Intercontinental GT Challenge – Difficult Suzuka 10 Hours for Ferrari
The second edition of the Suzuka 10 Hours, the fifth round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, ended with the Ferrari of Car Guy Racing placed just outside the top ten.
The car of the current Asian Le Mans Series champions, driven by Kei Cozzolino and the two official drivers James Calado and Miguel Molina, crossed the line in 11th, a lap behind the victorious Audi of WRT. The 488 GT3 no. 777 had been among the leaders in the first hours, before suffering a one-lap penalty between the fourth and fifth hour for making a stop when the green flag was out. The smooth progress of the race then left no openings for any strategy to bring the trio back into the fight. The Balance of Performance also placed them at a disadvantage.
The Ferrari of HubAuto Corsa, also competing in the Pro class, had a mountain to climb after Heikki Kovalainen closed the Pole Shootout in 20th place. However, despite Nick Cassidy’s violent contact suffered when lapping the Honda of Arrows Racing, the team managed to climb back into the top ten. With the New Zealander still at the wheel, the Ferrari no. 27 increased its pace, but a spin at the entrance of the fast 130R ended against the safety barriers. Despite the dramatic impact, the 488 GT3 made it back to the pits where the team mechanics worked hard to return the car to the race. However, it was 78 laps off the lead and crossed the finish line in 21st position in its class.
The Ferrari of apr with ARN racing also had a day to forget, forced to retire due to a mechanical problem on lap 186 with Hiroaki Nagai at the wheel. The Japanese team’s 488 GT3 had long occupied third place in the Silver class before having to pit for good.
The Intercontinental GT Challenge now takes a three-month break before the last round of the season, the Kyalami 9 Hours in South Africa, from 21 to 23 November.