Now the 2016 Blancpain GT Series season is over, it’s time to look back at some of the highlights of the past ten races. In this top-10 series, we’ll take a look at the performances that were sometimes not that obvious, but played a crucial part in the outcome of the race. In Le Castellet the #50 AF Corse Ferrari came near to a first win for the new-for-2016 488 GT3, but unlucky timing at a pitstop meant Alessandro Pier Guidi had to close a massive gap during the last stint. The Italian set a string of perfect laps, but came a handful of seconds short.
In qualifying Alessandro Pier Guidi had already shown the speed of the #50 AF Corse Ferrari, by claiming the pole in the beautifully liveried yellow 488 GT3. In the six-hour race team-mates Pasin Lathouras and Michele Rugolo kept the car among the frontrunners and when Alessandro Pier Guidi got back behind the wheel for the final stints, he was aiming as high as possible.
That resulted in one of the most exciting duels of 2016, when Pier Guidi took on Shane Van Gisbergen in the #58 McLaren. Pier Guidi took the outside of the Kiwi, passed Van Gisbergen, resisted further attacks and claimed second. A second place that became top spot when the leading Bentley caught fire in the pitlane, but when a Full Course Yellow was called, Pier Guidi just missed the pitlane entrance to take on fuel and tyres. Van Gisbergen did, took the lead and after his last pitstop – under green – Pier Guidi came out of pitlane some 28 seconds down. In the final 50 minutes of the race the Italian used all his skills to reduce that gap, sometimes winning more than three seconds a lap, but in the end he came 3.3 seconds short.
Watch the highlights of Paul Ricard here.