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AF Corse Sweeps GTE Classes at Spa

AF Corse sweeps GTE-Pro, GTE-Am classes at Spa…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Following a Porsche sweep at Silverstone, the Prancing Horses from Ferrari reigned supreme in Belgium, with AF Corse sweeping both GTE classes in Saturday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander translated a pole on Friday into their first GTE-Pro class victory of the season, taking their No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia to a one-lap win over the No. 91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR in second.

It was nearly a 1-2 finish for the Italian factory squad, but a late-race pass by Patrick Pilet over the No. 71 Ferrari of Davide Rigon saw the Frenchman and co-driver Joerg Bergmeister take their second consecutive runner-up finish.

As a result, Rigon and James Calado had to settle for third in class, but still marking their first podium appearances of the season.

While Bruni led from the green, it was the pair of Aston Martin Racing entries that jumped out front by the second hour, thanks to the V8-powered Vantages double-stinting their Michelin tires early.

However, the No. 51 Ferrari re-took the lead shortly after, with solid stints by the defending GTE-Pro drivers’ championship and his longtime Finnish co-driver resulting in a dominant run for the Italian squad.

The No. 97 Aston Martin of Darren Turner, Stefan Muecke and Bruno Senna, which briefly led early, came home in fourth, while the No. 99 AMR/Craft-Bamboo entry completed the top-five in class.

Despite its sister car on the podium, the hopes of Porsche’s Silverstone class-winning No. 92 entry faded in the fifth hour when the Marco Holzer and Fred Makowiecki-driven entry lost nearly four laps with a mechanical issue. 

AF Corse’s Marco Cioci, Mirko Venturi and Luis Perez-Companc, meanwhile, claimed top honors in GTE-Am, edging out the pair of Aston Martin Racing entries in what turned into a fuel mileage race.

While both the No. 98 AMR and No. 95 Young Driver-backed cars dominated through the middle portions, the No. 61 Ferrari made one less stop than the Astons, which proved to be the key of the race.

Cioci finished 32.241 seconds ahead of Richie Stanaway, who overtook teammate Christoffer Nygaard in the closing minutes to put he and co-drivers Kristian Poulsen and David Heinemeier Hansson on the second step of the podium.

Nygaard and co-drivers Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy had to settle for third in class.

RESULTS: Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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