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GT World Challenge Europe podiums for AF Corse at Imola

A second place finish in both the Gold Cup and Pro-Am classes with drivers Delacour, Sbirrazzuoli, Balzan and Bertolini, Machiels, Costantini. Was good start to the season for AF Corse in the opening round of the GT World Challenge Europe race at Imola today.

Pro. The two Iron Lynx Ferraris in the main class took very different routes to seventh and eighth place. While the number 51 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of James Calado, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen, starting from sixth, was in the leading group, the number 71 car of Davide Rigon, Daniel Serra and Antonio Fuoco spent three hours on the attack. It climbed back up the field to finish in the wake of its teammates. The Maranello cars were unable to challenge for the podium and were penalised by the two Safety Cars that featured in the last hour, interrupting the excellent race pace of Calado and Fuoco and preventing any further gain in positions.

Gold. The second place of the Ferrari crewed by Alessandro Balzan, Hugo Delacour and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli represents an excellent result for AF Corse in the new SRO series category. In the race finale, the number 21 488 GT3 Evo 2020 was forced to give up a lead held for much of the 180 minutes. The Ferrari of Iron Dames, driven by Sarah Bovy, retired after an accident in the very early stages.

Pro-Am. Andrea Bertolini’s splendid overtaking move on Chavez’s McLaren just minutes before the chequered flag ensured that the AF Corse Ferrari, shared with Louis Machiels and Stefano Costantini, took second place in the Pro-Am class. The trio were always in the top three, which bodes well for the rest of the season.

James Calado:The race was difficult for us because we struggled for pace compared to our rivals. We didn’t do too badly in qualifying: the car was good on the single qualifying lap even though we lacked speed compared to the others on the straights, especially the Porsches. Hopefully, things can change in the next few races. Otherwise, realistically we will have to battle for points, which we did today”.

Nicklas Nielsen: We picked up some decent points, and everyone did a great job over the weekend. We had higher hopes, but from the first sessions, it was clear that we were short of pace compared to our rivals. We maximised the car’s performance and, as I said before, picked up some important points that will be useful for the rest of the season”.

Davide Rigon: This morning, the traffic was a problem, and neither Daniel nor I had a clean lap. We knew it would be tough to pass in the race, and it was. It’s a shame because the car was really well balanced, and we just needed a bit of speed out of the corners to be as competitive as the others. My last lap before handing the car over to Daniel was perfect, also setting my best split times and gaining a few positions in the pit. However, these are important points that we are happy to take home”.

Daniel Serra:This was my first race in the GT World Challenge, apart from a few appearances in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. I got to know this championship, its rules, and participants a little better, so it was a useful race. I think we could have gained a few more positions but to finish eighth after starting fourteenth gives us some decent points. It’s not easy to overtake on this track, so in the end, it’s fine”.

Miguel Molina: “It was a difficult race because we were really short of speed. We did the best we could, limiting the damage and finishing in seventh place. The important thing here was to score points in the standings, which we did”.

Source. Ferrari


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