GT World Challenge Europe – Ferrari on the Pro-Am podium of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
The 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Eddie Cheever III, Chris Froggatt, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jonathan Hui completed the 72nd edition of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in second place in the Pro-Am class. The quartet of Sky Tempesta Racing steadily occupied the top positions throughout the race, winning very useful points in the run-up to the title of the GT World Challenge Europe.
The race was characterized by the rain that fell along the historic Belgian circuit from the early hours of the morning, contributing to a change in the ranking on several occasions. The Ferraris, protagonists in the podium positions for more than half of the race and leading at the stroke of the twelfth hour, were vying for success until the last stages of the race in the Pro and Pro-Am classes.
Pro-Am. The second step of the podium won by Eddie Cheever III, Chris Froggatt, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jonathan Hui crowns an excellent performance by the team and the drivers. Still in contention for the victory, the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Sky Tempesta Racing had two absolute protagonists in the Italian drivers, authors of very fast and very constant stints. At the end of the 24 Hours, Froggatt, Cheever and Hui lead the Endurance Cup class standings, while Froggatt and Cheever lead the overall ahead of Bertolini and Machiels. The car of the AF Corse duo, flanked on the occasion by Daniel Serra and Niek Hommerson, was forced to retire due to an accident that saw Machiels as protagonist, fortunately without consequences for the driver.
Pro. The race of the Ferraris entered in the Pro class ends with the fifth place and many regrets. The crew of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 number 51 had been the protagonist in the night phases of a very decisive action by Pier Guidi and Calado who had passed in first position at the stroke of the twelfth hour, collecting useful points for the classification of the Endurance Cup. At the end of the sixth, however, the trio composed by James Calado, Nicklas Nielsen, Alessandro Pier Guidi had obtained the points valid for the fourth place. In a convulsive final, Pier Guidi was unable to defend third place from the attacks of Cairoli and Jaminet, crossing the finish line fifth. A result that does not reflect the performance of the car and the great work in the pits by the mechanics, but which nevertheless reduces the delay from the leaders in the general classification of the Endurance Cup to just six points. There is no shortage of regrets for the SMP Racing Ferrari , forced to finish the race prematurely after contact with an opponent. Davide Rigon, Miguel Molina and Sergey Sirotkin had succeeded thanks to the strategy to overcome two drive-throughs that risked compromising their race, coming instead to enter the fight for the podium. A little more than two hours before the checkered flag, a contact with Pilet’s Porsche caused a spin and therefore against the Sirotkin barriers. After managing to resume running, in the last half hour of the race a further contact with Porsche forced Molina to retire. Early retirement, a few minutes from the end, also for the HubAuto Ferrari of Kamui Kobayashi, Marcos Gomes and Tom Blomqvist who, after a good comeback from the back of the grid, had managed to get close to the first fifteen positions.