Driver Comments After the 24 Hours of Spa

The centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Spa concluded with the Ferrari 296 GT3 number 51 of the AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors team securing second place overall, while the Ferrari 296 GT3 number 52 of AF Corse also finished runner-up in the Bronze category. Here are the drivers’ comments at the end of the second round of the GT World Challenge Europe – Endurance Cup 2024.

Alessandro Pier Guidi, 296 GT3 #51:
“It’s difficult to put into words what happened in this race. We saw our victory slip away because of a car that was stationary at the entrance to the pit lane, and no one informed us of this. Otherwise, we could have done another lap and come in later without losing so much time. Losing a race in this manner is painful, but I want to highlight the excellent work done by the entire team, who provided us with a perfect and fast car, without making any mistakes.”

Alessio Rovera, 296 GT3 #51:
“It’s a great shame how this race ended. It was in our hands, and several times over the 24 hours, we managed to recover positions by harnessing the potential of our car, both in wet and dry conditions. We were very fast, and the whole team did a flawless job.”

Davide Rigon, 296 GT3 #51:
“From the very start of this race, we did everything perfectly. Finishing in second place instead of securing a well-deserved victory felt like a dream turned into a nightmare. The race was incredibly tough—probably one of the most challenging of my life. I’m disappointed with the result, but I commend my teammates and the entire team for their efforts.”

Andrea Bertolini, 296 GT3 #52:
“The race was incredible, with extremely challenging weather conditions. The team did an impeccable job, and I’m happy for Jef and Louis. Every time, we manage to bring home a great result or a podium, as has already happened twice this season. And at the end of this Centenary 24 Hours, I also want to congratulate Tommaso (Mosca, Editor’s note) who has proven to be a very talented young driver.”

Louis Machiels, 296 GT3 #52:
“This podium is very special to me, coming at the end of a tough weekend. It’s an immense joy to lift this trophy with my son Jef, and today, I felt something truly special. I thank the entire team for their extraordinary work.”

Jef Machiels, 296 GT3 #52:
“At the beginning of the race, we made a few mistakes, but then we started competing without any errors and managed to climb back up to second in our class. Standing on the podium here at the 24 Hours of Spa with my father is truly extraordinary, and I’m very happy. This is my fourth podium of the season, the second in the Endurance Cup with Andrea Bertolini and my father after the one at Paul Ricard, and I believe we should be very satisfied with our performance so far. Now, the goal is to try and win the next race.”

Thomas Neubauer, 296 GT3 #71:
“We certainly came to Spa with different expectations, aiming to perform our best, get through the night without issues, stay within the top ten, and then fight for a strong finish in the final hours. Unfortunately, David had an accident, and despite our attempts to repair the damage, we decided to retire the car because the conditions didn’t allow us to return to the track at our best. Looking at our teammates in the number 51, I really feel for them. They were leading and truly deserved the victory.”

Tommaso Mosca, 296 GT3 #52:
“I believe this was a great race. After some difficulties in the early stages, especially in the initial stints, we managed to make significant gains throughout the night. Driving a car like the 296 GT3 has been an incredible experience, and I want to thank Ferrari for giving me this opportunity.”

Lilou Wadoux, 296 GT3 #93:
“The race was tough, particularly due to the rain which made everything more challenging. We did our best even in those wet track conditions and remained consistently in contention for the top positions. I’m slightly disappointed with the fourth place because the car performed exceptionally well, and the team did a fantastic job, so I was hoping to climb onto the podium.”

Christopher Froggatt, 296 GT3 #93:
“The race was tough. The team and us drivers did a great job, although we lost some time towards the end. We leave Spa with a fourth place, along with the points we secured at the sixth and twelfth hours when we were leading the race, so we’ve earned some crucial points for the championship.”

Antonello Coletta, Global Head of Endurance and Corse Clienti:
“Today, a dream was taken from us. The victory at the Centenary editions of both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Spa was within our grasp, and what unfolded is truly unbelievable. There are no words to describe the bitterness of seeing such a surreal episode erase a success we had rightfully earned on the track, both through the way the crew of car number 51 led the race and through the team’s outstanding work. The podium finishes in both the Pro and Bronze classes are scant consolation.

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