There was double delight for the AF Corse Ferrari team as they took victories in both LMGTE classes at the 89th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans today.
The No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo took a famous win as James Calado, Alessandro Pierguidi and Come Ledogar combined to complete a dominant victory after leading for vast majority of race
For Calado and Pierguidi it was a chance to celebrate a second victory in three years, while Ledogar took his first ever class win at Le Mans.
The No.51 trio managed to stretch a gap away from the No.63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg which led in stages during off-set strategy pit-stops.
The Corvette appeared to have better pace in the cooler night-time conditions but the Ferrari came to the fore in the morning as Calado especially was able to open up a gap after several impressive stints.
All three winning drivers completed faultless stints and while stablemates Sam Bird, Daniel Serra and Miguel Molina hit issues with a suspension problem, the No.51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo didn’t miss a beat.
The triumph for AF Corse ensured the Italian team celebrated its fourth LMGTE Pro win at Le Mans after successes in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
Completing the podium and taking second placed FIA WEC points was the No.92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 crew of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Neel Jani.
They fought back from a chassis damaging accident in qualifying and an early off-track excursion to stay in touch in second position in the world championship standings behind new leaders Calado and Pier Guidi.
AF Corse clinches first Le Mans LMGTE Am win
In the LMGTE Am category AF Corse took its first category victory at Le Mans as the No.83 team of Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera claimed a third WEC victory of the season.
The trio picked up the lead on Saturday evening and managed to create a race winning gap to the TF Sport Aston Martin to seal a superb victory.
It ensured that Perrodo and Nielsen became Le Mans champions as well as reigning FIA WEC champions after completing faultless stints throughout the day and night. They also stretched their 2021 FIA WEC points lead as they attempt to go for back-to-back titles.
Rovera himself took a debut win after competing almost exclusively in Italian GT racing over the last few seasons.
TF Sport were just unable to get on terms with the AF Corse Ferrari but were ultimately compromised by a double puncture which occurred late on Saturday evening.
This caused Felipe Fraga to hit the tyrewall at the first Mulsanne chicane. But excellent work by the TF Sport team ensured only minimal time was lost in the actual pit-stop itself.
Rounding out the podium was the No.80 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo crewed by Matteo Cressoni, Rino Mastronardi and Callum Ilott.
They enjoyed a fine race as Ferrari factory driver Ilott starred alongside his more experienced endurance teammates.
Iron Lynx enjoyed a successful weekend at only its second appearance at Le Mans as the No.60 car driven by Paolo Ruberti, Raffaele Giammaria and Claudio Schiavone took fourth position to move significantly up the points standings table.