After a four-hour race that was as thrilling as it was full of twists and turns, the Ferraris of Kessel Racing closed the fourth round of the European Le Mans Series on the podium, with the all-women crew of the 488 GTE no. 83 taking a superb second place.
Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting repeated their excellent result of the opening race of the season when they secured second place behind Luzich Racing. The series’ leaders, however, crossed the finish line in fourth, trailing the other Kessel Racing entry, driven by Sergio Pianezzola, Nicola Cadei and Giacomo Piccini.
Treacherous rain. The race offered a lot of drama, beginning with the rain that made its appearance at the start. In this phase, when the drivers were finding it hard to control their cars, Sergio Pianezzola in the 488 GTE of Kessel Racing proved his driving skills by taking the lead, followed by his teammate Michelle Gatting. After various exciting episodes, with one hour to go, Nicklas Nielsen led in the car of Luzich Racing. However, the 35 kg “Success Ballast” in the Swiss team’s 488 GTE played a decisive role in fuel and tyre consumption, as well as overall performance. After Alessandro Pier Guidi took over from the brilliant Dane, the race leadership returned to Kessel Racing but this time to the all-women crew with Rahel Frey at the wheel.
Final battles. When car no. 83 looked in with a chance of its first win, Preining’s comeback changed the course of the race, relegating the best of the Kessel Racing crews to second place. In a convulsive finale, with some good teamwork, the cars of the Swiss team defended second and third positions from the attacks of a rampant Alessandro Pier Guidi who made several attempts to pass a tough Giacomo Piccini, but failed. The Ferrari of Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting passed under the chequered flag in second position ahead of teammates Sergio Pianezzola, Giacomo Piccini and Nicola Cadei. Fourth place went to the Luzich Racing crew of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Fabien Lavergne and Nicklas Nielsen, who lead the championship on 77 points. It was a difficult race for the other two Ferraris, with the car of Spirit of Race crossing the finish line in fifth followed by the Ferrari of JMW Motorsport.
To Belgium. The next round of the European Le Mans Series is the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, in three weeks.