A tough race in Belgium!
After the test a couple of weeks ago, the parade on Wednesday in the city Spa, a lot of autographs and a long practice session, the 24 hours of Spa could really get underway.
On Thursday evening qualifying started. Ferrari got poleposition in the Am Cup and had two cars placed in the top 20 wich meant they could battle for poleposition during Superpole. The #50 Ferrari was the first of the two 488 GT3’s to put a lap in. It wasn’t enough for pole and the car had to settle for 15th place. The Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari then had a go for poleposition and with a fantastic lap put in by James Calado the 488 GT3 secured 1st place on the grid.
The Pro class got well underway for Ferrrari with the #55 Kaspersky Motorsport staying in the lead from the start. The #50 also had a position inside the top 20, but the car crashed on top of Eau Rouge. Luckily Pasin Lathouras emerged unharmed from the car but the crash meant the race was over for the #50 team. Then around the three hour mark the SMP Racing Ferrari suffered hydraulic problems. The car was fixed by the AF Corse mechanics but with 18 laps behind the leader their race was practically over. The Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari from then on was the only 488 GT3 fighting for a good finish. They held onto the lead really long and even in the night they were almost every moment in the lead. And with a great drive from Giancarlo Fisichella during the night, when he was driving with slick tyres on a wet track, they gained a lot of time on their opponents. In the early morning at the beautiful Spa track disaster stroke for the #55. The car was trying to unlap itself into La Source when it got hit by a Mercedes only to crash at the top of the next corner, Eau Rouge, with a broken steering arm.
In the Pro-Am Cup, Ferrari picked up a podium and a good fourth place. Demirdjian, Vilander, Rizzo and Minassian put in a great overnight performance to climb from sixth to third, which they would never have relinquished had it not been for the pit stops, when the position went to the crew of the AF Corse 488 GT3 driven by Olivier Beretta, Motoaki Ishikawa, Francesco Castellacci and Lorenzo Bontempelli, who ended up fourth under the chequered flag.
In the Am Cup there was never any doubt the 488 GT3 was the car to beat. The Kessel Racing team took the lead from the beginning with only the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari able to keep up with them. The only thing that made the Rinaldi Racing 488 GT3 struggle were tyreproblems. First they had a puncture and later on in the race they had issues with some other sets of tyres. All this meant they had to settle for second place and the Kessel Racing team could bring their car home in first place.
The Blancpain Endurance Cup will conclude on 1 October in Barcelona.