Fourth podium for Iron Dames in Le Mans Cup
Manuela Gostner and Doriane Pin secured the fourth podium in the last 4 Michelin Le Mans Cup events for Iron Dames in GT3 class.
Doriane Pin and Manuela Gostner took third in the GT3 class of the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Spa Francorchamps, fifth round of the top ELMS feeder series. The Iron Dames duo, at the wheel of the #9 Ferrari 488 GT3 by Iron Lynx, started from third in class and held the position throughout the 2-hour race in the Belgian Ardennes. It's their fourth podium in the last four race meetings: Pin shared the #9 entry with Sarah Bovy at the start of the season and, after a technical issue at the Barcelona season opener, the pair finished second at Le Castellet and at Monza. Her performances in the Mans Cup gained Bovy a chance in the WEC and ELMS line ups, with Manuela Gostner returning as Pin's teammate. At the Road to Le Mans event - main support race of the legendary 24 Hour race last month - Pin and Gostner were third across the line of the first race, before finishing P6 in class in the second race. At the fifth round, Gostner qualified in third place, with the sister #8 car driven by Gabriele Lancieri (Iron Lynx) taking pole position, almost a second clear of the #2 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Nicolas Leutwiler (Pzoberer Zürichsee by TFT). Overall pole position was claimed by the #5 Phoenix Racing LMP3 car of Finn Gehrsitz, who preceded the #11 WTM Duqueine and the #37 Cool Racing Ligier. It would be the Cool Racing crew to take a dominant win on Saturday, as Antoine Doquin and Josh Skelton went into the lead at the start and remained at the top of the overall leaderboard until the chequered flag, taking advantage of a battle for P1 on the first lap by the pole-sitting Phoenix Racing Ligier and the #11 WTM. There was early chaos at La Source, with several LMP3 cars hit each other and spun, but the first Full Course Yellow came 50 minutes into the race, when the marshals had to recover the #18 Muehlner Motorsport LMP3 of Latorre at Turn 13. The leading group pitted during the race neutralization and changed their drivers before the race resumed. In GT3, The leading Iron Lynx Ferrari battled throughout the race with the TFT Porsche, also having to navigate through the traffic. Lancieri was forced wide to avoid a spinning LMP3 car at La Source, allowing Leutwiler to close in - but the Swiss driver lost ground when he went off track and rejoined, without making contact with the barriers. Midway through the race, the leading GT3 of Lancieri pitted and Paolo Ruberti got behind the wheel of the #8 Iron Lynx Ferrari. Julien Andlauer was in for Leutwiler and Manuela Gostner pitted from third in class, handing over to Doriane Pin. The #12 Black Falcon Ligier of Munding tangled with the #20 Grainmarket Racing Duqueine of Mortimer at Radillon, with both cars spinning in the runoff of the famous corner - luckily without making contact with the barriers. A second Full Course Yellow was deployed following the contact of the #32 United Autosport Ligier and the #66 Rinaldi Racing Duqueine, with the former ending up in the gravel trap. Josh Skelton led with a significant gap over the #11 LMP3 of Leonard Weiss, but the German was coming under pressure from Matt Bell, who had closed a 15-second margin before ultimately completing the move for second at Eau Rouge. The overall leading positions remained unchanged after the final round of pit stops and Cool Racing clinched a 1-2, with Doquin/Skelton taking victory in the #37 Ligier, ahead of the #69 sister car of Smith/Bell. Weiss/Kratz were third in the #11 WTM Duqueine, just one second clear of the #5 Phoenix Racing driven by Gehrsitz/Owega. Despite faster lap times, Julien Andlauer wasn't able to close the gap to Ruberti and the #8 Iron Lynx crew took a controlled victory to secure the team's championship title with a spare round. 17-year old Doriane Pin - this weekend sporting a new helmet livery - took the #9 Ferrari across the finish line in third place. Doriane Pin and Manuela Gostner will get back in the driving seat of the #9 Iron Dames Ferrari GT3 for the final round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup on 23/24 October at Portimao, Portugal.