The 4 Hours of Sepang has concluded with two Ferraris on the podium amid multiple recriminations at the penultimate event of the Asian Le Mans Series. The race – which got underway an hour and a half late after the track was battered by a particularly violent storm, had no shortage of dramatic twists – including the one which eventually put an end to HubAuto Corsa’s chances of a well-deserved win for the 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
Cautious start. The Ferraris, getting the race started from the top three positions in the GT class, on a gradually drying track, opted for a prudent approach in the opening stages. The Aston Martin fielded by D’Station Racing took advantage of the conditions to take the lead for a greater part of the opening hour before conceding the leadership to the Ferrari of HubAuto Corsa with Liam Talbot at the wheel. Over the subsequent two hours, the new rival for the Ferrari crew – in that moment driven by Marcos Gomes and Davide Rigon – became the JLOC-entered Lamborghini, while the other competing Ferrari crews were forced out of podium positions. With the clock having just signalled the three-hour mark, Rigon retook control, while Pier Guidi attempted to get back onto the lead lap by notching up slightly faster laps than his adversaries.
Final farce. The Italian’s efforts paid off, even if it was thanks to an unscheduled pit-stop on behalf of Ross Gunn’s Aston Martin, whose lengthy technical service allowed the AF Corse driver to move up into third position. The English car went off-track, making room for the T2 Motorsports Ferrari handled by Rio Haryanto and that of Car Guy with Côme Ledogar at the controls. With victory looking firmly in the bag for HubAuto Corsa’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020, the car was then summoned into the pits for a 60-second stop & go, with just three minutes left before the chequered flag, after having exceeded the maximum permitted speed during the Full Course Yellow. Rigon, who had previously dictated the race pace, finished the 4 Hours of Sepang some 14 seconds adrift of the JLOC Lamborghini who claimed the top honours.
Less than 7 for the grand finale. The AF Corse crew made it onto the bottom step of the podium crossing the line ahead of both their sister car courtesy of T2 Motorsports and the Car Guy entry. The leader board now sees four teams separated by a mere seven points, which means the championship will go down to the wire in the final race, the 4 Hours of Buriram, before the eventual winner of the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series is proclaimed.