Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, in the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse, will start from pole in the 6 Hours of Bahrain. The final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship sets off on Saturday at 4 pm local time (2 pm CET). This a fourth pole position of the season for the Anglo-Italian pair after Spa-Francorchamps, Mexico City and Austin. The 488 GTE no. 51 of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi will start from fourth, side by side with title rivals Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the no. 67 Ford and ahead of the closest chasers, Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz on the no. 91 Porsche. Clearwater Racing took second place in GTE-Am class while the no. 54 488 GTE of Spirit of Race took fourth place with Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr.
GTE-Pro. In GTE-Pro class Davide Rigon started the round in no. 71 and James Calado in no. 51. It was essential not to make any mistakes in qualifying, because the tyres needed to be preserved as much as possible for the race. Davide stopped the clock at 1:56:021 on the first lap, the fastest time on track, after which he decided to return to the pits. James Calado followed the same strategy after recording a time of 1:56:597. Sam Bird then took over in car no. 71 and nearly equalled his teammate with an excellent 1:56:046 for a combined time of 1:56:033. Alessandro Pier Guidi for his part, lapped in 1:57:165 to put Ferrari no. 51 in fourth, with an average time of 1:56:881, behind the Aston Martin no. 97 of Adam-Turner and the Ford no. 67 of Priaulx and Tincknell. Sixth place went to the Makowiecki-Lietz in Porsche no. 91. Davide Rigon’s point for pole leaves him 20.5 points off the top.
GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class, the Ferrari 488 GTE no. 61 of Clearwater Racing came second in 2:00:285 thanks to Weng Sun Mok’s 2:01:965 and Matt Griffin’s 1:58:615. They will be joined in the race by Keita Sawa. Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr, racing with Miguel Molina, recorded the fourth best time with 2:01:352 for the Italian and 2:02:643 for Flohr. The Aston Martin of Dalla Lana-Lamy-Lauda claimed the class pole in 2:00:111, while the overall pole position went to the Porsche of Tandy-Jani-Lotterer in 1:39:383.