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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Iron Lynx Crew Takes Endurance Cup Points Lead on Six Hours

Pier Guidi out front on six hours as Iron Lynx takes Endurance Cup points lead…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

Alessandro Pier Guidi led the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa after six hours and earned enough points to establish his Iron Lynx Ferrari crew on top of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup drivers’ standings.

Pier Guidi moved the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, which started 13th, to the head of the field with an overtake on Orange1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini driver Marco Mapelli at the end of the fifth hour.

The Italians switched positions when Pier Guidi drew alongside Mapelli at the end of the Kemmel Straight before muscling past through the Les Combes right-left sequence.

Despite temporarily losing the lead to a pair of off-sequence cars when he pitted at the start of hour six, reigning Endurance Cup champion Pier Guidi went on to lead at one-quarter distance to bank 12 points for himself, Nicklas Nielsen and Come Ledogar.

That score moved the No. 51 Iron Lynx trio onto 34 points, one point ahead of pre-event championship leaders Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet and Earl Bamber whose GPX Martini Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R was running tenth after six hours of running.

The next points distribution interval for Endurance Cup, using a 12-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale, will occur at halfway.

From a dramatic opening that included a major four-car accident at Raidillon and an early rain shower, Audi Sport Team WRT’s Robin Frijns emerged as the leader after two hours.

Frijns drew out a gap of around 20 seconds in hour three as FFF Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti and JOTA’s Ben Barnicoat fought for second place.

A second Full Course Yellow period occurred near the end of hour three when the Kessel Racing Ferrari spun around. Most of the front-runners pitted during the associated safety car, but Frijns and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos from AKKA-ASP and HRT didn’t.

Those cars led at the restart but consequently needed to make pit stops a few minutes into the green flag period.

This established Mapelli, who was next in line under the safety car, as the race leader from Rob Bell in the JOTA McLaren and Nielsen running close behind.

Bell lost two positions after checking up behind Inception Racing’s McLaren out of Bus Stop, enabling BMW driver Timo Glock and Nielsen to get past.

Nielsen then powered his Iron Lynx Ferrari past Glock on the run down to Eau Rouge.

After that, Iron Lynx chipped away at the FFF Lamborghini’s net lead during the fifth hour until Pier Guidi made his decisive move to seize the track position advantage.

Glock’s co-driver Martin Tomczyk was third after six hours aboard the No. 35 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, ten seconds behind Andrea Caldarelli who took over from Mapelli after five hours.

Barnicoat was fourth in the JOTA McLaren after dealing with a drive-through penalty for track limits, ahead of Charles Weerts in the No. 32 WRT Audi which has recovered from starting 54th on the 58-car grid.

Michael Christensen ranked sixth for Porsche outfit Schnabl Engineering, with the off-sequence Mueller and Gounon close behind the 2019 Spa winner.

Ninth-placed Patrick Kujala earned the final GTWC Europe Endurance Cup point on offer after six hours for Madpanda Motorsport, which also led the Silver Cup category and spent much of the opening stages circulating in the overall top ten.

Emil Frey Racing’s No. 14 Lamborghini, which is the Swiss team’s only representative after its Pro cars were eliminated in a huge first-hour accident, ran second in Silver.

Sandy Mitchell held the Pro-Am lead for Lamborghini squad Barwell Motorsport, from Marvin Kirchhofer in the No. 188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and Alessio Rovera of AF Corse. Haegeli by T2 Racing held sway in the two-car Am Cup.

Positions after Six Hours

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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