The Ferrari 488 GTE crew of Nicklas Nielsen, Fabien Lavergne and Alessandro Pier Guidi made off with the victory at the end of the final round of the European Le Mans Series season, held this weekend in Portimão (Portugal).
The Luzich Racing crew, who had previously bagged the drivers’ and team titles at Spa-Francorchamps a month ago, crossed the finish-line with a 50-second advantage over the nearest rival, the #60 Ferrari of Kessel Racing with Pianezzola at the wheel. The opening of the race was marred by an accident at curve 5 when Jack Manchester’s #45 Dallara Carlin got violently shunted by Christian England’s #3 Ligier United Autosport, causing an ensuing pile-up involving five other vehicles, including the #83 488 GTE of Kessel Racing and that of JMW Motorsport.
The race was held up for 55 minutes to give the race marshals time to clean up the wreckage and make the track race-worthy once more. Manchester and England were admitted to hospital to undergo tests, while the other drivers involved were subjected to a series of tests at the track’s medical facilities, before being discharged without any need for further checks. Although the #83 Ferrari was forced to withdraw from the race due to the damage incurred, Wei Lu’s #66 managed to resume the race after the re-start (overseen by the Safety Car), albeit for a 10-minute spell, before once again going off-track at turn 1, this time requiring an intervention from the marshals to remove the car. From that point onwards, with just five crews left in the LMGTE class and yet another Safety Car triggered, the only task left to #51 Pier Guidi was to keep this adversaries in check to secure a grand victory and an entry pass for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020.