Ferrari 458 Italia net geen winnaar van de 24u van Le Mans
Hoewel men bij Ferrari niet direct wonderen verwachtte van de 458 Italia GT2 in de 24 uren van Le Mans, werd dat wel bijna waarheid.
De 458 Italia maakte dit seizoen pas zijn debuut, maar deed het vanaf het begin erg goed. Maar dat de 24 uren van Le Mans er mee gewonnen kon worden, had men niet verwacht.
Het gebeurde bijna toch, want door motorproblemen twee uren voor het einde, kon de Ferrari van het team Giancarlo Fisichella, Gimmi Bruni en Toni Vilander net niet als eerste afgevlagd worden.
Hierdoor moesten ze toezien hoe de Corvette van het team Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner en Antonio Garcia als eersten over de finish gingen in de LMGTE PRO klasse.
In de LMGTE AM klasse, was de beste plaats een vierde plaats voor de JMB Racing F430 GTC. :
There was to be no dream victory for the Ferrari 458 Italia on its Le Mans 24 Hours debut although the new GT class racer came home a very impressive second in the LMGTE PRO class after being right in the hunt for honours all race. However the Ferrari 458 Italia, which only made its GT racing debut this season, performed better than had been expected.
The famous Le Mans 24 Hour race, which this year is also the third round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, ended this afternoon with a sense of disappointment in the AF Corse garage as the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 number 51 driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander came home second in the LMGTE PRO category behind the Corvette of Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia, which went into the lead two hours from the flag, when an engine problem began slowing the Ferrari more and more, after it had been a front runner for most of the race.
At the start at 15h00 on Saturday, Gimmi Bruni immediately went into the class lead, lapping in quick times. His lead was then wiped out after the accident between McNish’s Audi and the Luxury Racing 458 Italia with Anthony Beltoise at the wheel, as this brought out the Safety Car for over an hour. After eight hours, another Audi, driven by Rockenfeller, collided with the AF Corse Number 71 Ferrari driven by Robert Kauffman and hit the guard rail at around 320 km/h, fortunately without injury. Once again the Safety Car came out, closing up the field yet again. As the race progressed, the hard charging trio of Fisichella-Bruni-Vilander retook the lead after 17 hours, until the car had to make a long stop in the pits because of the technical problem that saw the Corvette move into the lead.
The other Ferraris did not fare much better in the marathon event: the JMW Motorsport car crossed the line in ninth place, while the two Luxury Racing cars, the Team Farnbacher entry and the the other AF Corse 458 Italia failed to finish, despite performing strongly, especially in the night time. Some consolation then that the 458 Italia GT3 number 51 entered by AF Corse, won the Michelin Green X classification for GT cars, proving that the Maranello marque is paying close attention to reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
“We can take some satisfaction from this result, the team and Ferrari,” commented Giancarlo Fisichella after the race. “Second place is always a good result, even if naturally there is some disappointment given that we looked set to take the win. Unfortunately, some problems on the car in the closing stages of the race meant the top spot was out of our reach.”
In the LMGTE AM class, best result was a fourth place in the category for the JMB Racing F430 GTC. Competitors in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup will be back in action at Imola over the weekend of 3 July for the fourth round of the season, which is also round three of the Le Mans Series.
Alle nieuws die niet in de andere categorieén passen (bv eenmalige races).
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