WEC: Sarah Bovy qualifies P7 at series debut, Richard Mille Racing P9 in LMP2
After a red-flag disrupted qualifying, the Richard Mille Racing crew will start from ninth in LMP2 in tomorrow's 6H of Monza, while Sarah Bovy made her WEC debut and qualified the Iron Dames #85 Ferrari in seventh position.
Iron Dames and RIchard Mille Racing will start from seventh and ninth in their respective classes in tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Monza, third round of the World Endurance Championship that this year features two fully-female crews.
In the LMP2 class, the team that brought Sophia Floersch, Tatiana Calderon and Beitske Visser to a Le Mans top-10 last year has stepped up to the World Championship after just one season in ELMS, where both Floersch and Calderon moved their first successful steps in sports cars.
In Monza, they won’t be sharing the seat of the #1 Oreca with Visser, who is on W Series duties at Silverstone.
Floersch and Calderon were in the top-10 in all practice sessions and finished P9 in this evening’s qualifying session, with the German 20 year old behind the wheel.
The Prototype session was halted with a little over 2 minutes to go by a red flag following an incident by Stoffel Vandoorne at the second Lesmo.
“Quali in Monza is done – I wanted a little bit more but at the end it’s endurance, we have six hours coming up tomorrow.” – told us Floersch. “There was a little bit of a mess with the red flag, but it was the same for everyone. In the end, I need to look into what I did a little bit wrong and then prepare for tomorrow, because we have a 6H race with Tatiana and I’m really looking forward to it, because our race pace is quite strong I’d say. It’s going to be interesting and hopefully a lot of overtaking and fun.”
The two Toyota Gazoo Racing driven by Jose Maria Lopez and Ben Hartley topped qualifying at the historic Italian venue and will thus start from the front row tomorrow, leading the Alpine Hypercar and the two Glickenhaus.
LMP2 pole position went for the first time to the WRT team, as Charles Milesi brought the #31 on top of the timing sheets.
The Belgian squad will start ahead of the #22 United Autosport crew of Hanson/Sherer/Albuquerque – the latter being the only driver to improve after the red flag – and the Dragonspeed of Hedman/Montoya/Hanley.
Kevin Estre set the fastest time among the GT field in the LMGTE Pro #92 Porsche, while GT-Am honors went to the TF Sport Aston Martin driven by American racer Ben Keating.
In the #85 Ferrari, GT specialist Sarah Bovy made her WEC debut and drove her first qualifying for the all-female team Iron Dames in Monza.
The project founded by Deborah Mayer is really taking the world of motorsport by storm and has quickly become a benchmark for female participation in the most exclusive GT series globally.
Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Sarah Bovy had a really strong second practice session earlier today, finishing in fourth place after running in second after Frey’s stint.
32-year old Belgian Bovy had joined the team for the Michelin Le Mans Cup initially, but has been moved to the WEC lineup for this round. She had a very positive first outing and qualified P7 in LMGTE Am, first of the Iron Lynx cars as the #60 of Schiavoni, Piccini and Cressoni suffered a massive shunt at the end of the second practice and was rebuilt just in time for qualifying.
“It was my first time to be qualifying in the World Championship, so clearly the pressure was a little bit there, but I’m quite happy, we’re P7.” – told us Sarah Bovy. “I think fifth place was reachable with a little bit more experience, but I know that it’s tomorrow that matters.”
“We’re going to take a good a secure start and then bring the car in the pits in the best possible position”
The 6 Hours of Monza will get underway on Sunday at 12:00 CEST, with both the all-female crews eyeing point-paying finishes and improvements from their previous rounds.