Alex Demirdjian on the Podium of One of the World’s Toughest Races
02 Aug. 2017- Lebanese driver Alex Dermirdjian scored a new milestone in racing with a third-place finish in Belgium’s 24-hour race on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
This victory comes to anchor Demirdjian’s name in the famous Blancpain GT series after the driver opened the season with a glorious win on the Italian Monza circuit. The Belgium success is an exceptional addition to the racer’s record of accomplishments, not only for being considered one of the world’s toughest 24 hours races, but also for embodying the “survival of the fittest” philosophy whereas the drivers have to maintain the highest level of focus at all times, while engineers are challenged with the mission of setting up a car that can resist the high pressure and the circuit’s requirements for 24 consecutive hours of racing.
Carrying the Lebanese and Armenian flags in another national initiative that pays homage to Demirdjian’s dearest countries, the GT3 488 Ferrari took off under the slogan “Drive for Life” from the seventh position in the Pro-Am category, which gathers numerous professional drivers. Throughout the 24-hour endurance race, Demirdjian and his team were deprived of sleep as the first night hours were the toughest with 64 cars racing on the circuit. However, and with ensuing accidents and withdrawals, they were able to get closer to lead positions.
Despite the team receiving three penalties, Demirdjian succeeded along with his Finnish team mate Tony Vilander to reduce the performance gap on the circuit before French-Armenian Nicolas Minassian and Italian Davide Rizzo complete the task, leading to the team’s moving up from position ten to six in the early morning hours and to position three at mid-day.
Thanks to their successful strategy and the alternation of drivers during the last four hours of the race, Dermidjian and his colleagues managed to climb the winners’ podium amidst an overall satisfaction for the official Ferrari team which position was considered a victory by its engineers considering the toughness and importance of the race.
Commenting on the race, Demirdjian said: “I cannot describe how happy I am with what we achieved today. The team did a great job and the outcome is nothing but the result of hard work and strenuous efforts. It was a long week but standing on that podium was the best reward.”
He added: “It was truly a great feeling to carry both Lebanese and Armenian flags on the podium. All I wanted was to remind people that these two intertwined nations can reach the highest heights together. Today, we were able to convey our message and reach our goal; perhaps we also showed young generations how setting big ambitions can lead to conquering the highest summits and that collective work is much more powerful than the individual endeavor.”