The trio of Perrodo-Nielsen-Rovera claimed a splendid victory in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE in the LMGTE Am class at the 6 Hours of Monza, the third round of the FIA WEC World Championship, while Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado finished second in the LMGTE Pro. Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer started the race, which also welcomed the return of spectators to the stands.
LMGTE Pro. The six-hour, intense scrap between Porsche and Ferrari saw Kévin Estre and Neel Jani emerge victorious. Three minutes from the end, they took advantage of Alessandro Pier Guidi’s splash-and-go to cross the line with a 32-second cushion. The Italian driver, who pushed hard to close to within less than a second of the winners before his lightning-fast final stop, deployed a bold strategy hoping to follow up on his win at Portimão, but with no luck. During the race, crewmate James Calado even took the lead for a time with a splendid passing move on Jani. Miguel Molina and Daniel Serra secured fourth place overall, just three seconds off the podium. The crew of car #52 fought a very intense race duelling with the Porsche of Bruni-Lietz. With these results, Ferrari stays on top of the Constructors’ Championship standings.
LMGTE Am. François Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera enjoyed their second season win, with a perfect performance. Starting from the back of the pack after yesterday’s penalty in qualifying, a splendid Rovera put the trio back in contention in the early stages. He then handed over to Perrodo before returning to the wheel at mid-race. The Italian then left the AF Corse 488 GTE to Nicklas Nielsen, whose two very quick stints saw him first over the line, gifting the Italian team another win after the victory at Spa-Francorchamps. The race was a mixed bag for the other Ferraris. While car #54, driven by Flohr-Fisichella-Castellacci finished seventh and the “Iron Dames” crew, Frey-Gatting-Bovy, eighth, the Maranello cars were well up in the mix during the race. The final result was affected by bad luck in the Safety Car and Full Course Yellow phases, which also knocked back the third AF Corse Ferrari of Mann-Ulrich-Vilander, tenth at the finish line but often in the top three. Eleventh and twelfth place went to the 488 GTEs fielded by Cetilar Racing, still leader of the standings, and Rinaldi Racing, while the second Iron Lynx car had to retire.
Appointments. The next round of Season 9 of the FIA WEC is the eagerly awaited 24 Hours of Le Mans on 21 and 22 August. On that occasion, the Ferrari President, John Elkann, will send the cars on their way in front of 50,000 spectators.
WEC – Comments of the “Pro” after 6 Hours of Monza
After the race, the drivers described a gripping battle finely balanced until the last three minutes, with the Ferraris always in the mix.
James Calado, AF Corse #51: “It’s one of the bitterest second places of my career. We wanted to win, but the Porsches had a bit of a cushion, so we tried a different strategy. We were a lap or two short of fuel to fight for victory. We took a chance hoping for a Full Course Yellow or a Slow Zone at the end, but it didn’t come, so congratulations to them for winning on our home turf. The second place gives us valuable championship points ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans”.
Daniel Serra, AF Corse #52: “A difficult race where we rarely found the pace. We need to figure out why this happened and fix the problem ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans”.
WEC – Comments of “Am” class winners at Monza
The reigning champions spoke about their second victory of the season, Ferrari’s third consecutive win in the LMGTE Am class, a feat not achieved since 2015.
François Perrodo, AF Corse #83 “You should have seen our faces at dinner when we heard about the penalty after qualifying! Whatever, the rules must be followed, and today we started from the back. Winning is really great. After the poor race at Portimão, where we only picked up two points, we are back in the title fight ahead of the most important race of the year, with double points at stake. There will be spectators, and that will make it totally different to last year”.
Alessio Rovera, AF Corse #83: “The race was more fun starting from the back! We knew the car was quick, especially on the straights. I gave it my all and tried to pass every time I had the chance. I enjoyed the whole race, and all three of us were very fast”.
Nicklas Nielsen, AF Corse #83: “It was a great race! I took over in first place, like at Spa. The guys did a great job. Alessio made an impressive comeback, and François was effective in his stints… Since yesterday, we knew that the car was powerful. We managed to exploit its potential and can rejoice in this home win”.