The World Endurance Championship is back for the first of six events in Season 9, which will see 35 cars compete in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday 1 May. Seven 488 GTEs, two in the LMGTE Pro class and five in the LMGTE Am class will appear on the beautiful Spa-Francorchamps track.
LMGTE Pro. In the hunt for the title won in 2017, the two cars fielded by AF Corse offer the tried and tested duo of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in no. 51 and the new pair of Daniel Serra and Miguel Molina in no. 52. “After three months, it’s nice to be back driving, although it’s not easy to make predictions for the season”, said Calado. “The Balance of Performance hasn’t changed much since last year, so we’ll have to work hard to beat the Porsches. In the prologue, we are trying to work on a setup that can adapt to the current rather cold conditions that we’ll also encounter in the race. It would be nice to start with a win, although it will be tough”. Expectations are also high for Daniel Serra, who makes his debut opposite Molina. “It will be my first full year in the WEC, and I’m looking forward to it”, commented the Brazilian. “I and we have prepared hard for this. The season will be a challenge not only on the track but also because of the restrictions on international travel, but I am happy to line up at the start of the first race”.
LMGTE Am. Following François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen’s conquest of the drivers’ and team’s titles of the FIA Endurance Trophy, AF Corse will start as favourite. It will field a new driver, Alessio Rovera – Italian GT champion with Ferrari in 2020 – in place of Collard. The trio from the Piacenza-based team will again have Thomas Flohr, Giancarlo Fisichella and Francesco Castellacci as teammates at the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 54. Cetilar Racing is also making its class debut, and after its experience with LMP2, has its eyes on a great result with Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Antonio Fuoco. The two Ferraris lined up by Iron Lynx are likewise aiming high. The all-female crew of Rahel Frey, Manuela Gostner and Katherine Legge will take the wheel of car no. 85, while Claudio Schiavoni, Andrea Piccini and Matteo Cressoni will drive no. 60.
Prologue. The FIA World Endurance Championship competitors have already fired up their engines in the two-day prologue that ended today. Given that the times recorded were not very important, the Ferrari teams worked on the car’s setup.
Programme. Season 9 will officially kick off on Thursday, 29 April, with free practice at 3:30 pm local time. On Friday, after the final two untimed practice sessions, qualifying will take place at 6:20 pm. The resulting starting grid will line up for the 6 Hours, which sets off at 1:30 pm on Saturday.