The Ferrari 488 GTE no. 51 was second over the line in the LMGTE Pro class, while no. 83 came third in the LMGTE Am at the end of the eightyeighth edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The world’s most famous endurance marathon was held behind closed doors for the first time, with sixteen Ferraris lining up at the start.
LMGTE Pro. The Ferrari 488 GTE no. 51, last year’s winner with Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra, fought an exciting duel with the Aston Martin no. 97 of Martin-Lynn-Tincknell, decided only in the last half hour in favour of the British car. The race saw the AF Corse crew hold the lead for a long time, only relinquishing it whenever they stopped to refuel. The three Prancing Horse standard-bearers used strategy and talent in an attempt to compensate for the seconds lost during the various Slow-Zones and the higher base speed of their rivals. They nearly pulled it off, only frustrated by the last Safety Car, which came on about thirty minutes before the end. Fourth place went to Risi Competizione no. 82 with Olivier Pla, Sébastien Bourdais and Jules Gounon, who recorded some excellent times during the night, mainly thanks to the four-time Champ Car champion Bourdais, a native of Le Mans. A gearbox failure on the last lap stopped AF Corse no. 71 from crossing the line in fourth. The crew of Davide Rigon, Miguel Molina and Sam Bird were always among the leaders until a puncture during the night knocked them out of the fight for victory. After a contact with an LMP2 class prototype, WeatherTech Racing’s Ferrari, driven by Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander and Jeffrey Segal, retired.
LMGTE Am. The third position gained with a final push by AF Corse 488 GTE no. 83 with François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen, is a great result sealed by the Danish driver’s decisive overtaking of the Porsche of Project 1 less than ten minutes from the chequered flag. This excellent performance was rounded off by three other Prancing Horse cars, with JMW Motorsport no. 66 in sixth with Heistand-RootMagnussen, Luzich Racing no. 61 in seventh with Piovanetti-Negri JR-Ledogar, quickest in Saturday’s Hyperpole session, and Iron Lynx no. 85 with the all-woman crew of Gostner-Frey-Gatting ninth at the finish line. Iron Lynx no. 60 crossed under the flag in eleventh, AF Corse no. 54 in thirteenth, and Red River Sport no. 62 in fifteenth.
Next appointment The FIA WEC calendar includes one more leg, the 8 Hours of Bahrain from 12 to 14 November.