– Two wins in as many races for AF Corse charger
– Pons extends Overall points lead, as Frers moves past Earle in Iron Cup class
One day after making Blancpain GT Sports Club history as the first Iron Cup driver ever to claim an outright win, AF Corse’s Piergiuseppe Perazzini doubled up at Spa-Francorchamps as the Italian racer took victory in Saturday’s Main Race with the #53 Ferrari 488 GT3.
It was not all plain sailing for Perazzini, who still had to manage another Safety Car period following a contact in the early stages of the 40-minute event. Trying to overtake Claude-Yves Gosselin’s #4 Boutsen Ginion-run Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX on the approach to the final chicane, CMR’s Pierre Hirschi put two wheels on the grass and found himself airborne after bouncing off the kerb. His #21 BMW Z4 GT3 ended up collecting the hapless Cédric Leimer in the #963 Autovitesse Garage R.Affolter Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Before that incident, Patrick van Glabeke had once again enjoyed a strong getaway from third on the grid to edge past Blancpain GT Sports Club Overall points leader Anthony Pons (#72 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3). Having scored his maiden podium finish of the season on Friday, the Belgian ace was clearly hungry for more as he tried a move on race leader Perazzini as soon as the race got back under way. Van Glabeke dived on the inside of his AF Corse team-mate at La Source but he overshot the corner and spun as he rejoined the track.
Third-placed Pons could not avoid the #488 Ferrari 488 GT3 but despite the ensuing contact the Frenchman was able to continue, though he immediately came under pressure from Rinaldi Racing’s Christian Hook in the #33 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Behind the top-three drivers, there were exciting scraps in the points-paying positions, involving the likes of Klaus Dieter Frers (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3), Christoph Ulrich (#51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3), and Karim Ojjeh (#2 Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3). That’s when the latter started unleashing more speed to scythe through the field.
Ojjeh was soon up to fourth place and closing in fast on Hook, while Perazzini and Pons had already disappeared up the road. The Boutsen Ginion ace continued to pounce and vaulted himself up to third with a clean move on the Rinaldi Racing driver at the final chicane.
As the clock ticked down to zero, Perazzini made it two wins in as many races at Spa, with Pons cementing his place atop the Blancpain GT Sports Club standings courtesy of another valuable points haul. Ojjeh claimed his third top-three finish of the season in another high-scoring weekend.
Christoph Ulrich secured a season-best result of fourth after overhauling Christian Hook on the final lap. Sixth was Klaus Dieter Frers, whose strong weekend in Belgium earns him the Iron Cup points lead ahead of rival Stephen Earle (#111 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3).
Herberth Motorsport’s Edward Lewis Brauner finished a solid seventh aboard the #991 Porsche 991 GT3 R, while Sri Lanka’s Dilantha Malagamuwa claimed the Xtra Cup honours with a strong drive to eighth place in the #24 GDL Racing-entered Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo.
Stephen Earle, who secured third in the Iron Cup category, and Claude-Yves Gosselin completed the top 10 positions to wrap up an action-packed weekend at the daunting 7.004km venue.
Piergiuseppe Perazzini, #53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3: “What a weekend! That’s the best feeling you can have; it’s impossible to top that. Our pace was very strong all along and the car behaved perfectly. But it’s never easy so I am delighted with the double win.