Maranello, 30 August 2017 – The #11 Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Jiri Pisarik, Josef Král and Matteo Malucelli has won the inaugural 24 Hours of Portimao. After 722 laps on the 4.653 kilometre Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit, equalling a distance of 3,359.47 kilometres, Matteo Malucelli took the chequered flag to win the season finale of the 2017 24H Series. With a three lap margin, the #488 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Georg Weiss, Oliver Kainz, Jochen Krumbach and Nico Menzel celebrated the runner-up spot in the team’s first ever campaign in the series.
The race. Off the line, the pole sitting Scuderia Praha Ferrari had given best to an electric start from the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini. The final twist however would be an all-Italian affair. Throughout the night, the debuting #488 Wochenspiegel Team Monschau Ferrari 488 GT3 had controlled the race, maintaining a one-lap advantage over the #11 Scuderia Praha car. Fate was clearly smiling through the Algarve sun, only for a poorly timed Code 60 and a fortuitous pit stop for the Czech regulars to slice two minutes from its healthy lead.
Last attempt. One final charge from Wochenspiegel Team Monschau saw the German team squeeze fuel and tyre wear to the absolute limit to close the gap. The timing screens lit up as the Ferrari began to close in, but so too did the fuel gauge, the #488 entry giving its team a fright by slowing on-track, limping to pit-road shortly afterwards to brim the tank. Fortunately, driver Georg Weiss’ cramp aside, the Ferrari returned to-track with a brimmed tank and its 2nd place intact. But victory now well out of reach. And so it was that the car which started on pole, the #11 Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3, came through to take its second outright win of the season, as well as its third A6-Pro victory of the year. The Wochenspiegel Team Monschau still walked away with the highest aggregate number of laps led – 373 – and vowing to return to the 24H Series in 2018.