Ferrari on the podium of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

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.

GT World Challenge Europe – The comments of the drivers at the end of the 24 Hours of Spa

At the end of an edition of the Belgian classic that offered many twists, we collected the statements of the drivers who faced the race at the wheel of the 2020 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Sky Tempesta Racing # 93 – “The race was complicated, from all points of view. Spa is a very demanding circuit that puts a strain on you physically and in this case the conditions that were constantly changing, especially when it rained and we had slicks, increased the coefficient of difficulty. It was really hard, there was a lot of water, many accidents and therefore I want to congratulate both the team and my teammates who made no mistakes. If it hadn’t rained I think we would have had a very good chance of winning. We were a bit unlucky with the Safety Car in the final, but we got a second place at six hours, a first at twelve and a second at the end of the race, so we can all be very satisfied with the positive result ”.

James Calado, AF Corse # 51 – “ In the dry we were competitive, then as always happens in Spa the flood began and we struggled to make the most of the tires. While trying different solutions, we were unable to find the step. Finishing in fifth place allowed us to gain good points for the championship that are added to those of the fourth place obtained in the sixth hour and those of the first place that we made our own halfway through the race. It’s a shame we didn’t manage to win, but I still want to thank the whole team for the enormous work they have done. We will try again ”.

Miguel Molina, SMP Racing # 72 – “ It was a very tough race, where everything happened. In some situations we were within a lap of the leader but we managed to catch up without ever losing our temper and taking advantage of all the opportunities. We did everything possible to put ourselves in a position to fight to win until we were knocked out of the race by a Porsche. Maybe we weren’t the favorites for the win, but we really did everything to succeed. I’m sorry I didn’t manage to cross the finish line but we hope that things will go better in the next race ”.

Kamui Kobayashi, HubAuto # 27 – “ Unfortunately , we almost failed to reach the goal we set ourselves, which is to cross the finish line. Having started from the pits, after replacing the engine, made everything much more difficult. The team did an excellent job and unfortunately not finishing the race is part of racing. I believe that having basically completed the 24 hours, offering an excellent show on the track and also on TV, represents an excellent result. We gave our best, we had fun and I can say that it was two very exciting days for which I thank Ferrari and HubAuto for their support ”.

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