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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

24H Spa: Wadoux recovers to P4 in class after 18 hours in changeable weather

After 18 hours of the Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa, Sky Tempesta's Lilou Wadoux is running fourth in class after 18 hours of racing, having consistently battled in the top three of the bronze class throughout challenging weather conditions and despite a contact mid-way through the race.

Lilou Wadoux, Sky Tempesta Ferrari 296 GT3, 2024 24 Hours of Spa
Photo credits: Ferrari Races

With 18 hours of the centenary edition of the Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa now in the books, the #93 Sky Tempesta Ferrari 296 GT3 driven by Lilou Wadoux and her teammates Chris Froggatt, Jonathan Hui, and Eddie Cheever is running fourth in class, having battled in the top three of the bronze class throughout the race.

The trio made their way from 28th overall and second in class at the start, up to the overall top ten and in the class lead after the first six hours of the race, courtesy of greatly consistent and mistake-free stints by all four drivers, amidst numerous safety car and full course yellow interruptions.

The expected rain showers soon turned the race into a strategic game of tyre choices after the sixth hour; Froggatt charged through the field and nearly taking the overall lead before a lengthy safety car during the night when conditions became undrivable. Bronze-rated Hui perfectly managed the challenging conditions at the restart during the rain storm, and the team maintained a strong position as the drivers alternated behind the wheel.

Lilou Wadoux took the helm of the #93 Ferrari at the mid-way point of the race, immediately showcasing her speed and racecraft as the rain intensified again. A safety car slowed down the very first laps of her stint; the Frenchwoman pitted under yellow and remained behind the wheel.

Once the safety car was back in, she immediately hunted down Casper Stevenson in the #72 Barwell Lamborghini for third in class - but as she was battling for position, Lilou was hit and spun around at La Source on lap 223 when David Vidales went deep and crashed into Lucas Auer's Mercedes, subsequently hitting Wadoux just ahead. The #93 Sky Tempesta was soon back underway, though it had lost a few overall positions. The stranded #48 Mercedes, on the other hand, required the deployment of another full course yellow.

Wadoux stayed out and took the restart from second in class, with Tommaso Mosca's #52 AF Corse now leading both the bronze cup and the overall classification. Despite the difficult conditions caused by the rain, Lilou defended from Max Hofer's Audi while the rain intensified. She drove through very poor visibility but kept it clean and lapped competitively.

When the #36 Walkenhorst Aston Martin driven by Mex Jansen went off at Raidillon after running through standing water, the race was back under the safety car. Wadoux pitted under caution, and Chris Froggatt took over from third in class. When the rest of the bronze class pitted, Froggatt inherited third overall and first in bronze as the green flag waved.

The British driver started his run with great lap times, matching some of the Pro lineups and clocking in a couple of seconds faster than the direct class rivals. As shy sunlight emerged and night transitioned into morning with 10 hours left, the track slightly improved. The #93 Ferrari continued to run close to the overall top five and Froggatt pitted on lap 254 for fuel and new tyres, remaining in charge for another stint.

They cycled between second and first, with the #66 Tresor Attempto temporarily moving into the lead before Froggatt overtook Dylan Pereira, who fought back one lap later. After a strong start, Froggatt struggled a bit for pace as the track conditions changed again, but held on to second in class, also after a small mistake into Les Combes.

Gold-rated Eddie Cheever took over next, rejoining in third but soon cycling back to second. The top three in class lapped at a similar pace, with the #93 Ferrari reclaiming the lead ahead of the #52 AF Corse Ferrari before both pitted on the same lap. When a full course yellow was out a few minutes later, Sky Tempesta opted to complete its mandatory technical pit stop under caution.

Cheever got one lap back at the following pass around and took the restart from P5. As the rain increased again, Cheever tried to make up ground, but a big accident at Blanchimont for the #911 Pure Rxcing Porsche of Joel Sturm brought out another safety car. Once back to green, the #52 AF Corse Ferrari and the #72 Barwell Lamborghini pitted under green, allowing Cheever to close the gap to the cars ahead.

The Italian driver found more speed and, despite losing time to blue flags, caught the #8 Kessel Racing Ferrari, running in fourth. He pitted soon after, anticipating a caution that came when the #78 Lamborghini got stuck in the gravel due to the increasing rain.

Lilou Wadoux was next in, taking over from eighth in class in between the pit cycle. Wadoux shone again: she was in fact one of the few drivers in Bronze to lap under the 2:19 pace, setting personal best sectors and consistently eating up gap to the cars ahead. By logging great laps, Wadoux moved up to fourth as the race hit the 18th hour, having just set the car's new benchmark in 2:17.490. With still one fourth to go, Sky Tempesta remain in contention for a top position in the bronze cup.



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