 0.408 seconds shy of Lamy, while the Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Adam Carroll finished a further two tenths back.
Completing the top five on day one was the Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR piloted by Patrick Long.
Of these drivers, Ruberti and Long set their quickest times during the morning session while Aguas and Carroll delivered their best efforts later in the day.
The GTE teams will reconvene for a final practice session tomorrow (May 6) at 11:10, before the second qualifying session of the year gets underway at 16:05 (both times local).