SVG Ferrari caught out by rain in Le Mans qualifying

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/06/2022
  • By James Pavey, Pics by Nikolaz Godet

Shane van Gisbergen’s first 24 Hours of Le Mans start will come in the mid-pack after rain-hit Wednesday qualifying.

The Supercars championship leader is making his first appearance in the world’s biggest sportscar race.

Van Gisbergen is sharing a Riley Motorsports Ferrari 488 GTE Evo with Briton Sam Bird and Brazilian Felipe Fraga.

The American-based Riley entry missed out on a berth to Thursday’s Hyperpole, and will start 39th.

The #74 Ferrari was the only one of seven LM GTE Pro runners not to qualify for Hyperpole.

All five Hypercar entries and the top six cars from the other classes earned passage to Hyperpole.

Rain arrived at the 13.6km La Sarthe circuit late in qualifying.

Fraga was unable to improve as weather and traffic hindered the #74’s efforts.

The #74 Ferrari was 3.1s off the pace in qualifying, and was 40th overall of 62.

The #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Porsche GT Team ended up topping the LM GTE Pro timesheet.

It was the Toyota #7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José Maria López which topped the overall times on a 3:27.247s.

Three near-simultaneous incidents brought qualifying to a halt at the mid-session point.

Notably, actor Michael Fassbender, who is sharing a Porsche with Australian Matt Campbell, went off at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight.

Campbell, who will race with Lee Holdsworth at the Repco Bathurst 1000, is making his fifth Le Mans start.

The #74 Ferrari returned to representative pace in the night practice session.

Fraga clocked a 3:54.019s in the night session, which was just 0.527s off the LM GTE Pro pace.

Crucially, Fraga managed to put the privateer Ferrari above the two factory-backed AF Corse Ferraris.

Earlier, Bird set the car’s fastest time in Free Practice 1, a 3:54.601s.

Van Gisbergen completed the lion’s share of the running in the first session, clocking 15 laps.

A third practice session will take place on Thursday before Hyperpole and a final night practice.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver will return to Australia next week for the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

The 2022 season will resume in Darwin on June 17-19. Purchase your tickets now.

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