Ferrari held its station as the 2019 edition of the Petit Le Mans ticked past the four-hour mark. Persistent cloud cover has come to blanket the circuit, reducing both circuit and ambient temperatures as the race moves towards the half-way mark.
GTLM. Risi Competizione cycled through their three drivers, eventually cycling back to James Calado, who is currently behind the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE. Since the start, James Calado demonstrated excellent pace to generate a 10 second gap to the second position. At the pit stop, however, the Ferrari was jumped as they completed a driver change to Alessandro Pier Guidi. The Ferrari factory driver completed a single stint and maintained a reasonable gap to the leaders in the category before handing over to Daniel Serra. Daniel then handed the car back over to James Calado who set about closing the gap. He sits just three seconds behind the leader and one second behind the second place runner. Just prior to the four-hour mark, James came in once again so the team could insert Pier Guidi into the car for the second time. Risi Competizione is currently running fourth.
GTD. A dramatic opening four hours marked the no. 63 Ferrari’s run thus far. Jeff Westphal did an excellent job to hand the car over to Cooper MacNeil at the first stop. The young American led the GTD category at times during his stint and demonstrated excellent defensive driving capabilities, keeping the chasing cars behind him. After a single stint, it was Ferrari factory driver Toni Vilander’s turn. Toni twice muscled past cars, both times making light contact in the process. The stewards determined that the Ferrari was faultless and handed down drive-through penalties to those offending competitors, further improving the Ferrari’s position. By the time the clock had ticked past the four-hour mark, Toni had driven to the lead of the GTD category.
Endurance Cup. Toni’s efforts were critical as it got the Ferrari past its rival in the Endurance Cup. Points are scored at the four hour, eight hour and ten hour marks. The no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari is in second in that championship, after strong performances at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen. Petit Le Mans represents the final round of the Cup as it is the fourth long-distance race.