Two Ferrari 488 GT3s mounted the podium in the third round of the Le Mans Cup on Saturday at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. Kessel Racing took second place with Michael Broniszewski and David Perel, while the Iron Lynx entry climbed the bottom step of the podium with Rino Mastronardi and the official Ferrari Competizioni GT driver Nicklas Nielsen. On lap 13, Mastronardi recorded the fastest time of 1:56.155. Victory went to the Porsche 911 of Pzoberer Zurichsee crewed by Leutwiler and Andlauer.
Mastronardi tries to pull away. Proceedings began under a cloudy sky, with the rain starting to fall well before mid-race. This sent the drivers back to the pits to change tyres. Iron Lynx’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 took off, with Rino Mastronardi’s car no. 8 starting in front of everyone. Initially, he held off the attacks of Michael Broniszewski of Kessel Racing and then pulled away. Everyone’s attention then turned to the fight for second place between car no. 74 and car no. 2, the Porsche 911 of Pzoberer Zurichsee with Leutwiler at the wheel, which finally passed its rival on lap 12.
Then the pit stops began, and the LMP3 and GT3 cars intermixed, with the leading positions remaining unchanged. However, Kessel Racing’s other Ferrari driven by Murod Sultanov and Andrea Belicchi, Iron Lynx’s Ferrari with Claudio Schiavoni and Matthew Griffin, and Kessel Racing no. 50 crewed by John Hartshorne and Oliver Hancock, all appeared out of the fight for the podium.
Here comes the rain. After three-quarters of an hour, the rain turned persistent, forcing all the drivers back into the pits. Leutwiler seemed to have some mechanical problems but, when everyone finished their stop, no. 2 was in front, with Mastronardi chasing and Broniszewski behind. The two Ferrari 488 GT3s swapped positions after the driver change, with Perel second and Nielsen third. From lap 40 they became embroiled in an exciting fight on an ever wetter track, where going off trajectory meant running into serious problems. Behind them, the other positions were increasingly fixed, with Belicchi in Kessel Racing no. 67 staying in fourth, far off the podium, ahead of Iron Lynx no. 77 with Griffin, and Hancock in the other Kessel Racing car.
While the Pzoberer Zurichsee held the lead, the fight for second place continued down to the line. At that point, Nielsen went long in a turn and missed his chance for a final attack, settling for third behind Kessel Racing and the winners Leutwiler and Andlauer.