Fuoco claims pole as Ferrari dominates WEC Imola qualifying

Fuoco claims pole as Ferrari dominates WEC Imola qualifying

Ferrari’s three 499Ps put on a strong display finishing 1-2-3 in today’s Hypercar Hyperpole for the FIA WEC Imola 6 hours.

Antonio Fuoco claimed pole position for the WEC Imola 6 Hours in a Ferrari-dominated qualifying session that saw the Prancing Horse take home the first three spots on the grid.

Fuoco in the #50 499P led the charge for the Italian brand with an impressive 1:29.466 to secure pole position by four-tenths and lap the circuit more than a second faster than everybody in qualifying.

The privately funded Ferrari #83 finished second After a brilliant performance by Robert Swartzman, who also dipped into the 1:29s with a time marginally faster than Alessandro Pier Guidi in the sister #51 factory car that finished third.

In the No. 6 Porsche 963, Kevin Estre placed fourth locking out the second row, ahead of his stablemate Matt Campbell’s No. 5 car while Kamui Kobayashi’s No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid came in sixth.

A late charge by Estre as the checkered flag came out put him as high as second for a little while, but last-ditch flyers from first Pier Guidi and then Shwartzman dropped the Frenchman back to fourth.

Campbell, on the other hand, went over the gravel at Tamburello but managed to continue his eventful Hyperpole session. Brendon Hartley driving the No. 8 Toyota encountered troubles as well after he spun at Tosa but managed to restart and ultimately took the eighth spot.

Rene Rast pushed the No. 20 BMW M Hybrid V8 into the Hyperpole and finished seventh overall, giving BMW its best qualifying performance ever in Hypercar. Callum Ilott in the Hertz Team JOTA and Julien Andlauer in the Proton Competition rounded out the top 10 overall, respectively.

On the wrong side of the cut-off line were the #38 HERTZ Team JOTA Porsche driven by Phil Hanson and the Cadillac V-Series.R driven by Alex Lynn which will start 11th and 12th, respectively.

The second BMW in the hands of Dries Vanthoor as well as Lamborghini, Peugeot, Alpine and Isotta Fraschini were also eliminated.

Vanthoor triggered a red flag after spinning out of Piratella with less than two minutes remaining and halted at the pit exit once running resumed. Vanthoor and his teammates Raffaele Marciello and Marco Wittmann will start 13th, as he was not allowed to rejoin the session and attempt to improve his time.

Meanwhile, Lynn set his quickest time of the session in the small window following the restart but failed to make it into Hyperpole.

In LMGT3, championship leader Alex Malykhin secured pole position, outpacing Ian James of The Heart of Racing by a wide margin.

The No. 92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R claimed the first pole position for Porsche with a lap time of 1:42.365 as the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo came in second, 0.693s behind.

Ahmad Al Harthy led an all-BMW second row with the No. 46 Team WRT M4 GT3 leading the way ahead of Darren Leung’s No. 31 sister car.

Sarah Bovy completed the top five in the No. 83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 followed by Giorgio Roda of Proton Competition, Yasser Shahin in the second Porsche, and the two Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3s driven by Francois Heriau and Thomas Flohr.

James Cottingham’s No. 59 United Autosports McLaren 720S GT3 Evo rounded out the top 10 overall. The British driver overcame two TF Sport Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs to avoid elimination, coming in last to qualify for Hyperpole.

Among the other cars to be eliminated during the first session were the Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F GT3s and the No. 777 D’station Aston Martin.

The 6 Hours of Imola will officially start at 1 p.m. local time Sunday (7 a.m. EDT).

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