Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado secured AF Corse’s second GTE-Pro win in three FIA World Endurance Championship races in the Six Hours of Nürburgring on Sunday.
They carried a 50-second lead to the finish line, with the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs finishing on the podium in the strongest result to date for the mid-engined car.
It marked Pier Guidi’s first career WEC victory and the second for Calado, who took his maiden win in last year’s Nürburgring race alongside Gianmaria Bruni.
Calado started the race from seventh in class but made up several positions in the first hour.
He and Pier Guidi were able to manage their tires better than many of their competitors, allowing the No. 51 Ferrari 448 GTE to climb up the field.
The Brit passed class pole-sitter Michael Christensen for the lead shortly after the halfway point and remained out front for the rest of the race.
Christensen and co-driver Kevin Estre lost position later in the race to the sister Porsche and finished on the bottom step of the podium, with Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki coming home second in the No. 91 Porsche.
The battle of the race occurred in the first hour between Makowiecki and Marco Sorensen in the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, with the pair dueling for the lead of the class for most of the opening stint.
The Frenchman eventually made his way past the Aston Martin Racing driver for the lead shortly before the first round of pit stops.
Aston Martin brought its pair of cars home in fourth and seventh in class, having lost pace after the first part of the race, while Ford Chip Ganassi Racing finished in between.
The Ford GTs appeared to suffer from a Balance of Performance change which gave them 20kg extra weight as a result of winning the Silverstone season-opener.
While the No. 51 Ferrari had a stellar race, the same was not true for the sister car of Davide Rigon and substitute driver Toni Vilander, who was filling in for Sam Bird on Formula E duties in New York City.
The car went into the pit garage twice with gearbox compressor issues, and so finished five laps down, and behind three of the GTE-Am competitors.
Dempsey-Proton Racing was victorious in GTE-Am at its home race, surviving out front in a class that saw several rough overtakes and controversial maneuvers.
Matteo Cairoli took the No. 77 Porsche to the line ahead of Miguel Molina’s Spirit of Race Ferrari, while the class pole-sitting No. 98 Aston Martin had to settle for third.
It was the first WEC win for Cairoli and co-driver Marvin Dienst, and the first since 2012 for team boss Christian Ried.
Ried initially lost two positions early in the race after contact with Franceso Castellacci, who was also shown a black-and-white flag for previous contact with Clearwater Racing’s Keita Sawa.
RESULTS: 6H Nürburgring