AF Corse take third GTE Pro win in a row in Sao Paulo; GTE Am winner excluded

AF Corse take third GTE Pro win in a row in Sao Paulo; GTE Am winner excluded

GTE-Pro podium: winners Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni, second place James Walker, Jonny Cocker, third place Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke
GTE-Pro podium: winners Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni, second place James Walker, Jonny Cocker, third place Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

With quality not necessarily being synonymous with quantity, the LMGTE Pro class is often one of the most exciting despite a reduced number of entrants compared to other categories. The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo was no exception to the rule: the No.51 Ferrari 458 Italia of AF Corse lifted its third trophy in three races following success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 6 Hours of Silverstone, but the No.97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 made life difficult for them.

Darren Turner claimed pole position for the British constructor yesterday, but it was his team mate Stefan Mucke who took the start of the race. He quickly lost two places to Gianmaria Bruni in the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari and to Marc Lieb in the No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche. The latter quickly lost ground leaving only the Ferrari and the Aston to fight it out, Giancarlo Fisichella doing his stint in the Ferrari at the same time as Darren Turner in the Aston Martin. The Italian drivers finally got the better of the Anglo-German duo and one lap separated them at the finish.

The battle in the LMGTE Am class was, on the other hand, a short one. The No.88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, in the hands of Paolo Ruberti, Gianluca Roda and Christian Ried, got caught up in the skirts of the No.50 Larbre Competition Corvette during the first hour but, thereafter, the gap between them got bigger and bigger. Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and the Brazilian Fernando Rees went through to the finish without having any further problems or scares. However the post technical checks revealed a problem with the Corvette and the LMGTE winning car was excluded from the results (stewards decision nr25). The No. 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche was promoted to first place, while the second Larbre Compétition Corvette, the No.70 driven by Jean-Philippe Belloc, Christophe Bourret and Pascal Gibon was classified in second and the all Brazilian AF Corse-Waltrip Ferrari in third. Larbre Competition have appealed the Stewards Decision and therefore the result and championship positions remain provisional.

It’s now off to the Middle East for competitors for the next round at Bahrain in two weeks on 29th September. The race will run partly at night and will once again be for six hours.

Giancarlo Fisichella nr51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia “It’s a great circuit, I scored many podiums here in Formula One and I won my first race in F1 here in 2003. I couldn’t stand on the top step of the podium due to a mistake by a marshal, but one week later they gave me back my victory. Today I could stand on the top step at Interlagos. It was a tough race but our pace was good enough to keep the Aston Martin behind us. A great job from the AF Corse team and from Gianmaria. The first stint we had some degradation from the tyres, but my second stint was very good and I was able to pull away from the Aston Martin.”

Gianmaria Bruni nr51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia “I have to be honest the Aston Martin was very close to us with the fuel consumption, it was only one or two laps in the first and second stints, so we weren’t sure if they were doing an extra pitstop. In fact they did a pitstop with four laps to go. GT is a great fight, unfortunately there are only a few cars but all good, very competitive, with great drivers and great teams. I’m so happy now because on Friday I was thinking we couldn’t win this race, Aston and Porsche were unbelievably fast in a straight line. I thought it would be impossible to pass, but luckily everything went well for us.

Source: FIA WEC

shares
comments
Toyota with Wurz and Lapierre take first series LMP win in Sao Paulo

Previous article

Toyota with Wurz and Lapierre take first series LMP win in Sao Paulo

Next article

Lotus shows strong performance in LMP2 at Sao Paulo

Lotus shows strong performance in LMP2 at Sao Paulo
Load comments
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021