Iron Lynx claims first Ferrari Spa 24 Hours victory since 2004

The Iron Lynx squad claimed a dramatic first victory for Ferrari in the Spa 24 Hours since 2004 thanks to a bold move from Alessandro Pier Guidi in the closing minutes.

Iron Lynx claims first Ferrari Spa 24 Hours victory since 2004

Pier Guidi went around the outside of the WRT Audi driven by Dries Vanthoor in wet conditions at the fast Blanchimont left-hander to reclaim the lead that the Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo he shared with Nicklas Nielsen and Come Ledogar had held for much of the double-points round of the GT World Challenge Europe.

Pier Guidi had lost out with 50 minutes to go when WRT rolled the dice with storm clouds looming and sent Vanthoor out on wet-weather tyres before it had started to rain.

The downpour arrived on the Belgian driver's outlap and then Iron Lynx opted not to bring in Pier Guidi at the first opportunity.

By the time he had completed a slow lap on a flooded track and changed to grooved Pirellis, the Italian had fallen 50s behind the Audi co-driven by Kelvin van der Linde and Charles Weerts.

A full course yellow had already been called at this stage and when the safety car bunched the field up, Pier Guidi was little more than three seconds behind when the race went green for the final 27 minutes.

The Ferrari quickly closed down the the Audi and was right with the German car inside five laps.

He was only half a second behind starting the 551st lap and then got a better run out of Stavelot and braved it out around the outside through Blanchimont at the end of the lap.

Pier Guidi was able to extend the lead over the remaining laps to five seconds, before crossing the line 3.9s ahead.

"I've been trying so many times to win this race, I really wanted it, really, really," said Pier Guidi.

"When the rain came and everything seemed lost, I was really disappointed.

"I pushed like an animal and I did all I could."

#32 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3: Dries Vanthoor, Kelvin van der Linde, Charles Weerts

#32 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3: Dries Vanthoor, Kelvin van der Linde, Charles Weerts

Photo by: SRO

It was a sweet victory for Iron Lynx on its debut in the Spa enduro after the Italian team had lost a car in the opening hour when Davide Rigon was involved in a four-car accident at Eau Rouge.

The accident resulted in Rigon and Williams Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Aitken, who triggered the incident when he spun his Emil Frey Lamborghini at Eau Rouge, being taken to hospital in nearby Liege.

Rigon was released after undergoing tests, while Aitken was diagnosed with fractures of a vertebra and his collarbone.

Aston Martin claimed third place with the all-factory line-up of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Ross Gunn in the Garage 59 team's Pro class entry more than a minute in arrears of the winning Ferrari.

They never made up the ground they lost during the night when they made their technical pitstop, a mandatory four-minute stay in the pits to allow for a change of brakes, under green conditions unlike the majority of their rivals at the front of the field.

The second of the factory Audis run by WRT driven by Nico Muller, Robin Frijns and Dennis Lind took fourth position two laps behind, while Nick Tandy, Maxime Martin and Laurens Vanthoor, who had to sit out much of the second half of the race after an accident in the paddock, took fifth in their KCMG Porsche 911 GT3-R.

The factory-backed Sainteloc Audi shared by Markus Winkelhock, Christopher Haase and Patric Niederhauser rounded out the top six.

Silver Cup honours went to the Madpanda Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Ezequiel Perez Companc, Ricardo Sanchez, Patrick Kujala and Rik Breukers.

AF Corse Ferrari drivers Duncan Cameron, Rino Mastronardi, Matt Griffin, Miguel Molina came out top in the Pro-Am class.

shares
comments

Related video

Spa 24 Hours: Iron Lynx Ferrari leads Audi after 18 hours

Previous article

Spa 24 Hours: Iron Lynx Ferrari leads Audi after 18 hours

Next article

Iron Lynx Ferrari: Pier Guidi's drive "history making" in Spa 24 Hours win

Iron Lynx Ferrari: Pier Guidi's drive "history making" in Spa 24 Hours win
Load comments
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

GT
Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021