Alessandro Pier Guidi and AF Corse have won the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup thanks to an extraordinary victory at the Paul Ricard 1000Km, the final event of the SRO series.
Pro. The win came at the end of a hard-fought race in which a courageous strategic choice of changing just two tyres in the final pit-stop, 41 minutes from time, allowed Pier Guidi to snatch the lead and cross the finish-line with a 1”6 advantage over the GPX Racing-run Porsche, driven in that moment by fellow title contender Mathieu Jaminet. The race got underway with the 488 GT3 Evo 2020s of SMP Racing and AF Corse leading off after yesterday’s splendid qualifying session and saw the cars from Maranello constantly vying for the leading positions. The race was thrilling, albeit hampered by mid-race downpours which, while not enough to warrant tyre changes, nevertheless slowed down an otherwise lightning pace. Tom Blomqvist got proceedings underway for the #51 Ferrari with the opening two stints, then Côme Ledogar took over for the two hours mid-race and Pier Guidi at the wheel for the final stretch of the race. On this occasion, the English and French drivers replaced Pier Guidi’s habitual companions, James Calado and the recently-crowned FIA WEC Endurance Trophy winner Nicklas Nielsen who yesterday took part in the 8 Hours of Bahrain. In the closing forty minutes of racing, Pier Guidi showed great cool-headedness and consistency to keep in check the pursuing Porsche that constantly hounded him with a 2-3 second gap, finally earning a well-deserved first place across the finish-line. Seventh final place went to the SMP Racing Ferrari crewed by Sergey Sirotkin, Toni Vilander and Antonio Fuoco. The trio provided a fine showing even though their earlier hopes of reaching the podium were dashed.
Pro Am. In Pro Am class, Sky Tempesta Racing’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020 finished the race in third place driven by Chris Froggatt, Eddie Cheever and Jonathan Hui. The three produced a compelling performance that allowed them to take command early in the race. The podium rounds off a memorable season for Froggatt and Cheever who had triumphed in the Sprint Cup in Barcelona. However, the other three Ferrari entrants in the event were forced to withdraw.
Titles. The French race brings down the curtain on the 2020 season for the SRO-organized continental series, which has seen Ferrari claim six titles this year. Today’s win gives Alessandro Pier Guidi and AF Corse the title in the Endurance Cup Pro class, adding to those clinched by Chris Froggatt, Eddie Cheever and Sky Tempesta Racing in Pro Am class as overall champions and victors in the Sprint Cup. For Pier Guidi, today’s title represents a fifth international career championship win.
Numbers. For the 488 GT3, the roll of honour is further enriched with record numbers. The tally now stands at 81 championship victories, thanks to 350 wins out of 631 starts, testament to the extraordinary competitiveness and reliability of Maranello machinery.