The 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans won’t be remembered with any fondness by the Ferrari crews in the GTE Pro class.
A string of bad luck, and what the teams considered to be unhelpful Balance of Performance (BoP) changes, kept the Ferrari 488 GTEs of AF Corse off the podium.
The Ferrari’s were affected by incidents almost from the start. A puncture for the #51 AF Corse car during the third hour forced James Calado to limp from the Michelin chicane to the pits, almost losing a lap.
The first Safety Car phase then split the group into three sections, with the #92 Porsche out on its own behind Safety Car A, the rest of the GT cars stuck behind Safety Car B car and #51 AF Corse behind the third Safety Car. This cut world champions Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra out of the leading group.
During the following neutralisation, the #71 AF Corse Ferrari of Davide Rigon, Sam Bird and Miguel Molina, found itself with a damaged front splitter due to accident debris and lost a few laps for repairs. The 488 GTE stayed in the race and crossed the finish line in tenth place, earning essential championship points.
Antonio Giovinazzi, Pipo Derani and Toni Vilander in car #52 benefited from the Safety Car, moving up into second. During the night Calado, Pier Guidi and Serra put in consistent laps, moving up to into sixth position before dropping back to eighth due to a suspension problem. The crew then suffered three stop-and-go penalties for speeding in the slow zone and the pits but managed to recover, finishing in sixth place.