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Ferrari Leads BMW in Final Practice at Imola

Antonio Fuoco fastest again in No. 50 Ferrari 499P ahead of two BMW M Hybrid V8s…

Photo: Julien Delfosse/DPPI

Ferrari maintained its advantage in final practice for this weekend’s Imola round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, as BMW emerged as the Italian manufacturer’s closest rival.

After topping FP2 on Friday evening, Antonio Fuoco set the pace at the wheel of the No. 50 Ferrari 499P during Saturday morning’s one-hour session with a best time of 1:31.228, slightly slower than his benchmark of 1:30.957 from the previous day.

Prior to Fuoco recording his best lap, BMW Team WRT had a lockout of the top two positions with Dries Vanthoor in the No. 15 M Hybrid V8 leading the sister No. 20 machine of Rene Rast.

Vanthoor’s time of 1:31.272 was still good enough to conclude the session second-fastest, just 0.034 seconds behind Fuoco, while Rast was 0.305 seconds off the pace in third.

Fourth-fastest was the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari of Robert Shwartzman, while the best of the Penske Porsche 963s, the No. 5 car of Matt Campbell, rounded out the top five.

Ferrari’s No. 51 car, which has consistently been the slowest of the three 499Ps so far this weekend, was sixth-fastest in the hands of Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Toyota’s pair of GR010 Hybrids were seventh- and ninth-fastest, Brendon Hartley leading the Japanese marque’s charge in the No. 8 car, split by the No. 12 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche in which Callum Ilott set the quickest time.

Rounding off the top 10 was the No. 6 Porsche of Kevin Estre, ahead of the two revised Peugeot 9X8s in 11th and 12th places.

The session was brought to an early end as Paul di Resta suffered an off at Rivazza 1 aboard the No. 94 Peugeot with just a few minutes left on the clock.

In LMGT3, Aston Martin teams locked out the top two positions as D’station Racing’s Marco Sorensen set the pace with a best lap of 1:42.474, 0.518 seconds up on the Heart of Racing entry of Daniel Mancinelli.

Augusto Farfus made a late jump up to third in the No. 31 WRT BMW M4 GT3, followed by Alex Malykhin in the No. 92 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R and Marino Sato in the No. 95 United Autosports McLaren 720S GT3 Evo.

Qualifying for the 6 Hours of Imola begins at 2:45 p.m. local time (8:45 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Free Practice 3

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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