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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Lisa Clark completes first GT3 race at Mugello 12H

Lisa Clark has successfully completed her first weekend in GT3 machinery, bringing the Pellin Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 across the finish line of the 12 Hours of Mugello through mixed weather conditions in ninth place among the GT3 entries.

Lisa Clark, Pellin Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, 24H Series, 2024 12H of Mugello
Photo by: Creventic

2023 Ferrari Challenge North America Shell AM champion Lisa Clark has successfully completed her first weekend in GT3 machinery, bringing the Pellin Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 across the finish line of a tricky 12 Hours of Mugello through mixed weather conditions.

Partnering with highly experienced racer Kyle Marcelli and Jeff Westphal, Clark returned to the competitive platform of the 24H Series by Creventic after a 2021 appearance, albeit in a GT4 entry, when she had made her endurance debut. At Mugello, she found a circuit where she had prior experience for her Ferrari Challenge outings and would focus on learning the car. Marcelli, Westphal and Clark, nevertheless, immediately proved to be very fast in the official practice session, when they set the third overall fastest lap - showing that the competitive line up would likely be fighting in the overall top ten.

In qualifying, Clark was behind the wheel of the #29 Pellin Racing entry in Q1 - and set a 1:59.119 lap. Marcelli and Westphal alternated in Q2 and Q3 and, on aggregate times, the trio would start from P11 overall.

Marcelli took on driving duties for the opening stint of the race - and he had to navigate chaos on the first lap, when the #5 Kessel Racing Ferrari spun and triggered a pile up at turn 2-3.

Once the green flag waved again, the Canadian driver had fast laps at the beginning of his stint and steadily made his way forward up to fourth.

The second neutralization was the opportunity for Pellin Racing to pit from third place overall and get Ferrari Challenge champion Lisa Clark behind the wheel - effectively in her first GT3 race stint. Lisa settled in sixth place in class and seventh overall, improving her lap time progressively as she got up to speed with the car.

Lisa Clark, Pellin Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, 24H Series, 2024 12H of Mugello
Photo by: Creventic

Once Lisa Clark started to familiarize with the beautiful orange and teal liveried 488 GT3, the US American driver set her first lap under the 2 minute mark in 1:59.5, significantly improving on her personal best and holding on to a very solid P9 in a clean double stint. She completed a mistake-free 1 hour and 30 minute run before passing on the baton once again to Kyle Marcelli from P12 in GT3.

He navigated through the field and settled in P7 in GT3, solidly in the overall top ten, before Jeff Westphal took over. The clock hit one hour to go in Part 1 when a huge crash on the main straight involving the Krohn Racing Porsche of Tracy Krohn - who hit the wall at full speed after what seemed like a tyre issue - brought out the Code 60. From seventh overall after great runs by all drivers, Lisa Clark was back aboard the Pellin Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 in seventh overall.

Clark dropped to P10 in class and traded positions with the MP Racing Mercedes further over the final hour of racing. The sun set over the Tuscan hills and the Mugello circuit was fully into darkness as the first part of the race approached its closure. Clark pitted for fuel, leaving Kyle Marcelli onboard for the final minutes.

The first half of the race ended under Code 60 when the #985 Neuhofer Rennsport Porsche ended its day in the gravel trap. Team GP Elite took the chequered flag of part 1 as the overall leader, ahead of the #91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche and the #27 Heart of Racing Mercedes, which had taken the start from the pit lane. Lisa Clark's #29 Ferrari sat 10th in class and 12th overall.

The teams gathered on the grid for the start of Part 2 in the morning of Sunday, initially in sunnier yet windy conditions. Kyle Marcelli was in charge of the starting procedure for the #29 Pellin Racing Ferrari and the fast Canadian advanced to P8, overtaking the #58 MP Racing Mercedes during a round of pit stops.

Lisa Clark took over from Marcelli one hour into the second part and continued to run at steady pace and with no mistakes. She pitted for fuel when a Code 60 was deployed as the GT4-leading #424 Porsche hit the MP Racing Mercedes driven by Manuela Gostner.

Despite a few Code 60s during her driving time, Lisa Clark settled into her rhythm and completed another solid stint in P10 before she handed over to Jeff Westphal with 3 hours to go.

Lisa Clark, Pellin Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, 24H Series, 2024 12H of Mugello
Photo by: Creventic

A light rain started to fall and several cars went off in the gravel. Westphal was cautious throughout his run and had recovered two more positions in class.

The rain ultimately turned into a flood, with plenty of standing water; Antonio Sainero was caught out and crashed the #90 E2P Porsche GT3 heavily at the end of the main straight, triggering a Code-60. With positions freezed, Lisa Clark was back behind the wheel in eighth place, made no mistakes throughout all her stints and successfully held position in extremely tricky conditions.

The race ended under safety car: after a puncture in the opening hour of the race, Team GP Elite took overall victory with a brilliant comeback, finishing ahead of the #91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche and the CP Racing Mercedes. Lisa Clark had the chance to complete her first ever GT3 race, making good progress through the weekend and collecting crucial experience. After 305 laps, she was classified P9 in GT3 - and was the highest finishing female overall, out of the six women on the grid.

The Creventic 24H Series is scheduled to return to the track on 19-21 April at Spa Francorchamps, on yet another iconic circuit for 12 more hours of pure racing action.



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