Ferrari fight hard through to GTE victory in COTA
Photo: WEC/Adrenal Media
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17.09.2017 - 02h50

Ferrari fight hard through to GTE victory in COTA

Ferrari No.51 488 GTE won today’s 6 Hours of COTA in +33oC Texan temperatures, but it was no easy run for Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado on the way to their second victory of the season.

Ferrari No.51 488 GTE won today’s 6 Hours of COTA in +33oC Texan temperatures, but it was no easy run for Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado on the way to their second victory of the season.   

The duo had a race-long fight with the No.95 Aston Martin Vantage, the No.92 Porsche 911 RSR and the sister No.71 Ferrari 488 GTE, with the lead changing between them due to tyre strategies.

The No.51 survived a scare with 11 minutes to go when Pier Guidi was forced to take the risk of returning at high speed to the pits due to a puncture.  The risk paid off and quick pit work by AF Corse saw the Ferrari driver come out just ahead of Michael Christensen’s Porsche which eventually finished 5.6s behind in second place – the No.92’s best result of the season so far.

In third place was the No.71 Ferrari of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, with Aston Martin’s No.95 in fourth.  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Ford GTs had a torrid race but Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell’s 7th place was enough to ensure they retained the lead of the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship by 6 points over Porsche’s Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.

In LMGTE Am, Aston Martin Racing’s No.98 Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda won for the second time this season, 50s ahead of nearest rival, the No.61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari.

After a dramatic first few hours to the race, the trio came through to a solid finish to keep the lead of the LMGTE Am Drivers’ championship battle, four points ahead of the No.77 Dempsey Proton Racing crew who had a difficult American race.

Clearwater Racing maintained its consistently strong form to take more valuable points, while Spirit of Race’s No. 54 Ferrari 488 GTE came home in third place in class.  For Francesco Castellacci, Thomas Flohr and Miguel Molina, it was their best result of the season and their first WEC podium.

The next round will be the 6 Hours of Fuji on the 15th October.  CLICK HERE for provisional results, HERE for championship classifications and HERE for race facts.

 

Fiona MILLER