Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Claim BOP Engine “Tamper” at Shanghai
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) has disputed the Balance of Performance in the GTE-Pro class ahead of Sunday’s 2nd to last round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Shanghai.
The pair of AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs, which topped the time charts in Friday’s Free Practice 2, struggled to find pace Saturday, after what the Italian manufacturer initially claimed was due to an overnight Balance of Performance adjustment.
The FIA clarified that no BOP change was made, but just a minor atmospheric pressure adjustment to compensate for a change in ambient temperatures to equalize performance between normally aspirated and turbocharged cars. Call it a “tamper.”
Meanwhile, after the “tamper” Ford (NYSE:F) dominated qualifying, claiming its 2nd consecutive front row sweep, following a commanding 1-2 run in the last round at Japan’s Fuji Speedway.
Rumors of Ferrari lodging a protest and possible boycott from the season-ending round in Bahrain made the rounds in the paddock, although it’s understood there were lengthy meetings between representatives from the Italian manufacturer, the FIA and ACO this evening.
Both AF Corse team principal Amato Ferrari and Antonello Coletta, head of Ferrari’s GT racing activities, declined comment on the developing situation.
The team’s drivers voiced their displeasure over the gap in performance post-qualifying.
“The big question I want to ask is how the other cars can find 2.5 seconds from yesterday to today,” Gianmaria Bruni told Sportscar365. “We only found three-tenths from my best lap yesterday to my best lap today.”
Mr. Bruni and co-driver James Calado qualified 4th in class for Sunday’s race, with a best 2-lap average that was nearly 1-sec slower than the pole-sitting Ford.
“It’s just ridiculous. [We’re in another] class,” Mr. Calado said. “It’s annoying when you work hard over the year to find hundreds, tenths in tires or in setup or balance.
“As soon as we put that work down to the ground, they take it off again. There is nothing we can do. We are a passenger in the car. We cannot show our true skill.”
Ferrari has been winless in WEC competition since the 4th round of the season at the Nürburgring, although the 488 GTEs received a slight increase in mid-to-high range boost for this weekend.
The latest BOP change, made prior to the weekend, was the 9th adjustment made to the class since the start of the season.
It comes while in an ultra-tight battle for the GT Manufacturers’ Cup, which sees Ferrari with a 3-point lead over Aston Martin with 2 rounds to go.
|NYSE:RACE||51.07||4 November 2016||0.57||50.43||51.44||50.39||554,000|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Neutral (0.15)||Neutral (-0.01)||Neutral (-0.08)||Very Bullish (0.54)|
Enjoy the racing.