History of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 #52 Leonardo Gorinni - Stephane Lemeret 24 Hour Spa

In the high-octane world of endurance racing, where every second counts and the demands of the track can be relentless, the #52 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 made a memorable appearance in the 2013 Spa 24 Hours. This iconic race, officially known as the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, is renowned for pushing both cars and drivers to their limits on the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. In the spotlight was the #52 Ferrari, operated by AF Corse, a team synonymous with Ferrari racing excellence.

What set this particular Ferrari apart in the 2013 Spa 24 Hours was its roster of drivers. Unlike the typical lineup of seasoned professionals, the #52 car was entrusted to the capable hands of four amateur drivers: Leonardo Gorinni, Stephane Lemeret, Thierry Prignaud, and Romain Brandela. These drivers, driven by their passion for motorsport, undertook the formidable challenge of taking on some of the world's most demanding endurance racing alongside seasoned professionals.

The Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 itself was no stranger to the rigors of endurance racing. The GT3 variant of the Ferrari 458 Italia was a popular choice among teams, celebrated for its balanced performance and competitive edge. This prancing horse, bearing the iconic Ferrari livery, was ready to gallop through the Ardennes forest circuit with grace and power.

The Spa 24 Hours is infamous for its punishing conditions. The track boasts a mix of fast straights and demanding corners, including the heart-pounding Eau Rouge and Raidillon sequence, where speed and precision are paramount. The Ardennes region's unpredictable weather further adds to the challenge, making it a true test of skill, strategy, and endurance for both cars and drivers.

Against this backdrop, the quartet of amateur drivers in the #52 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 embarked on their Spa adventure. It was a testament to their dedication and perseverance as they navigated the grueling 24-hour race with passion and determination. While they may have been labeled as amateurs, their performance spoke volumes about their racing acumen.

In the Pro-Am Cup category, the #52 Ferrari stunned spectators and competitors alike. Against a fiercely competitive field that included both professional and amateur drivers, the Ferrari held its own. The quartet behind the wheel showcased their mettle, pushing the car to the limits, managing the ever-changing track conditions, and executing precise maneuvers through challenging corners.

Their hard work and unwavering spirit paid off as they crossed the finish line in a remarkable second place within their category. This achievement was a testament to the harmonious synergy between the drivers, the car's capabilities, and the team's strategy. It was a remarkable demonstration of the inclusivity of endurance racing, where amateur and professional drivers shared the same track, each with their unique contributions to the race's dynamics.

The #52 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3's success in the 2013 Spa 24 Hours was more than a podium finish; it was a testament to the enduring spirit of motorsport and the power of teamwork. This underdog story highlighted that in the world of endurance racing, where challenges are abundant and the competition fierce, passion, skill, and determination can propel even the most unlikely candidates to glory. In the annals of the Spa 24 Hours, the #52 Ferrari remains a symbol of triumph against the odds, etching its place in the rich tapestry of motorsport history.