WEC – Change to result of 4 Hours of Shanghai, AF Corse launches appeal
Ferrari was set to take its first ever LMGTE Pro victory on Chinese soil but the No. 51 car was deemed to be in breach of the WEC Technical Regulations after the minimum ground clearance was found lower than 50mm….
Five hours after the end of the 4 Hours of Shanghai, a stewards’ decision annulled Pier Guidi and Calado’s victory in the LMGTE Pro class. Post-race scrutineering led to the disqualification of the race winner, car no. 51. One detail of a part damaged in a collision was found to be lower than the minimum ground clearance of 50mm allowed under Art. 205 of the technical regulations. No other non-conformities were discovered on the vehicle.
AF Corse has already submitted its intention to appeal.
LMGTE Pro. In the early stages, Calado took third position after a tight duel with the Porsches. He managed his tyres well, only changing the left ones during his first stop. The pit stop was very fast with the British driver alongside the Porsche no. 92 in the pit lane. However, soon after the German car suffered a 10-second penalty at the next stop for an unsafe release. Davide Rigon, in fifth position, adopted a similar strategy and, like his teammate, only replaced the left-hand side tyres but performed the change of driver and full service a couple of laps earlier than Calado. In the second half of the race, Pier Guidi and Molina took the wheel of AF Corse’s two 488 GTEs. The turning point came near the 90th lap when the Aston Martin in first place suffered a puncture that scattered debris along the track, triggering a Full Course Yellow. Pier Guidi took advantage of this to seize the lead. He made his pit stop at this point, as did Molina in sixth position. Once the race resumed, the Italian driver enjoyed a margin of more than 15 seconds over his nearest pursuer. The winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans managed his lead well down to the chequered flag, controlling the tyre degradation and holding off the attempted fightback by the two Porsches on his tail. Although Miguel Molina recovered some of the ground lost in the previous stages, he ended up having to settle for sixth place, that became fifth some hours after the end of the race.
LMGTE Am. The Ferraris started from the centre of the group in the competitive LMGTE Am class, alternating in the podium positions in what turned out to be a very combative race. In the first hour, Thomas Flohr performed some excellent passes to slip into third before finally leaving the car to Castellacci in fifth, ahead of Perrodo. The 488 GTE no. 83 of AF Corse also climbed positions on the back of some good pit stops and Collard’s fast race pace. After a cautious start with Ishikawa, the MR Racing entry with Beretta at the wheel went on the attack. However, the Monegasque driver suffered a drive-through penalty in fifth due to a collision with a rival. At mid-race, Beretta led the Ferrari contingent in fifth position ahead of Collard and Flohr, followed by Hollings slightly further back in tenth. The final driver changes took place during the Full Course Yellow, with Nielsen, Fisichella, Cozzolino and Mowlem going out on track. The Danish driver lapped very quickly and took third place before his last pit stop, which relegated him back to fourth. Car no. 43 of AF Corse was the first of the Ferraris under the chequered flag despite its 40kg ballast. Seventh place went to the MR Racing crew of Cozzolino, Ishikawa, and Beretta, who preceded the second AF Corse 488 GTE, the no. 54, driven by Fisichella, Castellacci, and Flohr. British drivers Mowlem, Grimes, and Hollings, closed in eleventh for Red River Sport.