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Prancing Horse takes all but one of the top ten spots
In class normally dominated by Porsches, Ferrari showed its motorsports might at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past weekend. Not only did Ferrari claim the top spot on the podium, it claimed all the others. As a matter of fact, Ferraris clinched nine of the top ten GT2 Class spots with position number five going to the Spkyer C8 Laviolette GT2R driven by Jarek Janis, Tom Coronel and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
The GT2 Class win went to car No. 82 F430 GT of the Risi Competizione Team driven by Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer after completing 328 laps. This is the second year in a row a Risi Competizione car has won its class at Le Mans. The second Risi car, driven by Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele finished third. Between them was the BMS Scuderia Italia’s Ferrari with Fabio Babini, Matteo Malucelli and Paolo Ruberti at the wheel. The fourth position also belonged to Ferrari with British team JMW Motorsport and drivers Robert Bell, Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Sugden driving.
“I’m proud of this wonderful result. Four cars from Ferrari on the first four places in such a prestigious race is a great satisfaction and I want to congratulate the teams on the result; the teams have worked so hard to prepare the best way possible for this race. I especially want to thank Giuseppe Risi, who with his team has gained the second success in a row,” Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said. “It was a tough race, especially at the beginning when the cars from Ferrari had to fight against very strong competitors like the Porsches. When night fell Risi’s car took over the lead and didn’t cede. I’m especially pleased by the fact that nine out of ten F430 GT which started into the race crossed the line; this is not only a sign of competitiveness, but also of the car’s great reliability.”
As mentioned, Ferraris then rounded out the top ten, with actor Patrick Dempsey piloting the Advanced Engineering car to a ninth-place finish with the help of co-drivers Joe Foster and Don Jr Kitch.
Audi has its sights set of the Nürburgring 24 Hour race and it intends to not only take home the top spot but perhaps the entire podium as it has announced plans to campaign a fleet of R8 LMS GT3 cars.
Teams ABT Sportsline and Phoenix Racing will bring two cars apiece with factory support from Audi. The 500hp cars are built for racing and Audi has stacked the deck with a long list of some of the greatest drivers in motorsports.
The No. 100 ABT Sportsline car will be piloted by reigning DTM Champion Timo Scheider, along with his DTM teammate Mattias Ekström and three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner. The second ABT Sportsline car, No. 97, will be driven by Christian Abt, Jean-François Hemroulle, Pierre Kaffer and Lucas Luhr.
As for the two Phoenix Racing cars, the No. 98 R8 will be driven by Frank Stippler, Mike Rockenfeller and Marc Basseng, a man who has help the Nürburgring fastest lap record several times.
The No. 99 Phoenix Racing R8 will be piloted by Frank Biela, Marcel Fässler, Emanuele Pirro (an Audi Sport R8 and R10 TDI driver) and none other than Hans-Joachim Stuck, a man who has won the Nürburgring 24 Hour race three times.
“The 24 Hours is not only one of the biggest motorsport events in Germany,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The Nürburgring-Nordschleife is considered one of the world’s toughest and most demanding race tracks. Similar to Sebring for the sports prototypes, it is superbly suited for revealing the final improvement potential of any new race car. This is exactly what we’re planning to do at the 24-hour race before delivering the R8 LMS to customers, starting this fall.”
The 37th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hour race will begin May 23rd and conclude May 24th.
Normally the Nürburgring 24 Hour race is a Porsche dominated affair, but we have a feeling this year might be a little different.
Official release after the jump: