Ferrari gets two cars on podium at a snowy Spa-Francorchamps
WEC

Ferrari gets two cars on podium at a snowy Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps | 4 May 2019

Ferrari leaves Belgium with a second place in the penultimate race of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2018/2019 Super Season in the GTE-Pro class courtesy of the AF Corse number 51 488 GTE and a third in GTE-Am, down to Clearwater Racing’s number 61 car. The Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours will be remembered as one of the craziest races ever, as it actually snowed several times during the day, affecting the race result on the Ardennes track. In these conditions, the Balance of Performance (BOP) had less of an effect than usual and the 488 GTE was very competitive, after having had a difficult time in qualifying.

GTE-Pro. Alessandro Pier Guidi and Sam Bird took the start in the 51 and 71 cars respectively. The first neutralisation came after just three laps, with the first rapid and unusual snowfall. The restart came after 30 minutes and Bird was flying, working his way up into a podium position. Pier Guidi however, lost ground, his tyres not working so well in the wet. The order kept changing throughout the day, with ice and snow repeatedly requiring the Safety Car to be sent out. During the flurry of neutralisations, both Ferrari cars led at some point, although the #71 car was sent out of the running for victory when it got a puncture, which left Davide Rigon to try and fight back from the rear of the field. In the end, the Italian driver came home sixth. The number 51 488 GTE fought for the win all the way to the end. The race got going again after yet another Safety Car with just 30 minutes remaining, when James Calado was second behind the Aston Martin of Maxime Martin and Alexander Lynn. The chances of winning were great at this point, as the leading Belgian would have had to pit one more time before the chequered flag. However, that flag was replaced by the red one with 15 minutes to go, which froze the positions. Calado and Pier Guidi therefore had to settle for second place, although that was more than could have been hoped for after Saturday’s qualifying.

GTE-Am. The 488 GTE was also a protagonist in the GTE-Am class. The Clearwater Racing #61 car led the race for a long time with Luis Perez Companc, Matteo Cressoni e Matt Griffin and, despite a drive-through penalty for an infraction under the Safety Car, it came home third, with the win going to the Porsche of Pera-Ried-Campbell. Fourth was the Spirit of Race car, with eighth place going to MR Racing. The overall winner of the race was the Toyota of Alonso-Buemi-Nakajima.