The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps concluded with a second and a third place in the LMGTE Pro and a win and a third place in the LMGTE Am class for Ferrari. In the opening race of Season 9 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the AF Corse 488 GTEs did brilliantly on the iconic Belgian track, with Pier Guidi-Calado and Serra-Molina mounting the podium and the trio of Perrodo-Nielsen-Rovera also on the podium, accompanied by the Cetilar Racing crew of Lacorte-Sernagiotto-Fuoco.
Track Temp30.10 ºCHour 1
Air Temp9.60 ºCHour 1
Track Temp19.70 ºCHour 6
Air Temp9.20 ºCHour 6
AF Corse#51A. PIER GUIDI / J. CALADO
Gap from leader34.636
AF Corse#52D. SERRA / M. MOLINA
Gap from leader1:14.390
AF Corse#83F. PERRODO / N. NIELSEN / A. ROVERA
Cetilar Racing#47R. LACORTE / G. SERNAGIOTTO / A. FUOCO
FASTEST LAP3 2:14.694
GAP FROM LEADER1 Lap
T. FLOHR / F. CASTELLACCI / G. FISICHELLA
R. FREY / K. LEGGE / M. GOSTNER
C. SCHIAVONI / A. PICCINI / M. CRESSONI
Today’s race gave us two great podiums in the Pro and Am classes.
I am happy with the performance of the 51 and 52 crews because they achieved the best possible result here in Belgium. I am especially pleased to see the reigning world champions, Nielsen and Perrodo, back on the top step of the podium. They drove a great race alongside Rovera. Congratulations also to the Cetilar Racing crew for the best possible celebration of the start of their programme with Ferrari.
Antonello Coletta Head of Attività Sportive GT
A good start to the season for us and for Ferrari with a double podium.
I am happy to be back behind the wheel after so long and to have finished second. The Porsche is very quick, but we knew that. However, we have to try to find ways to improve our pace. Today though, we couldn’t have done more. The car went well, as did the team and our new engineer. We did things right, but it wasn’t enough to win.
James Calado #51
It’s always very nice to open with a podium, and I think there were good and bad moments during the race.
We’re going to analyse the latter primarily because we need to learn from them. It was my first race in the WEC as a starter, so I still have to get used to some of the dynamics, the traffic and lots of little things that give me hope because I know there is room for improvement.
The circuit is near Francorchamps in the Stavelot municipality bordering the town of Spa in the Ardennes region of Belgium.
When did the Spa-Francorchamps circuit open?
The Spa-Francorchamps track was built in the early 1920s. Its layout connected the Ardennes villages of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot. It was the idea of Jules de Thier, owner of the “La Meuse” newspaper, and Henri Langlois Van Ophem, member of the Sports Commission at the RACB (Royal Automobile Club Belgium). The circuit was inaugurated in 1924 with a 24-hour race for regular production cars.
What are the biggest races hosted by the Spa-Francorchamps circuit?
The main events include the famous 24 Hours, a one-day event that inaugurated the facility. It was reserved for touring cars but since 2001 has been extended to GTs.
It has been on the Formula 1 calendar since 1950, hosting the Belgian Grand Prix. The first edition of the Grand Prix, the European one, dates back to 1925. Formula 1 single-seaters have raced at Spa-Francorchamps except for a break in the 1970s. The Grand Prix was then held at Nivelles and Zolder before returning in 1983.
What is the circuit’s nickname?
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is known to racing insiders as the “University of Formula 1” due to the variety of turns, straights, climbs and descents that the drivers face.
What is the most famous section of the track?
The circuit’s appeal extends throughout the 7km layout, but the most famous and fascinating section is undoubtedly the Eau Rouge-Raidillon combination. Eau Rouge, so-called because it was built over a small watercourse of the same name, is the left turn before the climb, leading to the Raidillon turn on the right, where the cars reach very high speeds, with a 17% gradient and a 40-metre drop.
Why does the Spa-Francorchamps circuit have two dedicated pit facilities?
At the end of the 1970’s the circuit management decided to build a new semi-permanent track, and through various interventions, gradually reduced the original 14 km to 7 km. In 1980, a new double chicane called the Bus Stop was added, so-called because it was located near a bus stop between the Blanchimont turn and the La Source hairpin. The new pits were built just before La Source due to the creation of a flat starting line to allow the return of Formula 1 cars under the new regulations. The old pit straight, still in use for the other categories, didn’t meet this requirement.