Last weekend, the fourth run of the Blancpain Endurance Series took place. The highlight of the year: the 24 hours of Spa. On board the two green Ferrari 488 GT3. On the starting number 333 in the ProAm class Alexander Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov, David Perel, and Daniel Keilwitz. On the sister car with the starting number 488 in the Am class Pierre Ehret, Rick Yoon, Murad Sultanov, and Nick Boulle.
On Thursday evening, the qualifying went below expectations. At the end, the #333 reached the eleventh position in the ProAm class and the 53rd position overall. The #488 qualified ninth in Am class and 55th overall.
On Saturday, at 16.30 o’clock the 70th edition of the 24h Spa started with 63 racing cars. Daniel Keilwitz took over the start and already after the first lap, he made good two positions in class. Until the first stop to Rinat Salikhov, the #333 moved up to the 5th position in class and the 34th position overall. Also, Pierre Ehret in the #488 could make two positions up in class. Until his first stop, where he handed over to Nick Boulle, he moved up to the sixth position in Am class.
Both Ferrari 488 GT3 went without problems late into the night. The drivers convinced with good lap times and moved up on and on. During the night stints, David Perel and Daniel Keilwitz rotated. Shortly after three o’clock in the morning, the race was interrupted with a red flag due to a heavy accident on track. At that moment, the #333 reached the second position in ProAm and the 21st position overall. Also, the #488 could assert themselves and snatched the third position in Am class due to a great overtaking maneuver. After one and a half hour, the race was resumed.
Due to a good strategy, the #333 took over the lead in the ProAm class in the last third of the race. The #488 maintained the third position in Am class. During the last two hours, the Rinaldi Racing team could not wait for the end of the race. The last pit stop to Alexander Mattschull went without any mistake and now the main goal was to bring the first position home. Also on the #488 the team did a great job at the pit stop and Rick Yoon handed over the car to Murad Sultanov.
At the end, the team could finally cheer. After 511 laps, Mattschull crossed the finish line as leader in the ProAm class and as 15th overall and this with a two-lap gap to the runner-up in class. The #488 reached a great result with the third position in Am class and 34th overall.
Michele Rinaldi: „What a race! This is a dream result for the whole team. The #333 showed a great catch-up race when you consider that they started from almost the back of the grid. The lap times were good, the strategy well coordinated and at the end, we were awarded the first position in the ProAm class. Also, the #488 showed an amazing performance. Especially, the performance of the drivers was great. The lap times driven were one of the decisive factors for the race result.
Both Ferrari 488 GT3 went without any difficulty or any technical problem. The Italian race car is just a superb GT3 car. Thank you to Michelotto who is always supporting us as a customer team and this throughout the race. And a big thank you to the engineers from Kessel Racing for this amazing support at the track.
Also, thank you to all drivers; without them, we could not have realized the project 24 hours Spa. The performance showed during the whole race was just phenomenal.
At the end, it was around 50 pit stops that were accomplished by the team. We did no mistakes at all and the mechanics were always highly concentrated and motivated. A really decisive performance. As well the engineers did a great job during the whole race, to take the right decision at the right times and this for 24 hours. Thank you to all sponsors, partner, friends, and fans who crossed their fingers the whole race.”
Thank you to all sponsors, partner, friends, and fans who crossed their fingers the whole race.”