Ferrari takes a clean sweep in LMGTE to extend GT World Championship lead
Photo: Ferrari Media / Roberto Viva
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15.10.2017 - 12h00

Ferrari takes a clean sweep in LMGTE to extend GT World Championship lead

Ferrari claimed maximum points in the LMGTE Pro and Am categories today at a severely weather-disrupted 6 Hours of Fuji, the 7th round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Ferrari claimed maximum points in the LMGTE Pro and Am categories today at a severely weather-disrupted 6 Hours of Fuji, the 7th round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.  The race was stopped with 4 hours 24 minutes and 50 seconds on the clock.

AF Corse Ferrari’s James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi took their No.51 Ferrari 458 GTE to first place in the LMGTE Pro category and their third win of the season, eventually finishing just 0.96s ahead of the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.  

In third place was the second Porsche GT, the No.92 of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, with the No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi GT, No.71 Ferrari 458 GTE and the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage taking the remaining positions in the top six. 

The race was disrupted by six safety car periods and two red flag stoppages during an afternoon which saw fog and rain cover the Fuji Speedway track frequently, and in different intensities.  Low visibility was the reason for both the red flag periods, with drivers’ safety being paramount at all times. 

Calado and Pier Guido now lead the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship and Ferrari has extended its lead in the GT Manufacturers’ title race to 47 points.  Porsche has overtaken Ford for second place after the American manufacturer had a tough weekend and were not able to follow up their 2016 victory. 

It was particularly challenging for the drivers of the No.66, Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, who had been leading the GT Drivers’ championship in the first half of the race, and a trip to the gravel trap in fifth hour relegated them to 8th in class. 

Spirit of Race take first WEC victory in LMGTE Am

For the 51,000 passionate Japanese fans coming to Fuji Speedway over the three-day weekend, there was just as much close competition and excitement in the LMGTE Am category for them to witness, particularly in today’s race.

Taking a first win of the season and a first victory in the WEC was the Spirit of Race Ferrari trio of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Miguel Molina.  

The No.54 Ferrari 488 GTE was 1.137s ahead of the class pole-sitting No.61 Clearwater Ferrari of Weng Sun Mok, Matt Griffin and local Japanese driver Keita Sawa at the second red flag which was deployed at 15:30 local time.  The race was eventually not re-started as weather conditions continue to deteriorate.  

Third in class was the No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR – with team owner Patrick Dempsey present in Japan to see their podium finish – sporting a pink ribbon livery in support of the Dempsey Center cancer charity.

Next stop on the calendar is the 6 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday 5th November, the 8th round of the 9-race 2017 season.  

All provisional classifications can be found HERE

Race facts can be found HERE
 

Fiona MILLER