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AF Corse on Pole in GTE-Pro at Silverstone

Davide Rigon, Sam Bird on GTE-Pro pole at Silverstone…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

AF Corse will start Sunday’s season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone from the pole in GTE-Pro, following a rain-soaked qualifying session for the production-based cars for the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, in his team debut, combined for a best two-lap average of 2:12.440 in their No. 71 Ferrari 488 GTE car.

It was 1.382 seconds clear from the No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen, which qualified second in class.

An engine issue for the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni, which had been on provisional pole thanks to James Calado’s 2:11.589 lap, prevented Bruni from setting a time and as a result will start at the rear of the field on Sunday.

The No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Olivier Pla and Stefan Muecke qualified third in class with a 2:14.475 average, despite an off-course excursion for the Frenchman in the closing minutes of the 20-minute session.

While the No. 67 Ford was fourth, neither of the Aston Martin Racing entries set representative times in the wet session and will start behind the majority of the GTE-Am competitors.

Abu Dhabi Proton Racing took the pole in GTE-Am, with Klaus Bachler and Khaled Al Qubaisi combining for a 2:15.102 average in their No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR.

The time was more than two seconds quicker than the sister, KCMG-backed Porsche of Wolf Henzler and Christian Ried in second.

Bachler, who is subbing for Porsche factory driver Patrick Long this weekend, and Al Qubaisi will share driving duties tomorrow with former class champion David Heinemeier Hansson.

The No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R will start third in class.

The Six Hours of Silverstone gets underway Sunday at 12 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), live on FOX Sports 1.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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