Ferrari swept all before it in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the most eagerly awaited race of the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, with a stunning victory in the Pro class and a fantastic one-two in the Pro-Am. In a thrilling finale, Alessandro Pier Guidi was first over the line in the Iron Lynx 488 GT3 Evo 2020, celebrating a historic win alongside teammates Nicklas Nielsen and Côme Ledogar. It is the Prancing Horse’s first overall triumph since 2004 in this race.
Pro. The race, which began with serious concern over the accident involving Davide Rigon, saw the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of teammates Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Côme Ledogar in the lead at the six- and twelve-hour marks, thereby picking up points for the overall standings. The #51 Ferrari made an excellent comeback after a tricky qualifying. Indeed, it led the race from hour five thanks to a perfect strategy combined with the consistency of the drivers and the car’s competitive pace. However, the result was called into question with 45 minutes to go when a violent downpour lashed the track. The Ferrari delayed its pit stop by a lap. This left the way clear for the WRT Audi, with which it had fought an intense duel in the previous hours, before a Full Course Yellow made necessary by the many cars veering off the track, followed by the entry of the Safety Car. The latter bunched up the group and allowed Pier Guidi to produce a masterclass, culminating in a spectacular passing of Dries Vanthoor on the outside at Blanchimont with less than ten minutes remaining. The reigning Endurance Cup champion took the chequered flag first, winning one of the few endurance racing classics still missing from his packed trophy cabinet.
Pro-Am Cup. In the Pro-Am class, the two AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo 2020s claimed an extraordinary one-two. The #53 car crewed by Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, Rino Mastronardi and Miguel Molina finished ahead of its #52 twin driven by Louis Machiels, Andrea Bertolini, Alessio Rovera and John Wartique. The Piacenza-based team's cars, along with Sky Tempesta Racing's Chris Froggatt, Eddie Cheever, Jonathan Hui and Matteo Cressoni, took turns leading the race. However, several unfortunate episodes and various race strategies put the reigning champion team out of the fight for the podium, leaving the AF Corse cars to slug it out for victory. The #53 488 GT3 Evo 2020 crew came out on top thanks to a flawless performance, with Miguel Molina's superb stints and Matt Griffin doing his very best to honour the memory of his recently deceased father. A technical stop made under the green flag left the crew of the #52 Ferrari one lap in arrears, with an excellent Alessio Rovera, author of the class fastest lap, only three-tenths of a second behind the overall leader, who was in command for several hours. The fourth Ferrari in the race, Kessel Racing's, finished eleventh with Tim Kohmann, Francesco Zollo, Giorgio Roda and David Fumanelli.
Silver Cup. The only Ferrari in the Silver Cup, fielded by Rinaldi Racing, ended its race with less than an hour to go. The German team's crew held podium positions on several occasions, partly thanks to a magnificent performance by a quick David Perel. However, they were ensnared in an accident near the end when the weather conditions and the grip of the asphalt were treacherous.
Standings and trophies. Ferrari won the Coupe du Roi for the manufacturer with the best result in the various classes, based on the scores after 6, 12 and 24 hours. Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Côme Ledogar top the Endurance Cup standings courtesy of the double points awarded in this race, while Iron Lynx heads the team standings. In the Pro-Am class, a fourth-place finish saw Chris Froggatt and Eddie Cheever retain the lead in the drivers' standings and Sky Tempesta Racing in the teams'.