Winning debut for Valentino Rossi in the 488 GT3 in Gulf 12 Hours
The crew of Valentino Rossi, Luca Marini and Alessio Salucci drove the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Monster VR46 Kessel to victory in the Pro-Am class and third overall in the Gulf 12 Hours. The nine-time world motorcycling champion enjoyed a dream debut in the Ferrari 488 GT3, a car he had never driven before. The trio, which led after the first half of the race, put in another excellent performance in the second six hours, despite a breakdown that lost precious seconds.
The setback occurred four and a half hours from the end when the 488 GT3, then driven by Valentino Rossi, stopped along the track before restarting. The unexpected hitch cost car no. 46 the lead, although the crew supported by Kessel Racing mounted a comeback. Indeed, a five-second penalty added to the overall race time for having gained an unfair advantage did not prevent Rossi-Marini-Salucci from finishing the 12 Hours as winners in the class and third overall.
Iron Lynx’s all-women crew suffered some bad luck when they had to retire with a broken rear left suspension following a contact in which Michelle Gatting was the innocent party, while the car was in fourth position overall. The accident caused the entry of the Safety Car, which remained on the track for about seventeen minutes. The Ferrari no. 55 of Kessel Racing, crewed by Alexis De Bernardi, Loris Capirossi and Nicola Cadei, was second over the line in the Am class, while car no. 11 of AF Corse, driven by Tani Hanna, Christophe Ulrich, Kriton Lentoudis and Rui Aguas, finished third. Fourth place went to the 488 GT3 number 33 of Kessel Racing crewed by David Perel, Murat Cuhadaroglu, Marco Zanuttini and John Hartshorne.