Two Ferrari 488 GT3s made it onto the Race 1 podium at the Road To Le Mans, the fourth round of the Le Mans Cup held on Friday, 18 September at the Circuit de La Sarthe, the same weekend as the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. Key protagonists were the #8 Ferrari of Iron Lynx, crewed by Rino Mastronardi and Giacomo Piccini who managed to snatch the second spot and, third, the #74 Kessel Racing car with Polish driver Michael Broniszewski and South African David Perel.
The start. Seven Ferrari 488 GT3s lined up on the grid, with the spotlight firmly on the #8 Iron Lynx entrant, which had previously taken top honours in the opening races at Le Castellet and Spa, driven by current leader in the drivers’ standings, Mastronardi, alongside Piccini. As the race got underway, the FFF Racing Team by Acm Lamborghini Huracán GT3 took the lead, taking advantage of pole position to get ahead of three Ferraris: the #77 Iron Lynx with Andrea Piccini, Nicola Cadei’s #67 Kessel Racing and the #74 with Michael Broniszewski aboard. Mastronardi, who in the meantime has dropped to fifth position, attempted a buoyant comeback and by the fifth lap found himself lying in second behind Hamaguchi’s Lamborghini. A tough battle for the places of honour ensued, with Andrea Piccini and Nicola Cadei constantly menacing in Mastronardi’s rear-view mirrors, just tenths-of-a-second apart. The day proved an uphill struggle for Murod Sultanov and Paolo Ruberti in charge of the Iron Lynx run #10 Ferrari, which was eventually forced to retire after four laps.
Mid race. Thirty minutes into the race the driver swaps began. Andrea Piccini in the Iron Lynx 488 GT3 Evo 2020 made a last gasp entrance into the pit-lane along with Cadei of Kessel Racing, momentarily occupying the leading positions. By the time the pitstops wrapped up, the #63 Lamborghini held the lead, while in second spot was the Ferrari of Sky Tempesta Racing with Christopher Froggatt. Lying in third was the #74 Ferrari of Perel, followed by two more Prancing Horse cars courtesy of the Iron Lynx team: the #77 of Schiavoni and the #8 with Giacomo Piccini at the wheel.
A hotly-fought tussle for second to fourth positions was being waged: Giacomo Piccini moved back into third place, yet before the chequered flag, had got the upper hand in the duel with Perel and went on to occupy a place of honour. Froggatt’s Ferrari concluded fourth. Fifth place went to Schiavoni with Iron Lynx, sixth to Hancock in the Kessel Racing livery, while Cuhadaroglu at the wheel of the Swiss team’s third Ferrari, posted ninth.
Race 2. The Road To Le Mans is scheduled to continue tomorrow with Race 2 Saturday, September 19 at 11.15.