James Calado did not expect to take position for this sunday’s 4 Hours of as he and the AF Corse crew were less focused on qualifying pace and more on race pace.

The Briton captured pole in the GTE Pro class together with Alessandro Pier Guidi, putting the #51 on pole ahead of their team-mate in the #71 sister car. Speaking to Motorsport Week, Calado admitted he was surprised by the qualifying success.

“I think the car’s been great all weekend, all throughout the practice session and we’ve really worked on our race performance more than quali, so actually to get the pole was quite a surprise,” Calado said. 

“Alessandro [Pier Guidi] did an amazing lap, mine wasn’t quite perfect but it was enough to get the pole and put us in a good position tomorrow to try and lead the race from the first lap and try and manage everything.

Very very happy, have done an amazing job, preparing the car and us really well for this upcoming season. Just looking forward to getting going, and especially being at home, it’s really nice to get that pole position.”

With the round of the championship reduced from six to four hours, the ace thinks strategy will be an even more important factor in deciding the race outcome.

“Yeah, I think it’s more of a sprint race than an endurance race, obviously. Not to say that the six hours aren’t sprint races,” Calado continued. “I think it’s more about strategy than anything else. What’s important within the front group is to try and help our strategy and plan everything going forward.

You know, anything can happen in these races. There’s full course yellows, there’s always incidents. We’ve got to manage that as good as we can, and you do need a bit of luck on your side.”

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