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    Ferrari secures double podium at the Centenary 24 Hours of Spa

    Spa-Francorchamps 30 giugno 2024

    The Centenary 24 Hours of Spa concluded with the number 51 296 GT3 of the AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors team finishing in second place. Alessandro Pier Guidi, who crossed the line, shared the car with fellow Prancing Horse official drivers Alessio Rovera and Davide Rigon. The team led the race until 48 minutes from the end, but was hindered by a stationary car in the pit lane as Pier Guidi was returning for the final refuelling. This situation thwarted the 296 GT3's chances of claiming a victory that had seemed assured.

    In the Bronze class, the number 52 Ferrari of AF Corse, driven by Andrea Bertolini, Louis and Jef Machiels, and Tommaso Mosca, achieved a podium finish.

    The race. The event, affected by rain which led to multiple incidents and long interruptions with over twenty Full Course Yellows, saw several Ferrari cars from the Prancing Horse manufacturer staying in contention for top positions, both overall and within their classes, throughout the night. As the weather improved and teams were able to switch to slick tyres on Sunday morning, the crews managed to maintain their positions at the front of the field.

    Pro class. The turning point of the second round of the GT World Challenge Europe – Endurance Cup came when Alessandro Pier Guidi, having completed 457 laps and with a lead of over 20 seconds, encountered the number 19 Lamborghini blocking the pit lane. The stationary car delayed the crucial final refuelling stop for the Ferrari, costing Pier Guidi more than 40 seconds. Rejoining the race in eighth position, Pier Guidi staged a remarkable comeback, recovering six places and securing a spot on the podium.

    The race for the second team, the number 71, was hampered by a collision involving two other cars at La Source in the early hours of Sunday morning, with David Vidales at the wheel. The Ferrari, shared with Maranello's official driver Thomas Neubauer and Vincent Abril, had started from the third row on the grid but had to retire prematurely from the 24 Hours after completing 236 laps.

    Bronze class. Thanks to the performance of the car and flawless teamwork, Ferrari's official driver Andrea Bertolini, along with Louis and Jef Machiels and Tommaso Mosca, secured an impressive second place in the Bronze Class (and 13th overall), finishing just 38 seconds behind the class-winning number 66 Audi. Two places further back, the number 93 Sky Tempesta Racing 296 GT3, driven by official driver Lilou Wadoux, alongside Christopher Froggatt, Jonathan Hui, and Eddie Cheever, finished 16th overall.

    Misfortune struck the Kessel Racing team, which was forced to retire both cars. The number 74 296 GT3, driven by John Hartshorne, Chandler Hull, Ben Tuck, and Matt Bell, was involved in an incident shortly after 4 a.m. Despite necessary repairs, the car returned to the track, but on Sunday morning, following an off-track excursion by Hartshorne, the damage was too severe to continue. Meanwhile, the number 8 Ferrari, with about four hours and 30 minutes left on the clock, was hit by the number 46 BMW at Les Combes. The collision irrevocably compromised the race for Nicolò Rosi, Niccolò Schirò, David Fumanelli, and Daniele Di Amato.

    An early retirement also occurred for the number 333 296 GT3. After completing 78 laps on Saturday evening, the car was hit violently on the straight leading to Eau Rouge. Fortunately, the driver, Christian Hook—part of the crew with Felipe Fernandez Laser, David Perel, and Fabrizio Crestani—was uninjured. However, the Rinaldi Racing team could not continue due to the extensive damage sustained.

    The championship. The GT WC Europe – Endurance Cup will return to the spotlight with the 3 Hours of Nürburgring, the third event of the season, scheduled for 27-28 July.