Ferrari holds mid-race lead at Spa
WEC

Ferrari holds mid-race lead at Spa

Spa-Francorchamps | 15 August 2020

The Ferrari 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse, with Alessandro Pier Guidi at the wheel, is leading the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with three hours to go. The Italian driver made the most of the severe weather conditions during the first half of the race.

An hour before the start, a violent thunderstorm broke over the track. Although the rain gradually eased off, it accompanied the cars in the early stages. The Ferraris tried to take advantage of a start behind the Safety Car, which offset their Balance of Performance disadvantage, by going on the attack. Alessandro Pier Guidi drove spectacularly, taking the lead by exploiting the excellent handling skills of the 488 GTE and an innate ability in the wet. Davide Rigon, on the other hand, was in fifth place, struggling to find the pace. The rain then stopped and the track dried out, favouring the Porsches. After changing to slicks, both Pier Guidi and Rigon stayed at the wheel, but the 2017 World Champion yielded first position to Estre. In the LMGTE Am class, the Ferraris were driven by the Bronze drivers who tried to limit the damage. However, with Perrodo at the wheel, they put up a tenacious fight against the Porsches.

Five hours and ten minutes from the chequered flag, the rain resumed along the 7km track, and Dalla Lana in the Aston Martin was caught unawares by the poor grip, veering off into the sand. This episode caused the entry of the Safety Car with 4.57 hours to go. The rain showed no sign of easing off, which allowed Pier Guidi to go back on the attack. After recovering almost ten seconds on the Porsche, he regained the race lead, pulling away from his pursuers. In the Am, Giancarlo Fisichella, after taking the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 54 from Castellacci, pulled off a series of super-fast laps that quickly brought him back to third position, followed at a distance by Perrodo who had replaced Collard. After a few cautious laps, Molina, who had taken over from Rigon, also increased the pace and narrowed the gap to the cars in front.

The rain fell even harder, so the race director had to send the Safety Car back out with three hours and 35 minutes to go. However, only 33 minutes later, the situation improved, and the race resumed. In the period behind the safety car, Molina returned to the pits to refuel without changing tyres, while Pier Guidi and Lynn both stayed on track in first and second place.

Photo: Copyright 2020 John Rourke/AdrenalMedia.com

Drivers