Last weekend, the fourth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series took place. The highlight of the year: the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium.

With them were the two green Ferrari 488 GT3s. Starting on the number 333 in the ProAm class Alexander Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov, David Perel and Daniel Keilwitz. On the sister car with start number 488 in the Am class Pierre Ehret, Rick Yoon, Murad Sultanov and Nick Boulle.

Qualifying on Thursday evening did not go as planned. In the end, it was 11th on the grid in the ProAm class and 53rd overall for the #333, while the #488 qualified ninth in the Am class and 55th overall.

On Saturday, punctually at 4.30 pm, the 63 cars started at the 70th edition of the 24 Hours of Spa. Daniel Keilwitz took the start and was able to make up two positions in class after just one lap. By the first stop on Rinat Salikhov, the #333 was able to move up to 5th place in the ProAm class and 34th overall. Pierre Ehret on the #488 also advanced two places in the Am class right at the start. Until his first stop, when Nick Boulle took over, they moved up to sixth in the Am class.

Both Ferrari 488 GT3s ran without problems into the night. The drivers convinced with good lap times and moved up more and more. On the #333, David Perel and Daniel Keilwitz took turns for the night stints. Shortly after three o’clock in the morning, the race was interrupted with a red flag due to a serious accident. By then, the #333 had worked its way up to second place in the ProAm class and held 21st overall. The #488 also held its ground and snatched third place in the Am class after a great overtaking manoeuvre. After one and a half hours, the race was resumed.

With a very good strategy, the #333 was able to secure the lead in the ProAm class in the last third of the race. The #488 was able to hold on to third place in the Am class. For the last two hours of the race, the entire Rinaldi Racing team feverishly awaited the end. The last pit stop on Alexander Mattschull went off without a hitch and now it was all about driving home first place in class. The team also did a great job at the stop on #488, switching from Rick Yoon to Murad Sultanov for the shot stint.

In the end, the team could finally cheer. After 511 laps, Mattschull crossed the finish line as the ProAm class leader and 15th overall, two laps ahead of the ProAm runner-up. The #488 achieved a great result with third place in the Am class and 34th overall.

Michele Rinaldi: “What a race! This is a dream result for the whole team. The #333 made an incredible recovery considering we started from so far back. The lap times were right, the strategy was perfectly coordinated and in the end, we were rewarded with first place in the ProAm class. The #488 also showed a terrific performance. Especially the drivers showed a really great performance. The lap times that the drivers put down throughout the race was one of the deciding factors for the race result.

Both Ferrari 488 GT3s ran smoothly without a single technical defect. The Italian bolide is simply a class GT3 car. Many thanks to Michelotto, who always supports us as a customer team and this throughout the entire race. And many thanks for the excellent track support from the Kessel Racing engineers.

Also a big thank you to all the drivers, without whom the 24 Hours of Spa project could not have been realised. The performances that were shown and the whole 24 hours at a stretch were remarkable.

In the end, the team made a total of just over 50 pit stops. Not once did we slip up and the mechanics were always highly concentrated and motivated. A really decisive performance. All the engineers also did a very good job with all the strategic decisions and didn’t close their eyes for a single minute.

Many thanks to all the sponsors, partners, friends and fans who supported and cheered us on all week.”