WEC: Sarah Bovy claims second pole for Iron Dames
In another stellar qualifying effort for the Belgian, Sarah Bovy has put the #85 Iron Dames Ferrari on pole position for the final round of the 2022 WEC season in Bahrain.
Sarah Bovy has done it again: after the 6H of Monza, the 33 year-old Belgian has put the #85 Ferrari 488 GTE on pole position, claiming Iron Dames' second pole in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Bovy joined the main Iron Dames line up at last year's 6H of Monza and has since then become one of the pillars of the all-female team, taking part in historic efforts like the 24H of Spa class win and 4H of Portimao win in ELMS.
Particularly, Sarah Bovy has become synonymous with pure qualifying pace, as she has notoriously been at the wheel of the pink Ferrari in both ELMS and WEC, extracting top performance in the short 10 minute sessions.
In Monza, Bovy made history and became the first ever woman to take pole position in WEC - and she would repeat the achievement in ELMS, in last month's final round at Portimao.
At the final race of the year - and last on Ferrari machinery, having announced a partnership with Lamborghini for Iron Lynx's future - the Iron Dames will therefore start from the front of the field in GTE class in tomorrow's 8 Hours of Bahrain.
The Project1 Porsches led the free practice sessions on Thursday, while the Iron Dames Ferrari, as always, worked its way up the order session after session. It has in fact become a common working procedure for Iron Lynx to work on race pace during practice and fine tune the 488 GTE's setup ahead of qualifying, only for Sarah Bovy to show her full potential only in the 10 minute session.
The #33 TF Sport Aston Martin of Ben Keating had set the pace in the early minutes, before Bovy posted a 1:59.186 and claimed the top spot, half a second clear of the rest of the competition.
The #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche of Christian Ried improved and moved up to third, ahead of the #46 Project1 Porsche of Nicolas Leutwiler, who had topped the practice sessions.
While Keating had another go in the final minutes, the American could not beat Bovy's outstanding lap time around the Sakhir circuit.
"Amazing feeling to end the season on pole position", Sarah said, after securing one more point for the Iron Dames squad. "Obviously we need to finish the job tomorrow, but I'm so happy that the car was amazing to drive. I had the best time out there - it was fantastic."
Having taken back-to-back podiums with two second place finishes at Monza and Fuji, Iron Dames are now sitting fourth in the team's LMGTE championship standings, 7 points behind the #77 Proton Porsche or Ried/Tincknell/Priaulx.
Brendon Hartley took overall pole position for Toyota in the hypercar class, ahead of the fast #93 Peugeot 9X8 hypercar and the #7 sister Toyota car.
In LMP2, the #41 Realteam by WRT Oreca of Norman Nato snatched a last second pole position from Will Steven's JOTA Sport, who had held on to first place after Filipe Albuquerque's fastest lap time was deleted for track limits.
Charles Milesi qualified the #1 Richard Mille Racing Team's Oreca in P9 in class, after he had set the second fastest time in Thursday's first practice. Paul Loup Chatin will start in the #1 LMP2 prototype, also driven by young French talent Lilou Wadoux - who will get the chance to become the first ever woman in the history of WEC to drive hypercar machinery in the upcoming Rookie tests.
The 8 Hours of Bahrain will go green at 14:00 local time on Saturday 12th November.