On a day marked by capricious weather and relentless competition, the WEC 2024 at Imola witnessed a dramatic duel in the LMGT3 category that had fans on the edge of their seats. At the heart of this thrilling race were the BMW M4 GT3 racing cars with racing legends Augusto Farfus and Valentino Rossi behind the wheel. The climax of the race saw Farfus and his team in the #31 BMW secure victory, crossing the finish line a clear 23 seconds ahead of Rossi’s #46 BMW.

The race began amid turmoil as Alex Malykhin took the lead from the LMGT3 pole position in the #92 Porsche. Meanwhile, further back in the pack, a collision occurred involving Sarah Bovy driving the #85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 and Yasser Shahin in the #91 Manthey Porsche.

Rain Adds Some Twists

As the race crossed the two-hour mark, the trio of front-runners continued their battle for the LMGT3 victory. Joel Strum, in the #92 Porsche, skillfully defended his lead against Francois Heriau, who had driven the #55 AF Corse Ferrari 296 into contention for the win. This intense competition positioned Valentino Rossi in the #46 BMW in third place, while Daniel Mancinelli in the #27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR was closely challenging Sean Gelael in the #31 BMW.

It seemed likely that Manthey and Strum would secure a consecutive FIA WEC victory until an unexpected rain shower added a twist to the race. The BMW teams, demonstrating boldness and strategic planning, chose to stick with slick tires despite the intermittent rain. This decision, risky as it was, paid off by granting them a significant advantage on the drying track, more than compensating for the initial slower pace on the wet asphalt.

As the race drew to a close, the strategic decisions made earlier came to fruition. Farfus and his #31 BMW executed a flawless final stint, securing a well-deserved victory, while Rossi, despite a late penalty, managed to clinch a podium finish, much to the delight of the passionate Tifosi.