Today, Italian racing team, Iron Lynx, has finished a challenging 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe, with the Iron Dames of Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey finishing as the second-fastest Ferrari in LMGTE Am following an impressive comeback drive from the back of the field.
Starting the race in sixth place after becoming the first all-female line up to qualify for the Hyperpole qualifying session, the Iron Dames machine experienced a rear puncture in the opening lap, which sent the car to the very back of the class to twenty-third place. In the ensuing hours, the pace from Sarah, Michelle and Rahel gently moved the #85 car back towards the front with a ‘never give up’ attitude, proving the Dames’ talent and determination to eventually finish the race in seventh place, gaining sixteen places.
The #80 car of Richard Heistand, Matteo Cressoni and Giancarlo Fisichella had a strong start being the fastest Am Ferrari on track up to sixth place in class from twenty-third on the grid, but brought home a thirteenth-place finish after Matteo was bumped by an Aston Martin at the Porsche Curves in the eighth hour in the dark of night, damaging the exhaust. The repair took four laps to fix, ultimately costing the car the race, but Richard, Giancarlo and Matteo continued to push on and show brilliant pace and skill to the finish.
Claudio Schiavoni, Raffaele Giammaria and Alessandro Balzan sadly retired from the race after a nearly faultless drive, improving their speed through the night at the hands of all three drivers. Strong mid-race stints of Raffaele and Alessandro brought the #60 car up through the field with potential to move up into the top 10. But unfortunately, an LMP2 car hit #60 while Claudio was at the wheel, meaning the car was damaged and unable to finish the race.
The #75 car of Pierre Ehret, Christian Hook and Nicolas Varrone in the one-off green livery showed strong-will, battling through the challenges of Le Mans showing consistency when fighting cars around them finishing in seventeenth place in LMGTE Am.
In LMP2, the #9 PREMA Orlen car driven by Lorenzo Colombo, Louis Deletraz and Robert Kubica scored a brilliant second place finish on the team’s Le Mans debut. Initially taking the class lead at the beginning and even fighting hard with the Alpine Hypercar in the opening hour, the drivers settled into a fast and consistent rhythm, eventually scoring that podium finish and continue their positive form since starting their endurance racing program this year.
Iron Lynx Team Principal, Andrea Piccini, said:
“I think we must be satisfied with our result at Le Mans this year. For sure, the results didn’t go exactly the way we would’ve hoped, but all cars showed a strong pace, getting faster as the race went on. The #80 car was the fastest LMGTE Am Ferrari at one point and all cars ran with zero technical issues throughout the entire race.
“The Iron Dames fought back after the early puncture, and we’re very proud of Sarah, Michelle and Rahel for overcoming the setback and for racing on with a never give up attitude. Once again, they’ve shown that together they’re very fast and can achieve great results, and we’ll keep fighting for podiums and wins in the future after this experience.
“The #60 and #75 car had challenging races for many reasons, but all drivers kept pushing to keep up an impressive speed through the field into the night. Ultimately, this was a classic Le Mans for these cars and it proves that anything can happen here at Le Sarthe.
“The PREMA Orlen team has shown very strong performance since starting its endurance program earlier this season, and a podium on its Le Mans debut is a credit to the hard work that everyone is doing at the team, and we’re very happy to be a part of that success. Overall, we have gained a lot of experience from running these five cars at this year’s event and we will once again come back and fight harder next year!”
The 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship continues at Monza on 10th July for the 6 Hours of Monza.