GT World Challenge Europe – Exciting final, Pier Guidi Endurance Cup champion
With a strategic gamble, Alessandro Pier Guidi managed to win the 1000 Km of Paul Ricard together with Tom Blomqvist and Come Ledogar at the wheel of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020, becoming Endurance Cup champion in the GT World Challenge Europe.
Fourth hour. At the halfway point, the expected rain began to descend in some sections of the track which was declared wet by the race director. This condition, not particularly favorable to the Maranello cars, was very reminiscent of the one experienced during the recent 24 Hours of Spa. In this phase, both Ledogar and Antonio Fuoco performed a double stint with the first in third position and the Italian seventh . In the Pro Am class, Machiels was in third place ahead of Eddie Cheever, fourth, and Pierre Ehret, seventh. The rain wet the track in some places without forcing the drivers to change tires even if the lower grip created some problems for several cars. Among these, the number 52 of AF Corse which, with Machiels at the wheel, he spun on the straight, breaking the rear wing and part of the front bodywork, forcing the team to withdraw the car. The same fate also for the second Rinaldi Racing car, forced to abandon the race while Ehret was at the wheel. The only Ferrari still competing in the Pro Am class was Sky Tempesta Racing’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with Eddie Cheever in third position.
Fifth hour. With the stroke of the hour, the stops for the first ones began but the two Ferraris of Ledogar and Fuoco extended their shift trying to make the most of the free track. The Italian stopped during the 123rd lap to make room for Sirotkin, while Pier Guidi took over Ledogar two laps later, returning to the track in second position. The 2017 world champion had to recover 10 ”6 on Jaminet, in command of the race, while Sirotkin tried to reduce the delay from Bortolotti. However, the battle between the Porsche of GPX Racing and the Ferrari of AF Corse captured the attention as the two crews were the great protagonists of the fight for the championship.
Sixth hour. As night fell, the race reached its crucial moment. The last stops, in fact, changed the face of the ranking. Extending the stint as much as possible, Pier Guidi stopped in the pits during lap 158 and ran the risk of replacing only the two left tires in a pit that was still perfectly executed by the AF Corse mechanics. The Italian was thus able to get back on track right in front of Jaminet’s Porsche and, from that moment on, he pushed to stretch over his rival, with an advantage ranging between 2 and 3 seconds. With Cheever third in the Pro Am and Sirotkin seventh in the Pro class, the whole AF Corse box held its breath to follow the final minutes of the race.