Iron Lynx Ferrari back in the lead at the halfway mark

1 August 2021

A series of events led to the #51 Iron Lynx Ferrari reclaiming the lead of the 2021 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa just before the halfway mark. The Italian machine, already leading at quarter distance, again scored maximum points.

For the #63 Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini the first half of the Belgian endurance classic ended badly. Shortly after the 10-hour mark the team had put the car back on an alternate strategy, by taking a pitstop under the Full Course Yellow period caused by the #34 BMW falling by the wayside. Unfortunately for Marco Mapelli he was caught speeding in the pitlane, causing a drive-through penalty.

Serving that penalty meant that the Italian driver lost his position on the lead lap. Worse, a further Full Course Yellow/Safety Car period – this time to pull the stricken #666 VS Racing Lamborghini into safety – meant that the #63 would remain a lap down, for its competitors could all take their pitstop during the neutralisation.

Some even took advantage of this Full Course Yellow-period to serve their Technical Pitstop, a mandatory four-minute stop that has to be taken before the end of the 22nd hour, to allow teams to change items such as brake pads. One of the cars doing so was the #47 KCMG Porsche, which has worked its way back into the top 10. Another Porsche, the #3 Schnabl Engineering, did the same, but only minutes later the car hit the wall towards Eau Rouge, causing it to retire.

At the end of the Safety Car-period the leading four cars were separated by a mere six seconds, with the #51 Iron Lynx Ferrari (Alessandro Pier Guidi at the wheel) leading the pack from the #37 Audi Sport Team WRT (Charles Weerts), the #95 Garage 59 Aston Martin (Marco Sörensen) and the #88 Mercedes AMG Team AKKA ASP (Dani Juncadella).

Even though several corners of the Ardennes track were shrouded in fog, Pier Guidi did not waste any time in increasing his lead. Setting a new fastest lap of the race (2m19.228s) at 3.48 AM helped him to create a 16-second gap at the halfway point of the race.

Even though the #90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG dropped to 14th overall, it still managed to score full points in Silver Cup. Due to keen strategic choices the #93 Sky-Tempesta Ferrari did the same in Pro-Am, while the #166 Hägeli by T2 Racing Porsche continued to lead the Am Cup.