World Endurance Championship Ferrari double at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
• In the GTE-Pro class, Davide Rigon and Sam Bird win in the AF Corse 488 GTE
ahead of teammates James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in car no. 51
• In GTE-Am, the 488 of Clearwater Racing third with Weng Sun Mok, Keita
Sawa and Matt Griffin ahead of Molina-Flohr-Castellacci for Spirit of Race
Francorchamps, 6 May 2017 – Ferrari pulled off a resounding one-two in the GTE-Pro
class at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the World Endurance
Championship (WEC). Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, with the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse,
repeated last year's triumph in the Ardennes, finishing a few seconds ahead of teammates
Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in car no. 51. This result puts Ferrari ahead of
Ford in the Constructors' championship, while the two crews are joint second in the
drivers' rankings. Ferrari also took a podium in the GTE-Am class with the 488 GTE of
Clearwater Racing driven by Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin.
GTE-Pro. Davide Rigon started the race on pole and then maintained his lead over the
two Fords. After about 40 minutes difficulty in lapping for the first Fords compacted the
cars from second to fourth, allowing James Calado, in Ferrari no. 51, to pull off one of the
greatest overtaking of recent years. The British driver pulled up beside both American cars
on the Kemmel straight and then completed the move entering Les Combes. After the first
pit stop the Ferraris found themselves chasing the Ford of Olivier Pla who had not changed
tyres. On a track where heavy tyre consumption played a big role, the two 488 GTEs easily
made up the gap and were in a position to go on the attack. Alessandro Pier Guidi, in car
no. 51, overtook the Ford before Eau Rouge but then was held up by a Toyota that pushed
him wide at Les Combes. At that point Sam Bird in no. 71 closed the gap and attacked his
teammate. The 488 GTEs came into contact but were both able to continue the race with
car no. 71 ahead of no. 51. The turning point came at the beginning of the fourth hour,
when for the second time the race was neutralised with a Full Course Yellow obliging
everyone to cut their speed to 80 km/h. Both Ferraris entered the pitlane and gained a lot
of time on all their opponents. At the restart the two Ferraris were very close together but
had a lead of almost a minute over Ford no. 66, in third. Towards the end, tyre
management recommended a change to the team of car no. 51, during which Calado
replaced Pier Guidi. However, the team decided to take a risk with no. 71 by just refuelling.
Sam Bird finished ahead of Calado and the Ford no. 66 of Pla-Mucke-Johnson. With this
triumph, Ferrari's 18th in the GTE-Pro class, the Maranello brand leads the Constructors'
Championship with 72 points against Ford's 65. Priaulx-Tincknell-Derani (Ford no. 67)
top the drivers' standings on 38 points against 36 for the two Ferrari crews.
Ferrari secured a podium finish in the GTE-Am class. In a difficult race the 488
of Clearwater Racing crewed by Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin finished
ahead of Miguel Molina, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr on the other Ferrari
entered by Spirit Of Race team. The class victory went to the Aston Martin of Dalla Lana-
Lamy-Lauda, while the Toyota of Buemi-Davidson-Nakajima was the overall winner. The
next round is in mid-June with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.