Rinaldi Racing Takes Pro Am Class Win For Ferrari At The 24 Hours of Spa

by Jean-Paul Hackett
Spa 24 Hours - The Ferrari of Rinaldi Racing wins Pro-Am Cup

Ferrari won the 24 Hours of Spa in the Pro Am Cup class thanks to a perfect race by Rinaldi Racing‘s #333 car, driven by Blancpain GT series reigning champion, the German Alexander Mattschull, South African David Perel, Russian Rinat Salikhov and German Daniel Keilwitz.

The Maranello brand celebrated an excellent overall result with all the cars crossing the finish line and a podium in Am Cup for Rinaldi Racing’s second 488 GT3 driven by Pierre Ehret, Nick Boulle, Murad Sultanov and Rick Yoon.

“A big, big thank you to Michele Rinaldi for giving me a chance to drive. For us to be here is so surreal”, said Perel. “We did not have any issues and that is amazing. I had the same thing last year in the Am Cup car and I did not think that it could be repeated! Michele is a great engineer and gave us a perfect car.”

Once again, the SMP Racing car was out of luck, finishing 10th after a puncture that forced Davide Rigon, Miguel Molina and Mikhail Aleshin to mount a frantic comeback.

The trio recovered from 42nd and was among the fastest crew on the track, even though they were unable to make up enough ground to finish on the podium.

Rinaldi Racing managed the race perfectly despite a disappointing performance in qualifying. In the race, the green car immediately won back places and fought a great duel with the Mercedes of Strakka Racing driven by Chris Buncombe, Nick Leventis, Lewis Williamson and David Fumanelli.

In the first part of the race, the rival car kept its nose in front of Mattschull and his teammates. However, over a distance, the hard work of Rinaldi Racing paid off. In the end, the crew of car #333 finished over a lap ahead of their Strakka Racing rival.

The Ferraris of AF Corse, #51 with Lorenzo Bontempelli, Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Aaron Scott and #53 with Andrea Bertolini, Marco Cioci, Niek Hommerson and Louis Machiels, were at the foot of the podium.

The two Ferrari F488 GT3s entered in the Am Cup class also secured a place on the podium. Murad Sultanov, Rick Yoon, Nick Boulle and Pierre Ehret, driving car #488, even took the lead before having to settle third place.

Car #75 of Team T2 Motorsport struggled early on with a spin and two laps lost, but then put in a solid performance to finish in fourth. The credit for that goes to the T2 lineup of Greg Teo, David Tjiptobiantoro, Christian Colombo and Matteo Cressoni.

The Blancpain Endurance Cup championship resumes on 29-30 September in Barcelona.

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