Spa 24h: Iron Lynx Ferrari still leads at halfway

The Iron Lynx Ferrari squad remained in control of the Spa 24 Hours as the Belgian endurance classic reached the halfway mark.

Alessandro Pier Guidi, Come Ledogar and Nicklas Nielsen once again earned maximum points for leading the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup blue riband after 12 hours, having done so earlier in the race for leading after the six-hour mark.

The occupants of the #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 suffered a setback when they earned a drive-through penalty for a pitlane infraction, but by the start of the 11th hour Pier Guidi was back up to third behind the #63 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and the #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3.

That became second when the FFF Lambo driven by Marco Mapelli was penalised for a speeding in the pitlane, and then the #51 Ferrari retook the advantage when most of the leading cars pitted towards the end of the 11th hour during a full-course yellow period.

Pier Guidi stayed aboard the Iron Lynx car and pulled away to the tune of 12 seconds ahead of Charles Weerts in the #32 Audi he shares with Dries Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde.

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The factory-backed Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Marco Sorensen held third place, a further three seconds back behind the Audi, while the pole-winning #88 ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Daniel Juncadella was the last runner still on the lead lap in fourth place.

FFF Racing was running a lapped fifth before Mapelli handed over to Andrea Caldarelli just shy of the 12-hour mark, promoting the #66 Attempto Audi driven by Christopher Mies to the place.

BMW's pair of Walkenhorst-run M6 GT3s both dropped out of the running, with the #35 car shared by Timo Glock, Martin Tomczyk and Thomas Neubauer that had been running third after six hours suffering an ultimately terminal suspension failure.

The sister #34 car of Sheldon van der Linde, Marco Wittmann and David Pittard stopped on track with a lost of power.

Porsche's hopes of a third successive Spa 24 Hours also took a blow, with the GPX Racing car that had been running inside the top 10 dropping well down the order with steering trouble, and the Schnabl Engineering machine stopping after Michael Christensen slid into the pit wall on the run down to Eau Rouge.

The marque's highest-placed runner was the Dinamic Motorsport car being driven by Christian Engelhart in sixth place, followed by the #25 Sainteloc Audi of Christopher Haase and the second of the WRT R8 LMS GT3s of Nico Muller, which came to a stop in the pit entry earlier on and lost around 90 seconds.

Defending race winner Nick Tandy ran ninth in the best of the KCMG Porsches, which has already served its mandatory four-minute 'technical pitstop', while the JOTA McLaren 720S GT3 was 10th in the hands of Ben Barnicoat.

The #90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes continued to head the Silver Cup classification in 14th overall, while the Pro-Am class was led by the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari.

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