Reigning FIA World Endurance Champions, Toyota Gazoo Racing took victory in Ferrari’s backyard in the 6 hours of Imola with the #7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Nyck De Vries getting the better of changing weather conditions to take overall victory ahead of the #6 Penske Porsche.

In LMGT3 Team WRT took the top two podium steps with the #31 BMW of Darren Leung, Sean Gelael and Augustus Farfus coming home nearly 23 seconds ahead of the #46 sister car.


The stands at the Imola racetrack pulsated with life and color, adorned with countless Ferrari flags and dotted with fans of Valentino Rossi. Emanuele Pirro, an Italian driver with five Le Mans victories under his belt, waved the Italian tricolor flag as the race commenced.

fia wec 6hours of imola 2024

The start was nothing short of spectacular, with the three Ferraris leading the pack. However, chaos ensued on the straight as the Porsche 91 collided with the wall, and several hypercars tangled at Tamburello, involving BMW, Alpina, Peugeot, and Isotta Franchini. The safety car was deployed just minutes after the race began.

Amidst the dominance of the Ferrari hypercars, the GT3 class witnessed a thrilling battle, characterized by numerous overtakes within the tightly packed group.

After two hours of relentless racing, continuous issues plagued the Lamborghini of the Iron Dames, leading to the eventual withdrawal of the car

At the halfway mark, the #51 Ferrari surged into the lead, pursued closely by its teammate Nielsen and the Toyota. Meanwhile, in the GT3 class, the Porsche Manthey 92 held the lead, trailed by Valentino Rossi’s M4 WRT and Gelael.

As rain descended upon Imola, Ferrari’s decision to refrain from tyre changes proved less than optimal. Toyota capitalized on the opportunity, seizing the lead of the race.

The rain eventually ceased, though the sky remained overcast. Certain sections of the track began to dry, prompting some GT drivers to gamble on slick tires.

Approaching the end of the fifth hour, the #51 Ferrari made a pit stop for refueling, with Calado relinquishing the wheel to Pier Guidi, who opted to retain wet tires. Subsequently, Toyota #8 and #7 also pitted to refuel and switch to slicks.

However, the slick tire strategy posed risks, evident as #8 overshot while braking at Acque Minerali. Despite this, BMW, Porsche, and the #83 Ferrari also returned to the pits for slick tire changes.

The track remained treacherous, leading to the Porsche Proton #99 veering into the sand at the high chicane, necessitating intervention from emergency vehicles and triggering another Full Course Yellow phase.

Seizing the opportunity, Antonio Fuoco’s Ferrari #50 surged into the lead, albeit with one pit stop pending. With just fifteen minutes remaining, a fierce battle for first place ensued between Kobayashi and Kevin Estre in the Porsche, ultimately resulting in a well-deserved victory for the Japanese driver. Fuoco’s #50 Ferrari secured fourth place after a remarkable comeback, overtaking Hartley’s Toyota at Tamburello on the final lap.

In the GT3 category, BMW clinched a double victory. Car #31 took the win, benefitting from an astute decision by Augusto Farfus to persist with slicks amidst the rain. Meanwhile, car #46 secured second place, marking Valentino Rossi’s inaugural podium in the WEC. Porsche #92 claimed third, ahead of the leading Ferrari, mirroring their performance in the Hypercar class with a podium finish.

Report by Alessio Romanò


Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.