Iron Lynx’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020s claimed a double podium in the fifth and penultimate round of the Le Mans Cup at Monza, securing the team title in their debut season. A challenging race, especially in the early stages, with three entries of the Safety Car in the first half-hour, delivered the crown with a race to spare and paves the way for Rino Mastronardi to take the drivers’ championship.
The race. Mastronardi enjoyed a perfect start to Saturday at Monza, taking pole with the best qualifying time in the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 no. 8 of Iron Lynx. However, immediately after the race began the Italian was held up by the LMP3 cars. Kessel Racing Ferrari no. 74 took advantage, with Michael Broniszewski grabbing the lead. The Polish driver then incurred a penalty for incorrect behaviour during a Safety Car period, suffering a drive-through on lap 21 that relegated him to the back of the pack. Mastronardi thus regained the lead. However, the continuous entrances of the Safety Car due to the many accidents involving prototypes thwarted his efforts to pull away, and the Italian driver was under constant pressure from Leutwiler’s Porsche.
Driver changes. The Iron Lynx Ferrari no. 9, driven by the new Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli champion Emanuele Maria Tabacchi, followed in third place with a good pace and times considering that it was his GT3 debut. After the pit stops, Niccolò Schirò, who took over from Tabacchi, found himself out in front, closely followed by the Porsche of Pzoberer Zürichsee by TFT. The Ferrari no. 8, now in the hands of Giacomo Piccini, lay in third place. The final turning point came on lap 41 when Andlauer passed Schirò. The positions then stayed the same down to the flag. Iron Lynx thus secured a double podium with Schirò-Tabacchi and Giacomo Piccini-Mastronardi. The result all but seals the drivers’ title for Mastronardi who is on 106 points, with his crewmate, Giacomo Piccini, his closest rival. However, the team battle really is over, with Iron Lynx taking the title with a race to spare in its debut season in the class. Despite a strong comeback, David Perel, in the Kessel Racing Ferrari no. 74, finished fourth in class, while Andrea Piccini, in the Iron Lynx no. 77, crossed the line in sixth. The two Kessel Racing Ferraris, John Hartshorne and Oliver Hancock’s no. 50 and Murat Cuhadaroglu and David Fumanelli’s no. 67, close the standings.
Portimão round. The final round of the Le Mans Cup will take place at the Portimão circuit in Portugal on Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November.