Ferrari claim rejected after 6 Hours of Spa

Ferrari claim rejected after 6 Hours of Spa
Ferrari claim rejected after 6 Hours of Spa

The Ferrari AF Corse team filed a protest against the decision of the stewards to restart the race after the scheduled finishing time and against the provisional results of the race. This protest was deemed inadmissible under the FIA ​​International Sporting Code because “a decision of the sports stewards cannot be the subject of a protest”according to the press release confirming the rejection of the claim.

Both Ferrari 499P LMHs were in the lead when the race was halted after Earl Bamber’s Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh caused a crash that sent the #31 WRT BMW M4 GT3, driven by Sean Gelael, into the the barriers outside the Kemmel Straight.

The accident occurred four hours and 13 minutes after the start of the race, but repairs to the barriers were not completed in time to allow a restart before the scheduled 7:00 p.m. finish.

The commissioners therefore decided to resume the race at 7:10 p.m. for a duration of one hour and 44 minutes, i.e. the time remaining on the clock minus the three minutes which elapsed between the appearance of the red flag and the arrival of the cars on the starting grid in parc ferme conditions.

Ferrari finished third and fourth with its works cars after the victorious #12 Porsche 963 LMDh of Jota and the second-placed #6 Penske Motorsport works Porsche gained time following the red flag because which they had refueled just before stopping the race.

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#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Antonello Coletta, head of Endurance at Ferrari, told Motorsport.com after the race: “I don’t understand what happened – the clock was ticking and the decision to restart after the end of six hours was very unexpected for me. Frankly, we were in a position to win the race and I’m not happy. I expected that maybe we could go back for a few laps to finish the race, but not go back completely for an hour and 44 minutes.”

The decision to resume the 6 Hours of Spa was unusual, if not unprecedented in the history of the WEC since its revival in 2012, but was authorized by the competition’s Sporting Regulations. It indeed has the following: “If circumstances require it, the sports commissioners may take the decision to stop and/or modify the established racing time. This cannot exceed the time of the competition [c’est-à-dire six heures].”

In an explanatory document sent by the FIA ​​following the race, it is indicated that the decision to complete the entire duration of the 6 Hours of Spa “helped ensure sporting fairness for the competitors, who established their strategies for a six-hour race. Shortening the racing session would mean that some competitors would gain and others would lose.”

Bamber was penalized after the race for his role in the accident with Gelael. The Cadillac will have to suffer a drop of five places on the starting grid during the New Zealander’s next appearance in the WEC, namely the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on June 15 and 16.

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