The 73rd edition of the 24 Hours of Spa could not have been more vibrant. The serious accident in the first hour, the rain that followed, the dynamics of the race, the usual equality between GT3s and the final rain have created an edition full of shocks, but also memorable for the fans. And in this scenario, Ferrari has won again 17 years later at Spa. With a brilliant performance in every phase of the race, Côme Ledogar, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessandro Pier Guidi have conquered the victory with the Ferrari # 51. Podium for the Audi # 32 – I started 53rd on the grid – and for the Aston Martin # 95.
The Ferrari # 51 managed to add all the points at stake in the sixth hour of the race and at the equator of the same. However, the victory of the Iron Lynx GT3 has had to be simmered. This is what Spa requires, especially when there is more than eight hours of racing ahead since the Italian car established its lead. Côme Ledogar, Nicklas Nielsen and especially Alessandro Pier Guidi knew it and consequently they have acted. Tenth by tenth, each of them in their stint were gaining an advantage over the Audi # 32 and the Aston Martin # 95.
The Audi # 32 achieved a brilliant second position after starting the race in 53rd place on the grid.
A job that was interrupted by the period of ‘Full Course Yellow’ caused by the strong accident of Niki Leutwiler, since the repairs of the barriers required a long neutralization. Among other things because Iron Lynx bet on doing two pit stops to readjust his strategy regarding their pursuers. It was time to start again, with the Ferrari # 51 just one seconds ahead of the Audi # 32 when the race was resumed. And the distance between the two cars remained almost unchanged, with small ups and downs, during the next two hours of the race. It was thus entered the final stretch with everything to decide.
In fact, Kelvin Van der Linde was very close to seizing the lead with the Audi # 32 in a time of special traffic for Nicklas Nielsen with the Ferrari # 51. A threat that became almost a constant until the rain returned to make an appearance in Spa. At that moment, Alessandro Pier Guidi showed that he had a little more speed with the Ferrari # 51 in the wet, to amass a 23-second lead in the Audi # 32. However, the engineers played their role and Team WRT was betting on putting rain tires on when the clouds were not yet releasing strongly.
Increased rainfall played in favor of the Audi # 32 and a Dries Vanthoor that took the lead ahead of the # 51 Ferrari, since Iron Lynx had to make an extra stop to fit rain tires. It seemed that the race was lost for the Italian structure, but a Safety Car less than 45 minutes from the end for a double incident of the Ferrari # 33 of Benjamin Hites and the McLaren # 70 of Brendan Iribe I put the two main cars together again of the second half of the race. The duel was served and it was going to be solved in a brilliant way.
Garage 59’s # 95 Aston Martin has always been among the best and has achieved third place.
With 27 minutes to go in the race, the Safety Car gave way to this battle for the final victory. A duel that was resolved in a memorable way with Alessandro Pier Guidi overtaking on the outside at the ‘Blanchimont’ corner. The # 51 Ferrari was again ahead nine minutes from the end, with the track soaking wet and after a brilliant maneuver. Had no option to replicate Dries Vanthoor with Audi # 32 and he had to settle for the second position, although that should not detract from the merits to Team WRT’s performance after starting with # 32 in 53rd place.
Far from this beautiful duel, despite being in the top positions throughout the race, the Aston Martin # 95 of Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim and Ross Gunn took the third place, a doubly meritorious result as it is the only car of the British firm registered in the Pro class. the Audi # 37 achieved the fourth position, while the # 47 Porsche was fifth, although both within two laps of the three leading cars. In a second race group, the Audi # 25 signed the sixth position ahead of the McLaren # 38 and the Lamborghini # 63, the latter weighed down by penalties after being the leader in the first phase of the race.
The Ferrari # 51 pits the Belgian night to lead the 24 Hours of SpaRead news
The Audi # 66 and the Mercedes # 89 were in charge of closing the ‘top 10’ of the race, although in very different dynamics. For its part, the Mercedes # 90 finished eleventh, thus achieving Ezequiel Pérez Companc and his teammates victory in the Silver Cup category. A triumph with a Spanish flavor, since Madpanda Motorsport is based in Barcelona and has also served as’ aperitivo ‘for the other national success. In fact, Miguel Molina has conquered the victory in the Pro-Am Cup after crossing the finish line in 16th place with the Ferrari # 53 shared by Duncan Cameron, Rino Mastronardi and Matt Griffin.
Final result of the 24 Hours of Spa 2021
No.TeamTime * 1st Ledogar / Nielsen / Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GT3 # 51Iron Lynx
2nd Vanthoor / Van der Linde / Weerts
Audi R8 LMS GT3 # 32Team WRT
3rd Thiim / Gunn / Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 # 95Garage 59
+1: 24.9574ºMüller / Frijns / Lind
Audi R8 LMS GT3
5th Martin / Tandy / Vanthoor
Porsche 911 GT3 R
6th Winkelhock / Niederhauser / Haase
Audi R8 LMS GT3
+2 laps7ºBell / Wilkinson / Barnicoat
McLaren 720S GT3
+2 laps8ºBortolotti / Mapelli / Caldarelli
Lamborghini Huracán GT3
Orange1 FFF Racing
9th Drudi / Marschall / Mies
Audi R8 LMS GT3
10th Auer / Boguslavskiy / Fraga
# 89AKKA ASP