Two Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s finished in the top ten in the first DTM race, held at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit in changeable weather conditions. At the chequered flag, after twenty-three adrenaline-packed laps, Felipe Fraga in the AF Corse Red Bull AlphaTauri car came seventh, while teammate Nick Cassidy crossed the line in tenth.
The start. Race-1 set off in partly wet track conditions under a leaden sky, with the cars fitted with suitable tyres. Conditions were similar to this morning's qualifying, held in the rain, in which Fraga's Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 finished seventh, 760 thousandths behind poleman Olsen in a Porsche. Nick Cassidy's blue-and-white liveried AlphaTauri started from twelfth place. Fraga and Cassidy coolly avoided collisions on lap one despite the traffic. The Brazilian driver lost two positions, while the New Zealander in the number 37 car moved up one.
The strategy. As the pit stop window opened, with the sun peeking through, the AF Corse team immediately recalled Cassidy, opting for slicks, while Fraga remained on track, climbing to seventh, delaying his tyre change for a couple of laps. On returning to the track, the number 74 488 GT3 Evo 2020 was twenty-second, ahead of number 37, both in the virtual to top-ten, considering the teams' different strategies. With twenty-nine minutes to the chequered flag, the two Maranello drivers battled neck-and-neck, with Cassidy, fastest in the first sector during this part of the race, finally claiming twenty-first position with an excellent overtaking move.
The finale. With a quarter of an hour left, Fraga lay fifteenth ahead of Cassidy, fighting for a place at the top. At the end of the whirligig of stops, the Maranello drivers were, respectively, seventh and eighth, one second apart. In the final laps, flavoured with plenty of drama for the spectators, the AF Corse drivers performed consistently, with an excellent pace and lap times only a few tenths off the leaders. The drama of a race open to the end continued on the last lap when Cassidy tried to fend off Bortolotti's comeback. However, he found himself in traffic and slipped to tenth place. In contrast, Fraga finished seventh at the chequered flag, 22.5 behind race winner Olsen.
Programme. The Belgian weekend continues tomorrow with qualifying from 10.05am, which will decide the starting grid for Race-2, starting at 1.30pm.