AF Corse ends its sweep with the triumph of GTE Am Le Mans
The GTE Am battle had it all in the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans: incidents, track battles, strategic bets, returns by car and a historic result.
AF Corse’s # 83 crew of François Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera overtook Ferrari and AF Corse with their victory here, crossing the finish line almost two minutes ahead of the other riders. in the hotly contested category.
The most remarkable statistic which emerges from this category is that the victory of the n ° 83 is the first of AF Corse in GTE Am. After years of rapprochement, the team of Amato Ferrari made it. , and in a beautiful way too.
All three drivers played their part in this, a brief spin at the start of the only noticeable error captured by the camera during the race.
AF Corse celebrates its first success in LMGTE Am as n ° 83 AF Corse of François Perrodo, @_Nicklasnielsen and Alessio Rovera to lead in 2021 FIA title points #WEC ranking.# LeMans24 @FerrariRaces @AFCorse pic.twitter.com/zwea8WO2gu
– WEC (@FIAWEC) August 22, 2021
“It’s well deserved for AF, an excellent result,” said former WEC GTE champion Am Perrodo. “It was my second year with Nicklas – he’s flying right now and has done a great job; not only is he fast, but he’s a really nice guy as well. Both guys did an amazing job overnight when over a third of the cars gave up. We had a clean race without big mistakes and it’s also very good for our championship.
GTE Am mirrored LMP2 in many ways, with so many competing cars struggling. It is quite normal that the car that did not make any real mistakes won.
TF Sport came closest to depriving AF Corse of a victory in both categories. Tom Ferrier’s No.33 Aston Martin Vantage had the pace to win, but an overnight flat tire that damaged the rear of the car, and a late race misfire were the deciding factors in the heroic race of the courageous British team for victory.
After the rear puncture and diffuser change, a combination of Le Mans rookie Dylan Pereria and Ben Keating brought the car back into the race, reeling Perrodo, taking the lead late in the race before the dud. It seemed for a short time that TF was in a position to pull off a monumental comeback victory, but the dud forced Keating to stop at the start of his final stint and therefore drive longer than his minimum driving time. With Keating finishing bronze in the car and Rovera installed late, crucial time was lost and Felipe Fraga was finally content with second place.
“It was an emotional victory for sure, and for my very first Le Mans,” said Rovers. “The mechanics were excellent in delivering this result and the strategy was perfect in difficult conditions. I’m really very happy, the Aston was very fast, especially Ben Keating and they made us work hard for that.
– 24 Hours of Le Mans (@ 24hoursoflemans) August 22, 2021
Third in the race, the # 80 Ferrari Iron Lynx, which spent most of the race in and around the podiums. Matteo Cressoni, Rino Mastronardi and Callum Ilott kept it clean and finished in the lead lap, but failed to match the No.83 crew in pace.
The No.60 Ferrari Iron Lynx and the best Porsche Dempsey Proton, No.77, did not seem quite up to the task of winning the race after the flag was dropped on Saturday afternoon.
There were plenty of incidents in the classroom. Most notably, the # 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, one of the class favorites, became the race’s first retirement when Marcos Gomes took a big hit at Indianapolis in the fourth hour, ending the Canadian veteran Paul Dalla Lana’s hopes of a first victory at Le Mans. Again. He will have to wait another year …
The Project 1 team also failed to finish with one of their Porsches. The No.56 had the more spectacular outing of the two, Egidio Perfetti hitting the barriers hard in the first Mulsanne Chiane just ahead of the No.33 TF Sport Aston following it in the tires with its puncture.
That’s it for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The committed FIA WEC teams are now considering a trip to Bahrain for a double program to end the season at the end of October.