A well-deserved potential win for Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco faded in the final seconds of an intense 6 Hours of Monza, fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, forced to refuel with two laps left, in a race that nonetheless saw the pair on the podium alongside team-mates Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, third at the finish and new leaders in the standings. In the LMGTE Am class, historic podium for Iron Dames Bovy-Gatting-Frey, the first in the world championship for an all-female crew.
LMGTE Pro. The Ferraris led throughout the six-hour race at which Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna was also in attendance. Starting from pole position, the 488 GTE of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado occupied the top spot until an hour and a half from the end when, due to an infraction during a pit stop, were forced to make a five-second stop & go. The race leadership at that point passed to second-placed team-mates Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina. The Italian and Spanish drivers, who produced an outstanding performance, were managing a five-second margin over Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner’s Corvette – the eventual race winners – until both Ferraris had to pit for a fuel top-up just two laps before the chequered flag. AF Corse’s no. 52 488 GTE finished runner-up, 19″4 behind the Anglo-American duo, while the no. 51 finished third, 28″2 behind their squad-mates. The two world champions move to the top of the world drivers’ standings with a one-point advantage over Gianmaria Bruni, fifth along with Frédéric Makowiecki, who replaced Richard Lietz for this fourth round of the championship.
LMGTE Am. Historic podium at the Temple of Speed for the Iron Dames who brought the 488 GTE home in second place at the end of a race that the crew had led for many hours. Sarah Bovy, who produced a fantastic pole position yesterday, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey battled with the Dempsey – Proton Racing Porsche handled by Ried-Priaulx-Tincknell, first past the chequered flag. The result achieved at Monza is their best since debuting as the only female crew in the series. Fourth place went to Iron Lynx team-mates Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni and Giancarlo Fisichella, ahead of the Spirit of Race-run Ferrari of Pierre Ragues, Franck Dezoteux and Gabriel Aubry. Seventh and ninth final places for the AF Corse 488 GTEs, who were nevertheless protagonists in spite of contacts during the race which hampered any bids to battle amongst the frontrunners.
Three Ferraris on the podium, two in the LMGTE Pro class and one in LMGTE Am might not have been the result that everyone was figuring upon with just minutes to go before the chequered flag, but they still represent a fine haul in front of the home fans who had flocked to Monza. We gathered the thoughts of the podium protagonists at the end of the race.
Miguel Molina: “We had just a couple of minutes to go for the win, but I’m happy for the team because everyone did a perfect job. The car was great today and we were forced to stop to refuel just enough to make it to the race finish. Our race was mistake-free, unfortunately luck was not on our side. A podium in Monza is always special and I want to thank Ferrari because everyone always works very hard, trying to improve every time and today we came close to success. I think we have taken a step forward this year and we are fighting alongside our team-mates. Now we will prepare for Fuji, a track that I like, where we expect lower temperatures than here.”
Alessandro Pier Guidi: “It’s a pity we couldn’t win because we were fast today, we worked well and the race was developing in the right way, problem-free. One detail made the difference and cost us the win, which we regret because we could have brought home some important points. But that’s the way sports are. I remain positive for the future, we will try to improve further, avoid mistakes to try to win. We will be returning to Japan after a few years and usually the weather is difficult to predict but, having an earlier date than usual, maybe it will be easier.”
Michelle Gatting: “We led the race, you can say, from the beginning until almost the end. We lost it by not being able to make the stop together with the sister car. I think we could have won today. The next race will be in Japan, but we are already thinking about the Spa 24 Hours. This weekend we showed our potential, both Rahel and Sarah were very fast. I did everything I could in the car today.”