top of page

CLOSING THE GAP IN SPA- FRANCORCHAMPS 

FRIDAY- PROMISING PACE

Friday commenced the start of the race weekend at the iconic race track of Spa-Francorchamps. Thomas Fleming went out for the first testing session, topping the time sheet with the fastest lap, setting the fastest lap of the entire weekend by over 3 tenths. TF credited his pace to the opportunity to test at Spa prior to the race weekend thanks to his sponsors. 

During the Free Practice session TF and FF Corse developed a promising race pace ready for Saturday and Sunday.

SATURDAY QUALIFYING- 

Despite a promising Friday, due to an unexpected change in car setup, unknown to the team, the pace was not as strong as Friday. Coupled with below target tyre pressures and a quickly evolving track the pace previously seen was never going to be there.

TF still managed to produce a lap good enough for P2 despite having a slightly underperforming car.

SATURDAY RACE-

Despite being on the front row, TF had his championship contender to his right and an ex F1 driver right behind him. The start was a race decider, if missed he’d have to battle with the ex F1 driver to regain 2nd position, but if he could hold onto 2nd position, he knew there was a chance himself and the leader could break away from the pack and battle quietly. 

The start was a squeeze, everyone timed it perfectly. TF spread his elbows and maintained his P2 position as he entered the iconic corner of Eau Rouge, the whole pack squeezed tightly together. 

Besides a mid-race safety car, the race was mainly uneventful, with TF keeping the leader a stone throws away for the entire 30 minute race. Second place and another podium was placed onto the seasons tally for TF, yet he was adamant that there was more unlocked potential in the car.

A debrief after the race found the tyre pressures remained too low, which caused the instability and explained a small dip in performance. With this, TF remained quietly confident for a better result on Sunday.

SUNDAY QUALIFYING- A BRIT IN THE RAIN 

Rain overnight meant the track remained half wet for the 09:00 qualifying session. 

The initial decision made by the team and TF collectively was to do a couple sighter laps to record a tyre pressure reading and for TF to report on the track condition.

After this initial run, FF Corse and TF doubled down on the decision and decided to put on new slick tyres on a drying yet still very damp track.

The session was intense, with teams throughout the pits conflicted by which tyre to use, knowing red and yellow flags were likely. 

At the very end of the session, TF set the fastest lap by 2.2 seconds on slicks in the wet. TF’s championship rivals did not have such fortune in this session leaving them lower down on the grid. 

It was the perfect opportunity to gain back a large haul of points, and TF knew he had to execute the race perfectly.

Watch qualifying here:

SUNDAY RACE- FULL POINTS

The game plan was to break away from the pack by at least 1 second on the first lap, and set the fastest lap on lap 2 while the tyres were still in good nick.

The race start allowed TF to do just that, setting a 2.23.1 lap which was a whole 1.3 seconds faster than the next best lap. 

A late safety car was brought out which ended the race in which TF had built a lead of 7 seconds on P2. 

TF crossed the checkered flag in P1 with the two extra points for fastest race lap and pole position, meaning he is now only 19 points behind the leader in the championship. 

The next round is in Mugello, Italy with the Ferrari World Finals, and with just 19 points separating the top position TF and FF Corse are entering the final round of the championship with the goal of maximizing what they can.

TF has exceeded expectations in the second half of the season. In the last two rounds alone, TF has scored a 100% podium rate, 75% win rate and 50% qualifying pole position rate to boot. These impressive stats highlight the dedication, time and effort put into the craft by TF, the entire FF Corse team and his sponsors.

Thomas Fleming's Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Thomas Fleming's Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Thomas Fleming's Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Thomas Fleming's Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Thomas Fleming's Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Thomas Fleming getting into his  Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Thomas Fleming's Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo crossing the line in first place
Thomas Fleming celebrating on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps for the Ferrari Challenge 2023.
bottom of page