Positve race for Ferrari!
After the succesful race for Ferrari at the Nürburgring the cars went to the factories for their last check up before they went on the airplane towards Mexico. It was a difficult round in Mexico for Ferrari but in the end some positives to take home.
The race got well underway for Ferrari with the #71 starting from pole. Poleman Sam Bird in the Ferrari 488 GTE #71 was in first at the start, pursued by the Aston Martin #95 of Sorensen and then the two Fords. James Calado, with AF Corse’s car #51, took sixth place after few laps thanks to the contact between Christensen’s Porsche and the 488 GTE of Clearwater Racing driven by Weng Sun Mok. At the end of the first hour Sorensen managed to overtake Bird but shortly after, at the first pitstop, the positions were reversed with Davide Rigon again in front of Nicki Thiim. Calado, for his part, overtook the Ford of Olivier Pla before the Arena (the last area of the Mexico City circuit) but was hit by the French driver on the left rear wheel forcing him to enter the pits. Fortunately, his stint was about to end and so car #51 just had to bring forward its planned stop by just a few laps. Alessandro Pier Guidi took over, putting in a great stint, to guide the Ferrari into third place. At the next pit stop car #51’s race was hampered by an unfortunately incident. Immediately after refuelling, with Calado in the car, it suffered a fuel pump problem that was solved with another visit to the pits. Obviously Calado and Pier Guidi lost several positions and resumed in sixth place, a lap down. At the same time, the Aston Martin #95 overtook the #71 at the pits to move into first. In the final two hours there were two Full Course Yellows, where the cars had to drive at 80 km/h. In the first one, the Aston Martin #95 stopped for a pitstop running out of order compared to the strategy of the majority of the rivals, and in the second the Ferrari, which had meanwhile moved into first, also pulled in and thus managed to keep first place. Bird and Rigon’s ambitions of winning were frustrated by a 10-second penalty for exceeding 80km/h during the first Full Course Yellow phase. Car #71 finished second behind the Aston Martin and ahead of the Porsche of Makowiecki-Lietz, while the #51 was sixth.
It was an uphill race for the two Ferrari 488 GTE’s entered in the GTE-Am class. Spirit Of Race #54 came fourth with Miguel Molina, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr, while the 488 GTE of Clearwater Racing ran into two drive-throughs losing precious seconds. In the end Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa and Weng Sun Mok crossed the line in fifth in a race won by the Porsche of Proton Racing driven by Matteo Cairoli, Marvin Dienst and Christian Ried. The overall victory went to the Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. The result of the 6 Hours of Mexico leaves a slightly bit bitter taste in the mouth, because it is clear that victory was within reach, but the two Ferraris secured a good haul of points helping the Prancing Horse to stretch its lead in the Constructors’ standings. Ferrari now has a nine-length lead over Ford, 22 over Aston Martin, and 31 over Porsche. Next race in two weeks is at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.