FDA 2019 season underway
Mick Schumacher joins his teammates
Maranello, 22 January 2019 – The Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), the programme for talented young drivers, gathered its students at its Maranello HQ for its first day of work in 2019. New arrival Mick Schumacher was among them, just back from the Race of Champions in Mexico City.
With the Team Principal. Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, Sporting Director, Laurent Mekies, and Marco Matassa, Head of the FDA Technical Area, welcomed Mick and the other FDA students. Management and drivers then posed for a photo with ‘older brother’ Antonio Fuoco, who is staying in the FDA orbit with a consulting role. Marcus Armstrong was away in New Zealand in the Toyota Racing Series.
Intense season. FDA drivers are expecting a year packed with challenges: Mick Schumacher will be involved in Formula 2 along with his two teammates Callum Ilott and Giuliano Alesi; Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman will compete in the FIA Formula 3 championship; Enzo Fittipaldi in the newly minted Formula Regional and Gianluca Petecof in the FIA Formula 4 championship.
Mick Schumacher joins the Ferrari Driver Academy
Maranello, 19 January 2019 – Ferrari Driver Academy announces that it has signed a contract with 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Champion Mick Schumacher.
Mick, who will be racing in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship, from next week will be taking part in the pre- season preparation activities with fellow FDA drivers.
The other 2019 FDA drivers are Giuliano Alesi and Callum Ilott, who will race in Formula 2 too, Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman, racing in FIA Formula 3, Enzo Fittipaldi, racing in FIA Formula Regional (Europe), and Gianluca Petecof in FIA Formula 4 (Italy and Germany).
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari commented “For someone like me who has known him from birth, there’s no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age.”
Mick Schumacher said “I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motorsport will be in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Scuderia Ferrari Family. Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there. Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula 1.
It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well. At this stage it is however also time to say thank you to my family, friends and partners who supported me all along and helped me arrive at this point.”
Club Competizioni GT – Ferrari GT racing cars of the last 30 years return to the track
Maranello, 18 January 2019. Presented to customers at the Finali Mondiali at Monza and publicly unveiled at Autosport International in Birmingham, the new Club Competizioni GT programme allows owners of Ferrari GT racing cars of the last 30 years to take to the track in events organised directly by the Maranello-based company on some of the world’s most fascinating circuits.
Exclusive events. Club Competizioni GT opens the doors of prestigious circuits to its members, complementing their track experience with top class hospitality and exclusive services. Technical assistance with the tyres is always available on the track, as are Ferrari’s official Competizioni GT drivers, professionals who compete throughout the year in the main world championships and who are ready to assist customers with advice and guidance on how to extract the maximum performance from their cars.
Eligible models. Twelve Ferrari models are eligible to join the Club Competizioni GT, ranging from the F40 Competizione of 1989 to the 488 GTEs and GT3s currently available to Ferrari’s racing customers. In addition to the basic equipment provided by club membership, which includes a custom clothing kit and a set of tyres for each round, there are also special on demand services such as exclusive sessions with a professional driver, car transport, customised logistics, and the option of a tailored menu in hospitality.
Calendar. The first year calendar includes events on extraordinarily glamorous tracks such as Mugello, which will host the first event on 9 and 10 April. Then there is Indianapolis, on the circuit that hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix, followed by Fuji in Japan and one of the most famous test tracks, Vallelunga, just outside Rome. Club Competizioni GT will also take part in the 2019 Finali Mondiali Ferrari, which this year will be at Maranello from 22 to 27 October.
Competizioni GT – 200th win for the 488 GT3!
For the turbo V8 berlinetta almost a win every two races
Maranello, 12 January 2019 – The victory of the 488 GT3 no. 11 of Car Guy team at Buriram was the GT3 configuration eight-cylinder turbocharged Ferrari berlinetta’s 200th (obviously including class wins) out of 406 races in the short span of three seasons, a win rate of 49.25%. This is an incredible achievement considering the highly competitive nature of the GT3 motorsport scene, with over 10 manufacturers involved in four continents.
Winning debut. The 488 GT3 made its debut in Australia and America on the weekend of 17-20 March 2016. The car took part in the first round of the Australian GT championship, at Melbourne, and the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, which counts towards the IMSA SportsCar Series championship. It enjoyed a spectacular debut weekend. The 488 GT3 of DeFelice Homes, with Benny Simonsen and Andrea Montermini, won four out of four races. However, Christian Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Segal did even better in the Scuderia Corsa car, which beat its top rivals at the Florida classic, before going on to complete the season in the best possible way by taking the GTD class title.
Versatile and high-performance. The 488 GT3 has always stood out for its ease of driving, due to excellent aerodynamics and the engine, with its powerful but gentle delivery, which has proved almost indestructible over time. In the three seasons of its career 45 teams have chosen the car and 231 drivers have taken the wheel. It has won 43 titles.
A year to remember. The 488 GT3’s win count has steadily increased year by year, with the car clocking up its 100th victory in March 2018 in the PWC Championship courtesy of Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, and then sealing its 200th less than a year later at the Buriram race of the Asian Le Mans Series Championship courtesy of Car Guy team and of drivers James Calado, Kei Francesco Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura.
ALMS – CarGuy Ferrari triumphs at Buriram
Title practically won
Buriram, 12 January 2019 – Three wins out of there races, despite accidents, blizzards and penalties, the Ferrari 488 GT3 of the CarGuy team is now within sight of the Asian Le Mans Series GT title, and with it of an automatic qualification for the world’s most prestigious race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Chaos. However, the race was anything but straightforward, even if the Ferrari no. 11 soon found itself in the lead after its sister car #51 set off from pole, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Francesco Piovanetti and Oswaldo Negri Junior. The yellow Ferrari of Calado, Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura was involved in an accident with a prototype early in the race, while a few laps from the end it suffered a penalty for a pit stop infringement. However, none of this prevented the WEC world champion and his two Japanese teammates from winning ahead of the Audi of Tianshi Racing, crewed by Alex Au, Chen Wei An and Jean-Karl Vernay. Third place went to the Ferrari of Spirit of Race.
Championship. On its debut with Ferrari, CarGuy team and its drivers enjoy a 25-point lead over their nearest pursuers with a maximum of 26 still to be won. This means that if the Spirit of Race car doesn’t take pole position at Sepang for the 24 February race, the title would go to CarGuy without even having to start. Indeed, all that Calado, Cozzolino and Kimura need to do is finish the race to be mathematically certain of the title.
Autosport International – Ferrari stars in Birmingham
Presentation of Ferrari Challenge UK and Club Competizioni GT
Birmingham, 11 January 2019 – Ferrari is out in force at Autosport International in Birmingham, presenting its two major innovations for 2019: the Ferrari Challenge United Kingdom and Club Competizioni GT.
The stand. Ferrari has its own stand in Hall 2, on the mezzanine floor, where it is displaying the 488 Challenge and a 488 GTE. The two cars have special liveries for the two new programmes that Ferrari is launching this season.
Ferrari Challenge UK. Ferrari Challenge has not had a local series since the days of the Italian one. The Ferrari Challenge United Kingdom will now join the three continental championships (Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific) in offering local fans and drivers the excitement of the world’s most famous one-make championship. Competitors will need a National A License, while the car in use will obviously be the 488 Challenge, one of which is beautifully displayed in white with Union Jack on the bonnet and roof. The door carries a livery reminiscent of the classic London underground map, with the championship rounds taking the place of the stations. It starts on 25 April with the prologue at Brands Hatch, where the first race will be held on 18-19 May. Round two will be at Snetterton (22-23 June), round three at Croft (20-21 July) and round four at Silverstone on 21-22 September.
Club Competizioni GT. The other programme presented in Birmingham is Club Competizioni GT, represented by a 488 GTE whose livery depicts all the stages of the first season of this new activity. The Club opens the doors of prestigious circuits to its members, supplementing the track experience with first-class hospitality. Twelve Ferrari models are eligible to take part in Club Competizioni GT, ranging from the F40 Competizione of 1989 to the 488 GTE and GT3 currently available to Ferrari racing customers. The calendar for the first year includes events at extraordinarily glamorous tracks such as Mugello, which will host the first meeting on 9 and 10 April, Indianapolis, Fuji and Vallelunga, the track just outside Rome. Club Competizioni GT will also take part in the 2019 Finali Mondiali Ferrari, which this year will be at Mugello.
Asian Le Mans Series – Two Ferrari crews in search of glory at Buriram
Buriram, 10 January 2019 – The second half of the Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) championship begins at Buriram in Thailand over the weekend. Two Ferraris are set to start, both with a good chance of winning.
Out in front. The 488 GT3 of Ferrari debutant team Carguy tops the standings in the GT class. The car is crewed by official Ferrari driver, James Calado, and Japan’s Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura. The trio has won both races so far on the Shanghai and Fuji tracks and if the other Ferrari finishes off the podium a victory could even clinch the title for the Japanese team with a race still to run. The Asian Le Mans Series also offers places at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Pursuers. Up to this point, the Ferraris have literally dominated the scene, only yielding pole in Shanghai to their rivals. Indeed, in both races the 488 GT3 of Spirit of Race, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Oswaldo Negri Junior and Francesco Piovanetti, came second. The three are the main rivals of the other Ferrari, a very strange and paradoxical situation for Pier Guidi who usually pairs with Calado in the World Endurance Championship at the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 51. The race will start on Saturday, at dawn in Europe.
24H Series – The Scuderia Praha Ferrari on track at Dubai
Maranello, 9 January 2019 – The 24H Series season starts this weekend with the Dubai 24 Hours. This year’s race marks the start of the 2019 Championship of the Continents: next to the race in the United Arab Emirates as the Asian round of the championship, the best score from the two 24-hour races in Europe, the one in Portimao (5-7 July) and the one in Barcelona (30 August-1 September) as well as the result from the American round, the 24H COTA (15-17 November) are taken into account. To be eligible to score points, teams have to participate to a round on all three continents.
Huge field. In Dubai, a field of almost 80 cars is expected with 57 entries in the GT classes and 22 registrations in the TCE class. A total of 33 different nationalities is represented in the field, an impressive sign of the international status of the event. Interest from the Far East is particularly increasing with no less than 13 drivers from Hong Kong and seven from Japan.
Scuderia Praha. The A6 class for GT3 and similar GT cars is the largest category with 22 cars, including the Czech Ferrari team Bohemia Energy with Scuderia Praha, once again with Jiri Pisarik, Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli. The Ferrari team was runner-up both in the Teams’ and Drivers’ standings in last year’s European championship.
How to watch. Live streaming in HD quality with commentary from the Radio Show Limited team, well-known from IMSA Radio and Radio Le Mans, is available on the series’ website and Youtube channel as well as Motortrend on Demand. There will also be regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (24H Series). Qualifying will be Thursday at 16.15 while the race will start on Friday at 15 local time (12 CET).
Finali Mondiali return to Mugello
Maranello, 9 Jan 2019 – This year the Ferrari Finali Mondiali will return to Mugello, where the 2017 edition was held. The event for all Prancing Horse fans and enthusiasts from 24 to 27 October, will see the last races of the three series of the Ferrari Challenge in addition to the sessions of the special XX and F1 Clienti Programmes.
Intense year. The Mugello event will be the final act of a year packed with meetings that kicks off on 15 to 17 February with the Ferrari Challenge Europe, which makes its debut in Bahrain, with exciting night races on the Sakhir track. The North American series starts in Austin on the weekend of 8-10 March, while the Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific gets going the following week in Melbourne, alongside the season’s opening Formula 1 Grand Prix. Each championship consists of seven rounds of two races each. In 2019, the new local series, the Ferrari Challenge UK, has a calendar of four meetings with Race-1 on Saturday and Race-2 on Sunday.
F1 Clienti and XX Programmes. The other two Corse Clienti activities, F1 Clienti and XX Programmes, like the Ferrari Challenge Europe, will open their year in Bahrain from 14 to 17 February and will then wend their way around some of the world’s most beautiful tracks, such as Laguna Seca, venue of the North American Ferrari Racing Days, Suzuka and the Nürburgring. The legendary German circuit will host a very special activity for XX Programmes customers who, on Monday 8 July, will have a chance to drive their own laboratory cars on the so-called Green Hell of the Nordschleife, the 20 km plus track that hosted the German Formula 1 Grand Prix until 1976.
Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the Scuderia Ferrari
Maranello (Italy), January 7 2019 – After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team. The decision was taken together with the company’s top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio’s long term personal interests as well as those of the team itself.
Ferrari would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team’s increasing competiveness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his future endeavours.
With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari’s Team Principal. All technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia.
Ferrari Challenge Europe – Season Review 2018
A glorious year for Nielsen, Froggatt, Hurni and Cuhadaroglu
Maranello, 7 January 2019 – This year saw the 26th season of the Ferrari Challenge Europe, which produced four new champions, again showing the vibrancy of a series that since 1993 has allowed the brand’s sports customers to have some fun on the track.
Trofeo Pirelli. The young Dane Nicklas Nielsen totally dominated the season, sealing the title with a round to spare at Barcelona. Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126) was the only real challenger to the Formula Racing driver. The experienced German won two races (Race-1 at Silverstone and Race-2 at Misano) but was helpless against his rival’s overwhelming power. During the season Florian Merckx (Baron Motorsport) won Race-1 at Spa-Francorchamps and David Fumanelli (Rossocorsa), triumphed at home in Race-2 at Monza.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am was also wrapped up early with Briton Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB-H.R. Owen) collecting 10 wins to seal the deal at Barcelona. Only two drivers successfully deprived him of victory: Jan Danis (Scuderia Praha) in Race-2 at Mugello and the 21-year-old from Octane 126, Fabienne Wohlwend, who won three races in a row, Race-2 at Spa-Francorchamps and the two at Misano.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell was a lot harder fought, with a succession of twists and turns, especially towards the end of the season. Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) notched up his first two wins at Mugello, followed by Vladimir Hladik (Baron Motorsport) and Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne). Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) then overtook the Swiss driver in the standings, triumphing in Race-1 at Spa-Francorchamps and then twice at Misano. However, Hurni pulled off a great finale with victories at Brno, Barcelona and Monza, where he clinched the title. We should also mention the two triumphs (Barcelona and Monza) for Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) who became increasingly competitive as the season went on.
Coppa Shell Am. In the new Coppa Shell Am class Murat Cuhadaroglu became the second Turk to win a Ferrari Challenge title after Galip Atar in 2017. The Kessel Racing driver slugged it out all-season long with Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa) and Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing). Cuhadaroglu won five times and took the title ahead of Mattsson (three wins) and Nussbaumer who won as many as he did but collected fewer points along the way. Laurent De Meeus (Ferrari GB-H.R. Owen) won Race-1 at Monza, the only one not claimed by one of the three title contenders.
VLN – Season Review 2018
Racing One tames the Green Hell
Maranello, 6 January 2019 – Stephan Kohler and Christian Kohlhaas, together with Mike Jäger, who missed a round, wrote a page of motorsport history in 2018. The German crew at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Racing One, came third overall in the championship, but dominated the SP8 class of the VLN championship.
One track. This is a very special series consisting of nine rounds, always on the same legendary Nordschleife circuit of the Nürburgring, the so-called Green Hell. Racing One won every race in what was an unprecedented year.
Wochenspiegel Team Monschau. The two Ferrari 488 GT3s of Wochenspiegel Team Monschau also did very well. Car no. 22, in particular, with Georg Weiss, Oliver Kainz and Jochen Krumbach, came out on top five times in the Prestige class to take the title but also finished third twice, in the third and fourth round of the season. On the latter occasion, the Adenauer Rundstrecken Trophy, the Ferrari no. 11 of Leonard Weiss and Christian and Nico Menzel was second.
24H SERIES – Season Review 2018
Three victories for Ferrari of Scuderia Praha
Maranello, 5 January 2019 – The Ferrari 488 GT3 of Scuderia Praha, crewed by Jiri Pisarik, Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli, was extraordinarily competitive in the 24H Series season. The car clinched three wins and always finished among the points, even in the most difficult situations. After debuting in the European series with a fourth place at Silverstone, the Czech team won the 12 Hours of Navarra, failed in their assault on the 12 Hours of Imola but then triumphed at the 24 Hours of Portimao. In the fifth round at Barcelona, the three Ferrari drivers in car no. 11 held the lead for much of the race but finally had to settle for second place following a technical hitch. They then bounced back in the 12 hours of Spa-Francorchamps where they claimed their third victory, bringing Scuderia Praha in second position in the championship standings.
VdeV Endurance – Season Review 2018
Visiom dominates the season
Maranello, 5 January 2019 – Visiom Racing and its Ferrari 488 GT3 once again dominated the GTV1 class of the VdeV Endurance championship. Jean-Paul Pagny, Jean-Bernard Bouvet and Thierry Perrier only lost to their rivals in the first race at Barcelona, but then regularly got the better them, with victories (in chronological order) at Magny-Cours, the Paul Ricard, Dijon, Navarra, Le Mans, the shorter Bugatti circuit, and the Portuguese track of Estoril.
Nürburgring 24H – Season Review 2018
Ferrari of Team Monschau best in Pro-Am class
Maranello, 4 January 2019 – The 488 GT3 of Wochenspiegel Team Monschau, assisted by Rinaldi Racing, was the only Ferrari entered in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, completed the race and won the Pro-Am class. As always, the 23 km of the German track presented a series of hazards. In truth, the 2018 race lasted less than 24 hours due to severe bad weather.
Interruption. Having started in good conditions, a real storm hit the track in the early hours of the morning, putting many drivers in difficulty. After it blew over, the air temperature started to rise again with the water soon evaporating and turning to fog. Proceedings only resumed a few hours later.
Restart. In the end, the Ferrari of George Weiss, Jochen Krumbach, Oliver Kainz and Christian Menzel pulled off a grand finale to finish eighth overall. They were also the best car with a crew in the Pro-Am class.
Intercontinental GT Challenge – Season Review 2018
Rinaldi Racing wins at the 24 Hours of Spa
Maranello, 4 January 2019 – The Intercontinental GT Challenge is an SRO championship built around a number of iconic races on various continents. The 2018 calendar included the 12 Hours of Bathurst in March, in which no Ferrari crews took part, the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in July, the 10 Hours of Suzuka in August and the California 8 Hours in October.
Spa 24H. The Ferrari drivers and customer teams won no points in the standings, but did clock up two important results in the Pro-Am class. The first was the victory of the Rinaldi Racing 488 GT3 with David Perel, Alexander Mattschull, Daniel Keilwitz and Rinat Salikhov at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Suzuka 10H. The second was the second place obtained by the 488 GT3 of HubAuto Corsa at the 10 Hours of Suzuka, with Nick Foster, Hiroki Yoshida and David Perel again. The only Ferrari in the California 8 Hours, the 488 GT3 of Vital Speed Motorsport, driven by Trevor Baek, Marino Franchitti and Jeff Westphal, retired due to an accident after it had been up among the early leaders.
‘Michael 50’, Schumacher exhibition opens today
Fans from all over Europe flock to the Ferrari Museum
Maranello, 3 Jan 2019 – Fans and representatives of Scuderia Ferrari Clubs from all over Europe are flocking to the Ferrari Museum today for the opening of the ‘Michael 50’ exhibition on the occasion of the champion’s 50th birthday.
Maranello has put together a special exhibition telling the story of Michael Schumacher’s extraordinary record-breaking F1 career: the German champion won an as yet unequalled seven world titles, 91 victories, and 155 podiums.
The Hall of Victories displays some of the most important Ferrari single-seaters driven in his eleven years with the Scuderia. They range from the F310 of 1996, with which Schumacher won three GPs in his first season with the Prancing Horse, to the F399, the car that won the Constructors’ title in 1999 to set Formula 1’s oldest team off on an exceptional run of victories. There is also the F1-2000 of the legendary ‘Alba Rossa’ (‘Red Dawn’), when at Suzuka Michael secured Ferrari its first the world title since Jody Scheckter 21 years before. Then of course there are the record-breaking F2002 and F2004, and the 248 F1 of 2006, in which he triumphed at the Chinese GP for his 72nd and final victory with Ferrari.
Fans will also be introduced to a lesser-known side of Schumacher, that of developer. Indeed, after leaving Formula 1, the German driver remained at Ferrari not only to help the Scuderia but also to contribute to the development of various road cars, such as the 430 Scuderia in 2007 and the Ferrari California in 2008.
The exhibition will run alongside ‘Driven by Enzo’ and ‘Passion and Legend’, which are already open at the Maranello Museum.
‘Michael 50’ has been organised in partnership with the Keep Fighting Foundation.
FIA GT Nations Cup – Season Review 2018
Two Ferrari crews on the podium at Sakhir
Maranello, 3 January 2019 – The Ferrari 488 GT3 cars were key players in the first edition of the FIA GT Nations Cup reserved for GT3 vehicles and Silver and Bronze drivers. There were no less than nine cars from Maranello at the start and two of them managed to finish on the podium in the Main Race that decided the title. In fact, behind the Turkish crew that won the race, the Team Uk and Danish team’s cars finished, both managed by AF Corse.
Main Race. The Main Race, held under the artificial lighting of the Sakhir track, had a start that was chaotic to say the least with four cars ending up out of the race. This left Turkey’s Mercedes, the Team Uk Ferrari, the Russian one and the Danish 488 GT3 in the lead with the latter capable of a great start from tenth on the grid. In the final part of the race Turkey pulled away in front of Team Uk’s and Denmark’s Ferraris. The Russian 488 GT3 finished fourth and the Italian one sixth.
Blancpain GT Asia – Season Review 2018
Nick Foster and HubAuto Corsa close to the title
Maranello, 3 January 2018 – The two Ferrari customer teams in the Blancpain GT Asia championship enjoyed a good season, with both winning at least one race in their respective categories.
HubAuto Corsa. HubAuto Corsa deployed two 488 GT3s including Nick Foster’s no. 27, which was always up among the leaders. The Australian driver finished second having been in the running down to the final race. After starting the season with a second place at Buriram paired with Leo Ye Hongli, the Brisbane based driver teamed up with the experienced Jono Lester. The new pair scored a second place at Fuji and two victories at Shanghai and Ningbo, to put them in the mix for a great finish to the season.
ARN Racing. The team was placed fifth in the standings while ARN Racing, which deployed its 488 GT3 in Pro-Am and Am classes, won at Suzuka in this category with Shinji Takei and Hideki Nagai.
Pro-Am class. Morris Chen’s creditable eighth place in the Pro-Am class is worth a mention: he finished second at Fuji together with Davide Rigon, and third at Suzuka and Ningbo, along with Tim Slade.
CIGT – Season Review 2018
Four wins for Stefano Gai and Scuderia Baldini
Maranello, 2 January 2019 – Four wins and two podiums kept the Ferrari of Stefano Gai and Scuderia Baldini in the title race to the very end. Gai formed a stable partnership with Giancarlo Fisichella, except at Misano, where Michele Rugolo took his place.
Perfect start. The year began perfectly, with a first and second place at Imola, but only one podium came in the following five races. Gai returned to winning ways at Mugello, and again at Vallelunga, but did not pick up the points he had hoped for at Monza so went into the last round at Mugello five points behind Daniel Zampieri and Giacomo Altoé. However, a victory in Race-1, the fourth of the season, wasn’t enough for the title.
The other Ferraristi. In 2018, other teams and drivers also came to the fore: Daniel Mancinelli and Andrea Fontana won at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the 488 GT3 of Easy Race, while Antonio Fuoco and Eddie Cheever III were second at Vallelunga with Scuderia Baldini.
GT3 Light. In the GT3 Light, Matteo Cressoni, the victor at Misano with the 458 Italia GT3 of AF Corse, came second in the class standings while Marco Magli (Easy Race) won at Misano, Maurizio Ceresoli and Satoshi Tanaka (Composit Motorsport) at Vallelunga and Matteo Davenia (Easy Race) at Monza.
Blancpain GT Sports Club – Season Review 2018
Earle by a nose over Frers for the Iron Cup
Maranello, 2 January 2019 – Ferrari and its customer teams again triumphed in the Blancpain GT Sports Club championship. In particular, the head-to-head between Stephen Earle and Klaus-Dieter Frers was repeated in the Iron Cup, a competition exclusively for the most experienced drivers. The American from Kessel Racing and the German of Artega Rennsport shared the spoils at Monza in both the Qualifying Race on Saturday and the Main Race on Sunday. Frers then took off, winning the two races at the Paul Ricard, Misano and Spa-Francorchamps.
Comeback. However, Earle won the Qualifying Race in Budapest while Frers retired. He then pulled even closer to his rival by finishing first in the Main Race with his opponent only finishing third. So, the title hung on Barcelona where two wins were all that Earle needed to turn the tables.
Mission accomplished. And that’s exactly what happened, with him beating Frers by two points in an exciting finish. We should also note several other Ferrari victories in the overall class: Mario Cordoni (AF Corse) won the two races at Monza, Luigi Lucchini (BMS Scuderia Italia) did likewise at the Paul Ricard and Misano, while Patrick Van Glabecke (AF Corse) triumphed in the last race of the season at Barcelona.
Ferrari Challenge North America – Season Review 2018
Five new stars in America’s motorsport sky
Maranello, 31 December 2018 – This year the Ferrari Challenge North America celebrated its quarter century. The 25th season of the one-make series held in Canada and the United States, was marked as always by thrills and spectacle with heated duels and an array of drivers winning podium places.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli season saw a duel from first to last between reigning champion Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) and last year’s third placed driver, Cooper MacNeil (Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Beverly Hills). At Daytona, MacNeil won Race-1 ahead of Ludwig, but the positions were reversed the following day. At COTA, the Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Silicon Valley driver beat Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) in Race-1, while they both did poorly on Sunday. MacNeil’s victory on Saturday was counterbalanced by Ludwig’s subdued performance, but in Race-2 the Wide World Ferrari driver won while his rival went away empty-handed. This scenario repeated at Montreal and Watkins Glen while MacNeil took 32 points at Road Atlanta against Ludwig’s 34. At Monza, MacNeil wrapped it up in Race-1 winning his first Ferrari Challenge title.
Trofeo Pirelli Am. The Trofeo Pirelli Am was so hard-fought that four drivers arrived at the final round of Monza still in with a chance of the title. Rob Hodes of Scuderia CAVA-Ferrari of Washington, had long been at the top of the standings, with only two victories, Race-2 at both Daytona and COTA, but with five further podiums and four fourth places. Ross Chouest, on the other hand, suffered two mediocre weekends at Daytona and Laguna Seca but emerged in the second half of the year to bag three of the last four races at Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta where he did the double. In the final round, he won Race-1 so only needed a third place the next day to clinch the title.
Coppa Shell. Thomas Tippl, on the contrary, was the dominator in the Coppa Shell. The Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Beverly Hills driver was promoted to the Coppa Shell Am after the first race of the season and then literally dominated the scene, leaving just one win to Brian Kaminskey, Geoff Palermo and Mark Fuller, who finished in second place. Chris Carel came third in the championship standings.
Coppa Shell Am. Coppa Shell Am was clinched by rookie John Megrue (Ferrari of Long Island) winning seven races out of 14 at Daytona, Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta and Monza, in Race-1, with which he sealed the title. Kevan Millstein (Scuderia CAVA-Ferrari of San Diego) placed second, while Dale Katechis of Miller Motorcars finished third.
Trofeo Pirelli 458 Challenge EVO. The Trofeo Pirelli 458 Challenge EVO title for the cars that took part to the Trofeo Pirelli from 2011 to 2017, was only held in North America and had been reduced to just four rounds. Martin Burrowes of Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale dominated with five wins out of eight races. The other three went to John Farano (Ferrari of Ontario), James Walker (Ferrari of Houston) and Trevor Baek (Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo), the latter second and third in the championship.
Blancpain GT Sprint Cup – Season Review 2018
Two wins for Kessel Racing TP12
Maranello, 31 December 2018 – Carlo Van Dam and Piti Bhirombhakdi in the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Kessel Racing TP12 experienced all the ups and downs of an exciting season with a bitterly disappointing ending. The pair made a great start by winning both races at Zolder and the first at Brands Hatch. Then they recorded a long series of podiums to stay top of the championship standings until the final round at the Nürburgring.
Unhappy end. On Saturday on the German track the car of Kessel Racing TP12, starting from pole, came away empty handed for the first time in the season due to an accident. The following day, third place was not enough to regain their championship lead, so the team finished as runner-up.
Britcar – Season Review 2018
Triumph for David Mason and Ross Wylie
Maranello, 30 December 2018 – The Britcar championship saw several wins for Ferrari’s customer drivers plus the Class 1 title in the Sprint series. Once again, David Mason, with Ross Wylie in the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of FF Corse team, achieved his goal.
Seale. John Seale finished third in that championship, in the 488 Challenge of JMH Automotive and in a similar FF Corse car in two categories. Indeed, along with third place in Class 1, he also came second in Class 2A.
Overall. Mason and Wylie took second in the Overall standings. Ivor Dunbar and Johnny Mowlem also scored points in the 488 GT3 of FF Corse.
Blancpain GT Endurance Cup – Season Review 2018
Spirit of Race Pro-Am class champion
Maranello, 30 December 2018 – The 2018 Blancpain GT Series season will not go down as one of the luckiest for Ferrari teams and drivers. However, Spirit of Race took a Pro-Am class team title in the Endurance Cup, courtesy of the points accrued by Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin, along with Andrea Bertolini, Niek Hommerson and Louis Machiels. This helped the Swiss team beat its Strakka Racing rivals, while among the drivers Griffin and Cameron missed out on the winner’s laurels by just three points, despite their victory at the Paul Ricard. Third place went to Alexander Mattschull and Rinat Salikhov in the 488 GT3 of Rinaldi Racing, which won at Monza and the 24 Hours of Spa.
SMP Racing. The 488 GT3 of SMP Racing was hampered by bad luck in the Endurance Cup, despite often being the fastest car on track. The Ferrari driven by Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Mikhail Aleshin was impeded twice (Monza and Paul Ricard) by a couple of trivial problems when victory was almost within its grasp, while at the 24 Hours of Spa a puncture early on put paid to what looked like a certain good result. The only positive came in the last race in Barcelona, with a well-deserved podium.
Pirelli World Challenge – Season Review 2018
Ferrari dominates with R.Ferri Motorsport and Squadra Corse Garage Italia
Maranello, 29 December 2018 – The Pirelli World Challenge championship was dominated by the Ferrari 488 GT3. For the first time the championship was divided into two subclasses, one with the traditional format of one driver per car and the SprintX, which has double crews with mandatory driver change.
Vilander. Ferrari official driver Toni Vilander raced in both championships behind the wheel of the R.Ferri Motorsport team car, and was joined by his colleague Miguel Molina in the SprintX rounds. The Finnish driver used all his experience in solo races, bringing home points at every round, and taking care not to risk too much by going for the win. However, he was more aggressive when racing with Molina, emulating the Spaniard, and notching up many wins. As a result, Vilander and Molina easily took the SprintX title and Toni wrapped up the overall standings with a race to go.
Am class. It was similar in the Am class for Martin Fuentes who was joined by Caesar Bacarella in the SprintX races. We should also mention some good races by Daniel Mancinelli, winner at Long Beach, and the pair Wei Lu-Jeff Segal in the Ferrari 488 GT3 of TR3 Racing.
British GT Cup – Season Review 2018
Bailey and Glew dominate the championship
Maranello 29 December 2018 – Paul Bailey and Phil Glew dominated the GTC class of the British GT Cup championship. They enjoyed a perfect season in the 488 Challenge car of SB Race Engineering, picking up points in every race and also collecting a number of wins. They triumphed at Spa-Francorchamps in Race-2, at Snetterton in Race-3, and then again at Donington Park in Race-1 and Race-3.
Other wins. Other Ferrari customer drivers also notched up victories, although they were less consistent in terms of results. In Race-1 at Brands Hatch, Chris Froggatt and John Sawbridge scored a hat trick in the colours of FF Corse, while in Race-1 at Spa-Francorchamps Christoforou Pantelis and Fulvio Mussi donned the winner’s laurels, again with FF Corse. John Seale grabbed the glory at Snetterton in the 488 Challenge of JMH Automotive, and repeated the feat in Race-1 and Race-3 at Donington Park. John Dhillon also did the double at Snetterton in the 488 Challenge of Spirit of Race.
Le Mans Cup – Season Review 2018
Ferrari teams dominate the scene
Maranello, 28 December 2018 – Ferrari drivers and customer teams in the Le Mans Cup, which is open to GT3 and LMP3 cars, won six out of six races and monopolised the top four positions in the Drivers’ and Teams’ standings.
Five out of seven. Sergio Pianezzola and Giacomo Piccini did the lion’s share of the work with five wins out of seven races in the 488 GT3 of Kessel Racing, triumphing at the Paul Ricard, Monza, Spielberg, Spa-Francorchamps and Portimao to qualify for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most important race in the world. Paradoxically, the only track that Pianezzola and Piccini failed to conquer was Le Mans, where two races were held.
Le Mans. On the historic French track Spirit of Race and AF Corse, with two Ferrari 488 GT3s, respectively won Race-1 with Marco Cioci and Piergiuseppe Perazzini and Race-2, with Christoph Ulrich and Maurizio Mediani. To these successes the three podiums of Claudio Schiavoni and Andrea Piccini, with the second car of Kessel Racing, must be added.
Australian GT Series – Season Review 2018
Dave Stevens wins in Sydney
Maranello, 28 December 2018 – The 2018 Australian GT championships were rather unsatisfactory for Ferrari teams and drivers. Maranello Motorsport suffered an accident and didn’t have much success.
Podium in Melbourne. One highlight was the second place of the 488 GT3 of Maranello Motorsport driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Peter Edwards in Race-2 at Melbourne, on the same weekend as the Formula 1 Grand Prix. However, there was nothing else to shout about in the main GT championship.
GT Trophy. A few other results came from the GT Trophy Series with three Ferrari teams and four drivers. Dave Stevens was the best of these, winning in Sydney with a 458 Italia GT3 and amassing a few podiums to finish the season in fourth overall. John Nikolovski and James Arratoon also competed with the 458 Challenge EVO of Aranik Racing along with Wayne Mack with the 458 Italia GT3 of team Mack Bros Roofing Products.
GT Open – Season Review 2018
Mikkel Mac and Luzich Racing 2018 champions
Maranello, 27 December 2018 – One of the greatest triumphs of 2018 came in the International GT Open Championship, which was highly competitive again this year with a full contingent of drivers and cars. Denmark’s Mikkel Mac raced for US team Luzich Racing that won on its competitive debut.
With Pier Guidi. Mac was assisted throughout the year by reigning FIA WEC world champion Alessandro Pier Guidi and Marco Cioci. The Dane finished consistently in the points and scored four decisive victories when paired with Pier Guidi: two at Estoril on the opening weekend, one at Spa-Francorchamps and one at Monza.
Other wins. There were also wins for Daniele Di Amato and Andrea Montermini at the Paul Ricard in the 488 GT3 of RS Racing and for Serra and Cioci at the Hungaroring and at Silverstone. In Pro-Am class, we should mention Eddie Cheever III and Nicklas Nielsen’s success at Monza, Alexander West and Michele Rugolo’s four podiums for Luzich Racing, David Perel and Rinat Salikhov’s two podiums with the 488 GT3 of Rinaldi Racing and Rinat Salikhov’s victory in the Am class at Spa-Francorchamps.
ADAC GT Masters – Season Review 2018
A podium for HB Racing
Maranello, 26 December 2018 – In 2018, Ferrari returned full season to the German ADAC GT Masters championship. HB Racing, with the technical support of Rinaldi Racing, deployed a 488 GT3 for Luca Ludwig (his father Klaus, was a GT and DTM star of the 1980s and 1990s).
Podium in Oschersleben. The German driver made the podium in the second race of the season, at Oschersleben. He also picked up a fourth at Most and two seventh places at Spielberg and Hocknheim.
Driver change. He started the season with Dominik Schwager but was later joined by official Ferrari driver, Davide Rigon. In the end, Ludwig finished just outside the top ten, while HB Racing team came fifth in the standings.
ALMS – Season Review 2018
A victory for Fist Team AAI
Maranello, 26 December 2018 – Ferrari almost notched up a second consecutive win in the Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS). This was courtesy of Fist Team AAI, which switched to a Ferrari 488 GT3 from the second race after competing with another manufacturer’s car in the first outing.
Runner-up spot for Millroy. Ollie Millroy finished the season in second, mainly due to an unlucky race at Buriram. However, Millroy, Yu Lam, the team’s true deus ex machina, and Marco Cioci still had the satisfaction of winning a race, dominating in Fuji ahead of the BMW of Jesse Krohn and Jun San Chen who went away with the title. The team finished second in their rankings.
IMSA – Season Review 2018
Perfect end of the year for Scuderia Corsa
Maranello, 24 December 2018 – The 488 GT3 no. 63 of Scuderia Corsa driven by Cooper MacNeil was the only Ferrari to compete in the entire IMSA championship. Several drivers joined him throughout the season. The Californian team’s season was marked by ups and downs.
Positive season. A disappointing 24 Hours of Daytona was offset by second place at the 12 Hours of Sebring in which the American driver competed with Alessandro Balzan and Gunnar Jeannette. MacNeil grew in strength as the season drew to a close, with two third places at Lime Rock and Road America together with Jeannette and FIA WEC world champion, Alessandro Pier Guidi, before ending with a sensational victory in the Petit Le Mans with Jeannette and the very fast poleman Daniel Serra.
Risi Competizione. Risi Competizione’s season was very different, competing in just three races (Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans): its best result was two fifth places in the two longest races. The team finished in ninth place at the Petit Le Mans.
Thailand Super Series – Season Review 2018
Patamapongse wins title
Maranello, 24 December 2018 – Four teams and nine drivers raced Ferrari cars in the Super Car category of the Thailand Super Series. The customer drivers notched up several race wins plus the Am class title, which went to Nattaphol Patamapongse in the 458 Challenge EVO of GoPro Thailand Racing. The Thai driver won three races against two for habitual winner of the Ferrari Challenge APAC Ladies’ Cup, Kanthicha Chimsiri, who had to make do with second place in the car of the CTS Singha Motorsport.
Plus class. In the Plus class, Voravud Bhirombhakdi and Carlo Van Dam won the fifth round in the 488 GT3 of Singha Motorsport Team Thailand. The pair finished fourth in the championship with three other podium finishes.
Pro class. In the Pro-Am class Tin Sritai and Kantasak Kusiri triumphed in the sixth race of the season with Sritai recording another two podium finishes and third place in the championship standings.
CIVM – Season Review 2018
Peruggini nicks it in the last race
Maranello, 23 December 2018 – The Italian Hillclimb Championship (CIVM) saw another great season. Lucio Peruggini again kept the Ferrari colours high, starting the year superbly with the 458 Italia GT3 of AB Motorsport.
Head to head. Peruggini won all the early rounds, but from mid-season onwards had a very combative rival in Marco Iacoangeli. The two slugged it out race after race and only at the last round, the Luzzi-Sambucina, Peruggini managed to wrap things up. It was a hard-fought win but all the sweeter for it.
Gaetani and Colella. Luca Gaetani also collected six podiums in another 458 Italia GT3 for Vimotorsport. Ferrari’s drivers and customer teams also did well in other classes. Roberto Ragazzi totally dominated the GT Cup class with the 458 Challenge EVO of Superchallenge team, while Tommaso Colella won the GTS class with a glorious privately entered F430, followed by teammate Luigi Perchinunno.
ELMS – Season Review 2018
JMW Motorsport seals a trip to Le Mans
Maranello, 23 December 2018 – JMW Motorsport will be once again on the grid in the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans as the Ferrari customer team finished second in the European Le Mans Series championship. The other top level Ferrari team, Spirit of Race, was fourth in the championship won by the no. 88 Porsche of Proton Competition.
Paul Ricard. The season opened with an extraordinary triumph over the Porsche, sealed on the last lap by an unstoppable Miguel Molina in the JMW Motorsport 488 GTE together with Liam Griffin and Alex MacDowall, while at Monza Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Aaron Scott dominated, winning by almost a lap ahead, courtesy of a near perfect race strategy by the Spirit of Race pitwall.
Silverstone. JMW Motorsport’s season was hit by Spielberg’s zero in the third race, due to a technical failure, because otherwise car no. 66 was always involved in thrilling battles, like at Silverstone when it beat the Porsche by a mere tenth of a second. On the other side, Spirit of Race’s season never quite recovered from the retirement in the first race of the season at the Paul Ricard Circuit.
FIA WEC – Season Review 2018
Silverstone’s win the highlight of the first half of the Super Season
Maranello, 22 December 2018 – The 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship is the first season to span two calendar years, following a trend begun by Formula E. The championship opened in May with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps but only five races have been held so far and the Ferrari cars of AF Corse have enjoyed mixed results. In the GTE-Pro class at Spa-Francorchamps, the 488 GTE no. 51 was involved in a contact in the pit lane while a determined Davide Rigon drove no. 71 to a podium finish, taking advantage of excellent tyre management to overtake the Porsche of Lietz-Bruni on the last lap. The harsh Balance of Performance (BoP) that disadvantaged the Ferrari after they had dominated in 2017 played a big factor. It reduced the performance benefits of the Evo kit introduced this year, practically to zero in terms of results.
Le Mans. Then, in the second race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, BoP again ruled out any chance of victory for the 488 GTEs, even though AF Corse had also added a third car. In the end, both Calado-Pier Guidi-Serra in no. 51 and Rigon-Bird-Molina in no. 71 were delayed by a puncture and a collision with a car part left on the track. The best Ferrari was then car no. 52 in fifth, crewed by Antonio Giovinazzi, Toni Vilander and Pipo Derani. The Ferrari of Spirit of Race and Keating Motorsport with, respectively, Giancarlo Fisichella, Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, and Ben Keating, Luca Stolz, and Jeroen Bleekemolen, took second and third place in the GTE-Am class.
Triumph. The third race of the year, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, saw an extraordinary strategic triumph for James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi who, unable to compete with their higher performing rivals in terms of pure performance, prevailed in the end through clever management of fuel consumption and tyres. However, the two races in Asia yielded no joy. There are three races left for completing the Super Season that will be held in the first half of 2019: the Sebring 1000 Miles on March, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May and the second 24 Hours of Le Mans of the championship on June.
Michael 50’ at Ferrari Museum
The Schumacher exhibition to open on 3 January 2019
The Ferrari Museum is dedicating a special exhibition to Michael Schumacher, which will open on the occasion of his 50th birthday on 3 January 2019. It is intended both as a celebration and a mark of gratitude to the most successful Prancing Horse driver ever.
Schumacher has a special place in Ferrari’s history, which has been marked by his many records. Between 1996 and 2006 the German champion won five consecutive Drivers’ titles, from 2000 to 2004, and made a major contribution to the Scuderia’s haul of six Manufacturers’ titles over those years.
The Museum’s rooms will look back over the memorable seasons that the seven-time World Champion gifted to all Ferraristi, and that created a legend now bigger than ever in the hearts of all fans.
The exhibition will also show Michael’s crucial contribution to the development of extraordinary GT cars in his years at Maranello, as a driver and later as a consultant.
The ‘Michael 50’ exhibition is in collaboration with the Keep Fighting Foundation.