Iron Dames battles for race victory at FIA WEC 6 Hours of Portimão and takes first podium of 2023
Sunday, the Iron Lynx and Iron Dames teams returned to the track to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 hours of Portimão – following up on victory in the season-ending European Le Mans race at the same venue at the end of 2022.
The Dames battled throughout the race against several cars to take the finish on the rostrum, while the Iron Lynx #60 Porsche 911 RSR took turns in the lead of the race before finishing up in 12th position.
Sarah Bovy qualified the #85 car on the front row in the GTE Am category after swapping fastest times with the #33 Corvette throughout the session. Claudio Schiavoni finished the session in the #60 car in 14th.
At the beginning of the race, Sarah immediately battled with the Corvette over second place. She was able to get by as the end of the first hour approached, with a move in Turn One. Staying in the car for the second hour, Sarah was able to continue putting in strong lap times but lost a couple of positions as the stint progressed.
When Rahel got in the car for the next two stints, her lap times were very strong, and she was able to close on the Ferraris which had been ahead earlier in the race and overhaul them to take the lead as the race approached the halfway point. She dropped behind the Corvette during a pitstop, but was able to keep within range of the car in front before handing over to Michelle Gatting.
Michelle continued the #85’s strong run in the race, securing the run to the podium places. Despite a Safety Car as the final hour of the race approached, she was able to maintain the consistent pace and held third place to the chequered flag to secure the Dames’ first podium finish of the year.
Claudio Schiavoni started the race in the #60 car from 14th position in the GTE Am class, and in his opening stint he was able to keep out of trouble in front to pick up several places with consistent lap times. He handed the car over to Matteo Cressoni after the first hour in a points-paying position. During Matteo’s first stint, he was able to make big gains to some of the cars in front, and was the fastest GTE Am on track throughout his first stint.
He stayed out several laps longer than the other GTE Am competitors and remained in the car to take it beyond the halfway point of the race, safely handing back over to Claudio in the top-eight. Claudio put in some consistent times during his second run of the day but faced difficulties with his set of tyres, and handed over to Alessio Picariello for the remainder of the race.
Alessio had very strong pace throughout his stint, and was able to be in the mix to make a pass to take 12th position in the closing stages following the Safety Car and held the position to the chequered flag.
Iron Lynx #60 – P12 (GTE AM)
Iron Dames #85 – P3 (GTE AM)
Prema #63 – P4 (LMP2)
Iron Lynx Team Principal and CEO, Andrea Piccini, said: “Both cars showed strong pace through the weekend and once more the Iron Dames have been fighting most of the race for victory.
“The first podium of the season is for sure a positive result and we’re going to Spa confident to have found the right match with the Porsche.”
The next race in the FIA World Endurance Championship is the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 29th April.