Antonio Fuoco, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado clinched the Gulf 12 Hours, the fourth and final round of the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge. The crew in the AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors no. 71 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 triumphed on the Yas Marina track after 335 laps, having led for 194. Taking runner-up spot was the no. 50 sister car from the same team driven by Davide Rigon, Alessio Rovera and Nicklas Nielsen. In the AM class the Prancing Horse notched up a historic hat-trick.
The championship ended with third place for Fuoco in the GT3 Pro class drivers’ standings and runner-up spot for the Maranello manufacturer in the constructors’ championship.
Pro Class. The race in the United Arab Emirates got underway amid dry track conditions and summery temperatures. The 34 cars trailed - without any collisions - GruppeM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, which started first, retiring 10 laps later. The two 488 GT3 Evo 2020s of AF Corse driven by the official Ferrari Competizioni GT drivers were immediately in the limelight, taking advantage of a different pit-stop strategy: Pier Guidi took the lead after 12 minutes, alternating in the role of pacemaker with the crew of Rigon, who started fourth, over the first two hours. The no. 71 consolidated its leading position mid-race, building up a considerable margin over its pursuers. Fuoco took the chequered flag with a 14’’388 advantage over Nielsen, who had made a comeback in the final hour. Seventh, fifth in the Pro class, were Kevin Magnussen and Jan Magnussen with Mark Kvamme driving for AF Corse - MDK Motorsports.
Triple in Am. The only Ferrari in Pro-Am, the no. 33 Kessel Racing entry, with Fumanelli-Jefferies-Roda-Cuhadaroglu, was less fortunate, retiring after 38 laps.
Elsewhere, in the Am, there were great celebrations for the Italian cars, with AF Corse’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020s monopolising the podium. The triumph was claimed by Louis and Philippe Prette-Saada-Grunewald who, having started fifth, built a final win after a long period of domination; second Stanley-Fox-De Meeus-Costantini, third Sernagiotto-Cozzi-Hanna-Lancieri. Sixth was the Ferrari of the Baron Motorsport Middle East team with Di Amato-Kirchmayr-Sartingen-Vyboh; withdrawal in the early hours for the Kessel Racing no. 11 with Schirò-Rosi-Tabacchi and Pulcini, who was at the wheel whilst involved in an accident - without consequences - that forced the car out.
Statistical snippets. Fuoco and Calado celebrate their first title in the Gulf 12 Hours, while for Pier Guidi it is his second triumph after the one clinched in 2018. For the 488 GT3, in its standard and Evo configuration, it is the fourth success, adding to those of 2018, 2017 and 2016.
The rankings. The 25 points at stake at Yas Marina allowed Fuoco to finish third in the drivers’ standings, 10 points behind Daniel Juncadella. In the top-10, Rigon, sixth, Daniel Serra and Calado, eighths, Nielsen, tenth. Ferrari finishes runner-up in the Constructor’s Championship behind Mercedes-AMG.