The fourth round of FIA World Endurance Championship 2022 was run on Autodromo Nazionale Monza, located on the outskirts of Milan.
The legendary track would host the 6-hour race with 38 starting cars, and it was a hot start with just under 30 degrees of air temperature.
Glickenhaus Racing #708 with Romain Dumas, Olivier Pla and Pipo Derani started from Pole Position for the second time this year, ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 with Brendon Hartley Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa, and with Alpine ELF Team #36 driven of Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao in third.
Peugeot TotalEnergies #93 with Mikkel Jensen, Paul Di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne debuted in FIA WEC this weekend, but the qualifying was plagued by problems for Jensen, who never got a chance to set a time for the team.
United Autosports USA #22 with Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Will Owen started from LMP2 Pole, ahead of ARC Bratislava #44 with Mathias Beche, Miroslaw Konopka and Tijmen van der Helm, which was also the fastest LMP2 Pro/Am car, while Realteam by WRT #41 with Ferdinand Habsburg, Rui Andrade and Norman Nato was in P3.
There was a little drama for JOTA #38, who got sent last in the field for hitting Richard Mille Racing Team #1 in the pits under the qualifying, which the stewards decided was #38’s fault and thus deleted all their lap times.
In GTE Pro, the local favourite AF Corse Ferrari #51 with Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado was on Pole, ahead of Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner in Corvette Racing #64, while Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina in AF Corse Ferrari #52 qualified third.
Iron Dames Ferrari #85 with Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting started from a historic Pole Position in GTE Am, since it was the first time for an all-female car to take Pole Position in an ACO race. TF Sport Aston Martin #33 with Ben Keating, Marco Sørensen and Henrique Chaves started second, ahead of Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 with Christian Ried, Sebastian Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in P3.
There was drama for Team Project 1 Porsche #56 before the race started. On the way to the grid, Brendon Iribe went over the gravel in Variante della Roggia, and then pitted, to clean the small stones from the car. It meant that they would start from the pits – one lap behind everyone else.
The start went pretty well, with only a bit of locked wheels from Glickenhaus Racing #708. Further down the field, there was contact between GR Racing Porsche #86 and Spirit of Race Ferrari #71, which sent #86 out in a spin. Mike Wainwright could continue by himself after a short time.
AF Corse Ferrari #52 came up to second place by overtaking Corvette Racing #64 in the first chicane. At the same time, Porsche #92 also drove past their teammates in #91.
Alpine ELF Team #36 was up to the second place for a short time, since they had more speed down the start-finish line. But Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 came ahead again, a few corners later.
ARC Bratislava #44 couldn’t stay ahead in the LMP2 category as their bronze-rated driver Miro Konopka didn’t have the same speed as many of the silver-rated drivers around him. Which was why he fell quickly back to the last position in the LMP2 category.
Iron Dames Ferrari #85 kept the lead in GTE Am, but was under hard pressure by TF Sport Aston Martin #33.
Mikkel Jensen and Peugeot TotalEnergies #93 had gotten a good start, and quickly drove past the entire GTE field, and now was on the way through the LMP2 field.
There was contact between Northwest AMR #98 and AF Corse Ferrari #54 on the way into Parabolica, where #54 ended up in the gravel. It triggered a Full Course Yellow, in order to pull Thomas Flohr back to the asphalt. Dalla Lana in #98 had tried to brake on the inside of the Ferrari competitor, but had to brake hard instead, and still couldn’t avoid the contact.
A lot of teams pitted for fuel for the first time, even though they had only driven for fifteen minutes.
When the race got restarted, it didn’t take long before more problems arose for Peugeot TotalEnergies #93. Mikkel Jensen stayed still at the exit of Variante Ascari and just couldn’t get the car started again. Luckily, the other cars behind him managed to avoid it, since it was a very dangerous place on the track to be stranded. It caused yet another Full Course Yellow.
Just as the flags came out, Jensen got the car back to life and crawled very slowly towards the pits. He was halfway into the pit entry when the hybrid system ran out of power, and he couldn’t continue to drive. The team reported that apparently there was a faulty sensor around the turbo. It cost them a lot of laps in the pits.
Spirit of Race Ferrari #71 got a 5-second pitstop penalty for the contact with GR Racing Porsche #86 under the start.
United Autosports #22 went off the track but could quickly continue.
WRT #31 got a 10-second pitstop penalty for an unsafe release during an earlier pitstop.
D’Station Racing Aston Martin #777 got a Drive-through for speeding in the pitlane.
Northwest AMR #98 got a Drive-through for the contact with AF Corse Ferrari #54.
There was drama at Toyota Gazoo Racing #8, where Buemi complained about an alarm in the car, and fell back behind the sister car. Shortly after that, Alpine ELF Team #36 also went past.
#36 had also caught up with Toyota Gazoo Racing #7, and overtook them through Parabolica – in the middle of the corner.
JOTA #28 went over the gravel in Variante della Roggia, when Oliver Rasmussen tried to dive on Sarah Bovy from the inside, and ended up on the outside, and thus in the gravel. Luckily, the Dane could drive back to the asphalt.
The problems for Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 continued. It appeared that there were problems with the hybrid system, so Buemi had to stop braking very early down the straight, since the hybrid part no longer helped under braking. It also meant a tour over the infamous sausage curbs in the first chicane.
Ferrari and Corvette had a drag race down the start-finish line, but AF Corse Ferrari #52 kept their nose ahead of #64.
GR Racing Porsche #86 pitted with technical problems, which cost them some time in the garage.
Ed Jones had taken over JOTA #28, and quickly went past Vector Sport #10, and shortly afterwards he caught up with United Autosports USA #23, and drove past it too.
#23 with Josh Pierson wasn’t as fast as the competitors around him, and he also got overtaken by WRT #31, which came around the outside under braking on the first chicane.
ARC Bratislava #44 got a Drive-through, for not keeping their start position under the start.
D’Station Racing Aston Martin #777 slowed down on the track. Satoshi Hoshino tried to get the car back to the pits. The dark green car got pushed into the pits with damages on the diffusor, after the contact with United Autosports USA #23. The team said, however, that the speeder sensor was broken, which was why Hoshino couldn’t speed up as the car would normally – and got hit by innocent Josh Pierson.
After nearly an hour in the pits, Peugeot TotalEnergies #93 was back on the track, now with Paul Di Resta behind the wheel.
TF Sport Aston Martin #33 had kept the lead for a long time, since Iron Dames Ferrari #85 was one of the teams that had pitted under the first FCY period. But Sarah Bovy had slowly but surely caught up with Ben Keating, and could begin to put pressure on him.
United Autosports USA #22 and Realteam by WRT #41 were under a second from each other, in the duel for the lead in LMP2, followed by Prema Orlen Team #9 four seconds behind.
Porsche #92 drove past Corvette Racing #64, and was the best non-Ferrari car in GTE Pro behind AF Corse Ferrari #51 and #52.
AF Corse Ferrari #21 was stuck in the gravel in Lesmo 2. Christoph Ulrich got sent out to the grave after a little push from Nicklas Nielsen, who just overtook him. It caused a Full Course Yellow.
After two hours, Glickenhaus Racing #708 was leading Hypercar, United Autosports USA #22 in LMP2, AF Corse #83 with Nicklas Nielsen in front in LMP2 Pro/Am, AF Corse Ferrari #51 in GTE Pro, and TF Sport Aston Martin #33 with Marco Sørensen in GTE Am.
The was a Drive-through for D’Station Racing #777 and ARC Bratislava #44 for not behaving correctly under an earlier FCY period.
The lead in LMP2 changed when Realteam by WRT #41 took the lead from United Autosports USA #22. At the same time, Prema Orlen Team #9 was right behind the two.
TF Sport Aston Martin #33 got a 50-second Stop & Go penalty for speeding in the pitlane. A huge penalty for the team, who otherwise had been ahead in the GTE Am category for the majority of the race.
Peugeot TotalEnergies #93 got pushed back into the garage for more repairs.
United Autosports USA #22 went over the gravel in Variante della Roggia, but Filipe Albuquerque quickly went back to the asphalt with all four wheels.
Glickenhaus Racing #708 got a Drive-through for not behaving correctly under an earlier FCY period.
The Safety Car got deployed when TF Sport Aston Martin #33 had a huge accident in Variante della Roggia. Henrique Chaves went sideways over the tall sausage curbs at high speed, which ripped the entire right side of the car and sent it upwards before he landed again on its roof. Luckily, Chaves was okay and could climb out of the car by himself. Besides the car being damaged and having to be removed, the sausage curbs had to be repaired since they were ripped off the asphalt.
Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 took the lead of the race by pitting without changing tires, while Glickenhaus Racing #708 chose to put on new tires on the car. It was before they had done their penalties, which were given right before the SC period started.
The race got restarted halfway into the six-hour race.
Glickenhaus Racing #708 pitted after the first flying lap, to take the penalty. It sent them behind the field, where they had to start overtaking 36 other competitors who were on the track at the same time.
AF Corse #83 got a Drive-through for the contact earlier in the race with AF Corse Ferrari #21.
Corvette Racing #64 did a very late dive on Porsche #92 on the way into the first chicane, thus taking fourth place in GTE Pro.
AF Corse #83 and Spirit of Race Ferrari #71 both got a 5-second Stop & Go for a technical error. It appeared that it was because the team hadn’t delivered a data card to the officials, after the second pitstop of the day. It was so that the officials could see if the cars complied with the rules for BOP etc.
Team Project 1 Porsche #46 was the leader in GTE Am, ahead of Iron Dames Ferrari #85. But #46 still had to pit, which Mikkel O. Pedersen went to take, and thus Iron Dames Ferrari #85 was back in the lead.
Glickenhaus Racing #708 slowed down on the track, and shortly afterwards there was a big smoke coming from the car. Oliver Pla got the car back to the pits, and it got pushed into the garage straight away. The engine had left some thick smokescreen on the track, before it went away in the wind. The team found out that the turbo was damaged, and it had sent metal splinters into the system, which couldn’t be repaired in time. Which meant they were out of the race.
There were problems for Peugeot TotalEnergies #93 again when Jean-Eric Vergne had to stop the car, after only driving a single out lap. Luckily, the Frenchman could restart the car, so we avoided another FCY period. However, he drove very slowly around the track towards the pits. And it got pushed into the garage straight away as soon as he arrived.
Alpine Elf Team #36 got overtaken by Toyota Gazoo Racing #8, in the battle for second place. Lapierre made a small mistake in Variante della Roggia, outbraking himself as he tried to keep up with Brendon Hartley – without luck.
JOTA #28 was leading the LMP2 category, ahead of Vector Sport #10, but there was a bit of pitstop strategy involved.
There were problems for United Autosports USA #22, which suddenly slowed down. Phil Hanson managed to restart the car and continue the lap.
After having driven for more than three and a half hours, there were problems for Peugeot TotalEnergies #94, who had a long pitstop.
Suddenly, WRT #31 slowed down on the track. Robin Frijns had just come out of the pits and drove slowly around the track. The Dutchman drove the car back to the pits, where it is later shown to have a leakage in the cooling system. But it got repaired so the car could come back out.
The problems for United Autosports USA #22 came back, where Hanson drove slowly again. JOTA #38 had to drive over the gravel to not hit the other car.
Alpine ELF Team #36 outbraked Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 on the way into the first chicane. But Hartley in #8 drove past Lapierre again on the next straight.
The lap after that, Lapierre was about to drive on the outside again, but he had to go straight through the first chicane, for not hitting the Toyota from behind.
Iron Dames Ferrari #85 was a bit over the gravel in Variante della Roggia, but it didn’t cost them much time.
Team Project 1 Porsche #46 had a spin in Lesmo 1, where Brendan Iribe stalled in an unfortunate angle. Luckily, he could reverse and get away, and all the passing cars managed to avoid him.
AF Corse Ferrari #54 got a Drive-through, after abusing track limits too many times.
Alpine Elf Team #36 took the lead of the race after the next pitstop as they let Nicolas Lapierre stay in the car, and without changing tires, while both Toyotas got fresh tires on.
Ferrari seemed to have dominated the GTE Pro category for a long time, with AF Corse Ferrari #51 ahead of #52, but Corvette Racing #64 came slowly but surely closer and now was only a few seconds away from the leader.
Ultimate #35 had a solo spin in Variante della Roggia, but Matthieu Lahaye could quickly continue and even kept the lead in LMP2 Pro/Am.
Prema Orlen Team #9 overtook Vector Sport #10, in the duel for fourth place.
Richard Mille Racing Team #1 and Prema Orlen Team #9 had contact under braking in the first chicane. It sent #1 out in a spin, while #9 could continue to drive. But unfortunately, #1 had to be pushed into the garage due to gearbox problems after the contact.
Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 had a moment in Variante della Roggia, where Kamui Kobayashi braked a bit late, tried to go through the chicane, and ended up kissing the gravel lightly on the way out of the corner.
Prema Orlen Team #9 got a Drive-through penalty for hitting #1 earlier in the race.
After four out of the six hours, Alpine ELF Team #36 was leading Hypercar, JOTA #28 with Oliver Rasmussen in LMP2, Algarve Pro Racing #45 in LMP2 Pro/Am, AF Corse Ferrari #51 in GTE Pro, and Team Project 1 Porsche #46 with Mikkel O. Pedersen in GTE Am.
There were more problems for Richard Mille Racing Team #1, who had come back to the track again. Paul Loup Chatin drove slowly around the track and had to pit again, after only driving for one lap.
United Autosports USA #22 once again visited the gravel in Variante della Roggia, but Phil Hanson could drive away from there again.
AF Corse Ferrari #51 got a 5-second Stop & Go penalty, for not sending data after an earlier pitstop. It cost them the lead of the race and sent them back to P4.
Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 slowly but surely caught up with Iron Dames Ferrari #85 in the GTE Am battle for the lead, but it was one thing to catch up, and another to overtake.
D’Station Racing Aston Martin #777 got a Drive-through for track limits abuse.
Alpine ELF Team #36 came out of the pits ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing #8, but it changed before they reached Variante della Roggia, when the Toyota accelerated better in the first chicane.
The two cars drove side by side down the start-finish straight, just as Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 went out of the pits and came out ahead of the two, and kept Matthieu Vaxiviere in #36 from driving past.
The battle continued, again and again, lap after lap.
There were more problems for Peugeot TotalEnergies #94, who stopped between the two Lesmo corners – just like what #93 did yesterday under qualifying.
Finally, #36 managed to drive past the Toyota from the outside in Parabolica – and defended itself down the start-finish straight, and later towards Variante della Roggia. And after that, Vaxiviere now could set his eyes on the leading Toyota Gazoo Racing #7.
He caught up with the Toyota after just a few corners, and went through in Parabolica, where Kamui Kobayashi then drove past him again. The Japanese tried to close the door, but he hadn’t made it fully past the Frenchman, and the two cars touched each other. It brushed the rear tire on #7, and Kobayashi was very lucky that he could keep the car on the track, even though he sailed through the first chicane over the grass as he couldn’t brake on three wheels. The stewards put the incident under investigation.
With the debris over the start-finish straight, there was no other choice than FCY to clean up the track.
After a long repair, Peugeot TotalEnergies #94 came back out on the track.
The stewards had made a decision, and gave Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 a 90-second Stop & Go for the contact with #36.
D’Station Racing Aston Martin #777 got a 10-second pitstop penalty for overtaking Team Project 1 Porsche #56 outside the track limits in the first Lesmo corner.
JOTA #28 had a collision with Porsche #92 on the way into Lesmo 2, which sent Jonathan Aberdein over the gravel. They could put him back on the track without needing more than a local yellow.
AF Corse Ferrari #51 and Porsche #92 had an intense battle for fourth place. Slowly but surely, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Kevin Estre began to fight harder and harder. The positions changed a few times, and the two cars also began to push each other further and further away from the track. It all culminated in Estre hitting Pier Guidi from behind three times under braking into Variante della Roggia, so both cars had to cut through the chicane.
The stewards looked at Estre’s driving and gave him a Drive-through penalty, combined with the contact with JOTA #28 and AF Corse Ferrari #51.
Ultimate #35 went off the track but could quickly continue.
AF Corse Ferrari #54 got a Drive-through for driving over the white line at the pit exit.
Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 pitted with over 10 minutes left of the race, but Harry Tincknell managed to keep the lead by coming out of the pits a few seconds ahead of Iron Dames Ferrari #85.
Just as everyone thought the winner in GTE Pro was decided, both AF Corse Ferrari cars pitted for the last time for fuel, with just three minutes left on the clock. So, all of a sudden Corvette Racing #64 was leading the category, but should they also pit again?
Alpine ELF Team #36 with Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere won the race, ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 with Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa and Sebastien Buemi, while Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 with Kamui Kobayashi, Jose-Maria Lopez and Mike Conway in third. Peugeot TotalEnergies #94 with Loic Duval, James Rossiter and Gustavo Menezes finished in P4, while both Glickenhaus Racing #708 with Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla and Romain Dumas, and Peugeot TotalEnergies #93 with Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul Di Resta retired from the race.
Realteam by WRT #41 with Ferdinand Habsburg, Rui Andrade and Norman Nato won a really close battle in the LMP2 category, ahead of JOTA #38 with Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez and Will Stevens, while Vector Sport #10 with Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Cullen and Nico Müller finally got some good result by finishing third.
Algarve Pro Racing #45 with Steven Thomas, James Allen and Rene Binder won LMP2 Pro/Am, ahead of Ultimate #35 with Mathieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye, and Francois Heriau, while AF Corse #83 with Nicklas Nielsen, Francois Perrodo and Alessio Rovera finished in P3, and a general ninth position in LMP2.
Corvette Racing #64 with Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy had enough fuel and could cross the finish line as the winner of GTE Pro, followed by AF Corse Ferrari #52 with Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina, while AF Corse Ferrari #51 with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi finished the race in P3.
In GTE Am, Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 with Christian Ried, Sebastien Priaulx and Harry Tincknell won the race, ahead of Iron Dames Ferrari #85 with Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey, while Mikkel Overgaard Pedersen, Matteo Cairoli and Nicolas Leutwiler finished third for Team Project 1 Porsche #46.
We’ll update the championship points when they are finished being calculated.
The next race for the FIA World Endurance Championship 2022 is on 11 September at the Fuji track in Japan.