Posted: 25.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maurizio Arrivabene: “I think that everything that happened today was clear to see for everyone, starting with the incident on the opening lap, with Kimi pushed into the barrier, then what happened to Sebastian on the restart lap after the Safety Car. We don’t want to get into an argument but I think I can say that some decisions that were not entirely clear, never worked in favour of our team. We fought hard even if the results don’t show it. Today, our car was on the pace and that was clear to see. The team demonstrated its strengths, from changing the engine on Seb’s car on Saturday to the work done on Kimi’s when the race was red flagged, to get it back out on track, despite the damage it had suffered. That’s Ferrari for you. We let our actions speak for us. We will continue in that vein immediately, in preparation for the remaining twelve races starting with the Austrian GP, with even more determination than before.”
Sebastian Vettel: “First of all, I think that today the car was very good. The pace was strong in the race. I think you could see that we were losing a bit here and there, but overall it was a good race. It was a very busy start, and Vallteri was very aggressive. As for what happened at the restart from the safety car, I don’t know why I got the penalty and Lewis didn’t. It’s disappointing, because it could have been a better result. I don’t have a problem with Lewis but I just think that what he did on the track was not ok. By now the decision is done but, in an episode like this one, I still think that if you give out a penalty, then it should be to both drivers.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today many things happened that were out of our hands and unfortunately we paid a big price. After the start, at the second corner, I got hit by Bottas; I don’t know what he was doing, he braked very early but probably he noticed that and let the brakes off, went too fast and hit me. Because of that the rear end of my car hit the wall and I had a massive damage. We were able to keep going but then I was unlucky. The two Force Indias collided, some debris flew off and destroyed my rear tire. As a consequence my whole floor and the rear wing were damaged and we decided to retire. When the red flag stopped the race we thought that we might try and go back on track. The mechanics did and amazing job, managed to change the floor and the endplate in a very short time. But obviously my car was still not perfect and we decided to stop. It’s not a good day when your car retires twice in a race. I’m disappointed because, without all these things happening, my car would have been good. There’s nothing else we could have done, we tried our best.”
Posted: 25.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
A crazy race but Seb extends his championship lead. Kimi out
Baku, 25 June – In the most amazing race of the season so far and possibly in the history of the sport, Seb Vettel took a fourth place which sees him extend his Drivers’ Championship lead to 14 points over his nearest rival. Unfortunately Kimi had to retire because of damage following a collision shortly after the start.
Just two corners in and already it was all kicking off, with Kimi pushed into the right hand side wall, when he had already got ahead of Bottas round the outside, with the Mercedes suffering a broken front wing. Seb found himself second behind Hamilton, with the other Ferrari still running in fifth. On lap 9, Seb set a fastest lap and he was less than 4 seconds off the leader. Kimi’s SF70H was no longer in good shape, but the duel between Perez and Verstappen ahead of him meant he was able to stay in touch. The Red Bull then had engine problems and the Iceman moved up one place.
Lap 12 and Kvyat parked at the side of the track, which brought out the safety car and Seb dashed into the pits to fit the Softs, with Kimi immediately doing the same. The neutral period changed everyone’s strategy, with fuel consumption now less of a concern, but keeping tyres up to temperature was more worrying.
The race resumed on lap 17 and Seb was doing a sterling job of fending off Perez, although Kimi couldn’t do the same and thus lost two places. But then the safety car had to come out again immediately because of debris on track, with a barge board on Kimi’s car shattering. The drivers had to drive through pit lane while the track was cleaned, then Hamilton slowed too much, with Seb almost running in to him which angered the Ferrari man. Then at the restart, Kimi got a right rear puncture from the debris of Perez’s Force India. The race was neutralised yet again and Raikkonen headed for the pits. But his tyre disintegrated, causing more damage and he had to retire. Shortly after that, the red flag was shown and the long break gave our mechanics time to perform another miracle on Kimi’s car to get him back out on track for the restart. But the work carried out in the “fast lane” to remove a broken component, led to an investigation. The race restarted at 18.18, with 27 laps remaining and this time Seb made a forceful attack, while simultaneously fending off Ricciardo. With everyone running Supersofts to the finish, the pace hotted up again.
That wasn’t the end of it. Hamilton had to stop to fix his loose head rest and at the same time, Seb was informed he had a 10 second stop-go penalty for “dangerous driving.” He came down pit lane and came out…in front of the Mercedes! And then it was Kimi’s turn to take a drive-through for the pit lane repairs.
On lap 36, the order was Ricciardo-Stroll-Magnussen-Ocon-Bottas, followed by Seb and Hamilton duelling it out. Vettel dispensed with Magnussen to go fifth. Then he overtook Ocon under braking for Turn 1 and for one lap the Force India was a buffer between him and his pursuers. Then it was a case of smashing the sector times and Seb set the quickest lap on lap 45. Three laps later, Kimi pitted for a final time, congratulating his mechanics, “Great work all the same.”
The final lap seemed to last forever and by the skin of his teeth, Sebastian held on to a fourth place which almost felt like a win.
Posted: 25.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Budapest, 25 June 2017 – Daniele Di Amato, Chris Froggatt and Johnny Laursen won the second set of Ferrari Challenge races in the third round of the European series held over the weekend at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest.
Trofeo Pirelli. The day again kicked off with the Trofeo Pirelli. Daniele Di Amato confirmed his great form by pulling away from the start after securing another pole position. Fabio Leimer (Octane 126) followed him in the 488 Challenge of CDP, while Sam Smeeth, Alessandro Vezzoni, Philipp Baron and Andrea Gagliardini were involved in a great battle for third. At midrace Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) pulled off a brilliant attack on Sam Smeeth at the end of the main straight, taking third position and leaving the British Stratstone Ferrari driver and the Austrian from Rossocorsa to fight it out for fourth. This victory consolidated Di Amato’s lead in the standings ahead of Leimer.
Pirelli Am. In the Pirelli Am class Martin Nelson had another tricky day on the Budapest circuit. Scuderia Autoropa’s championship leader went into a spin at the fifth corner and had to resume from last. Chris Froggatt (HR Owen) then found himself in the lead followed by Canada’s Josh Cartu, driving for Ferrari Budapest. However, Cartu had to let go of any idea of winning because he was under pressure from Jens Liebhauser (Gohm Motorsport) who after a difficult start pulled off a great recovery. The Race-1 winner overtook Cartu on the last lap to maintain his record of a podium finish in every race this season. This was Froggatt’s first victory in the Ferrari Challenge.
Coppa Shell. Johnny Laursen (Formula Racing) triumphed in the Coppa Shell after starting fastest from pole and managing to hold off Thomas Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing). Fons Scheltema and Erich Prinoth came into contact on the second corner with the Kessel Racing man keeping ahead of his Ineco-MP Racing rival. A little later, Manuela Gostner went into a spin after bumping with Vladimir Hladik (Baron Service) and was forced to retire. Laursen crossed the line first ahead of Gostner, who secured a first career podium along with victory in the Gentlemen’s Cup, while Prinoth was placed third after passing Scheltema in the final laps. The Ladies’ Cup went to Tina Kok (Formula Racing).
The next race at Le Castellet is from 21 to 23 July.
Posted: 24.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari drivers confident about the race
Baku, June 24th – Scuderia Ferrari drivers managed to lock out the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix after an eventful P3 session, in which our mechanics did another splendid job of rebuilding Seb’s car after a precautionary engine change, following a hydraulic issue.
Kimi was third fastest in qualifying and commented: “The whole weekend has been about making the tires work well and today we struggled a bit more than yesterday. If you can get them working 100% on one lap you can easily go a lot faster, but it was not the case today. When we were able to switch the tires on, the car felt nice, but this feeling kept changing from lap to lap and from set to set. I did not feel comfortable going into the first corner and could not push so hard. It was easy to slide or make a small mistake. It was always on the edge of working and not working, but on the last lap it felt a bit better. Third place is obviously not a disaster, I take it happily. I think we did the best we could achieve today. In the race, with more laps, the tires should start working better. I’m positive that we are going to be a lot closer to our competitors”.
Sebastian didn’t use his car troubles to make any excuses: “The result is ok, but obviously I am not entirely happy and this qualifying didn’t help. I don’t have excuses, I could have done better. I think I had the rhythm at the end but just didn’t get everything right. We were not quick enough, but tomorrow I think we still have a good chance. The car has been fast during the races and that was the case yesterday too, on the long-runs. So, let’s see what happens. The start of my qualifying session was a bit slow, then by Q2 I think I had the car under control. But my Q3 was not ideal. I had to stop at the end of the pit-lane when the red flag came out and my tires got cold. Tomorrow, anyway, it could be a different story.”
Posted: 24.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Baku qualifying: Kimi ahead of Seb
Baku, 24 June – As qualifying came to an end in Azerbaijan, Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest with a time of 1:41.693. His German team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fourth in 1:41.841. The mechanics did a great job in the garage to get Seb’s SF70H ready in time for the session, fixing the hydraulic problem that developed in free practice. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers ran Supersoft tyres for the entire session.
Posted: 24.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Seb 12th, held up with an hydraulic problem
Baku, 24 June – Ferrari finished second and twelfth in the third and final free practice session at the Baku circuit. Kimi Raikkonen posted a time of 1:42 837, running a set of Supersofts, as did Sebastian Vettel. The German managed a best time of 1:44.344 before a fluid leak on his car meant the system had to be checked over. Qualifying gets underway on the Azerbaijani track at 17h00 local time.
Posted: 24.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Budapest, 24 June 2017 – Daniele Di Amato, Jens Liebhauser and Eric Cheung won the first two races of the Ferrari Challenge in Budapest, in a third round of the European series packed with spectacle and excitement.
Trofeo Pirelli. The day kicked off with the Trofeo Pirelli. Daniele Di Amato, dominant at Monza with the 488 Challenge of CDP, was fastest off the mark from pole, immediately outpacing the rest. Alessandro Vezzoni, Fabio Leimer, Philipp Baron and Andrea Gagliardini put on a show behind him. Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) initially managed to hold onto third but soon had a fight on his hands with Leimer (Octane 126) who started to press hard. A little further back it was the same story for Baron, unusually in trouble with the 488 Challenge of Rossocorsa, and his challenger Gagliardini (CDP). At midpoint, Leimer passed Vezzoni with a wonderful piece of overtaking and then was hot on the tail of Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari). Gagliardini also managed to pass Baron but did so by cutting the chicane midway and so was forced to yield the position. The deck was shuffled yet again the final part of the race. Di Amato drove undisturbed but Leimer went into a spin while trying to overtake Smeeth and ended up behind Vezzoni once more. Di Amato and Smeeth crossed the finish line unchallenged, while at the final corner four cars were in the mix for third place, with Vezzoni winning out over Leimer, Baron and Gagliardini. Di Amato is the new championship leader.
Pirelli Am. The drama in the Pirelli Am class all took place in the early laps. At the start Chris Froggatt (HR Owen) collided with championship leader Martin Nelson, forcing the Scuderia Autoropa driver to retire. Jens Liebhauser was undisturbed in first, while Gerald Aubock (Gohm Motorsport), Christian Overgaard (Scuderia Autoropa), Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) and Ferrari Budapest driver Josh Cartu battled it out for the podium. The latter knocked Rocca off the track on the second corner and received a drive-through penalty. Aubock and Overgaard carried on the fight, with the Danish driver eventually beating the Austrian to secure his first podium with the 488 Challenge to add to the others he has won with the F430. Liebhauser carried off the first winner’s laurels that had just escaped his grasp at Monza when the German Gohm Motorsport driver had run out of fuel on the final straight. Nelson still tops the standings despite today’s retirement.
Coppa Shell. The second race of the day, the Coppa Shell, kicked off in the afternoon with Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) who clocked the best time in qualifying, but was relegated to the sixth row due to a penalty picked up in the previous round at Monza. The actual poleman Johnny Laursen (Formula Racing) was immediately overtaken by teammate Eric Cheung with a brilliant manoeuvre on the outside at the first corner. At midrace, Eric Prinoth and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) came into contact, with the latter forced to retire. It was a great race for Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing), seventh in the overall standings and winner of the Ladies’ Cup. Cheung managed to keep Laursen at bay to the end for the overall win along with victory in the Gentlemen’s Cup. He was the fifth different winner in five races of this season’s Coppa Shell. Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing) finished third, ahead of Thomas Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing). The programme repeats itself on Sunday with the Coppa Shell at 12:50 pm and the Trofeo Pirelli at 3:35 pm.
Posted: 23.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Kimi and Seb 4th and 5th at the end of P2
Baku, June 23rd – The first day of practice at Baku circuit is always interesting, with drivers using a lot of the run-off areas and trying out their reverse gear. The compromise between the fast and the twisty section means that, in the latter, drivers must rely heavily on mechanical grip – which is questionable on Friday. Different choices of set-up though, meant the times were very close. Kimi ended up fourth quickest with a 1min 43.489 seconds, while Seb recorded a best personal lap time of 1min 43.615s. The long runs were even more encouraging for the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, ahead of a long preparation for tomorrow’s P3 and Qualifying sessions.“The most challenging part of the day was to make the tires work”, said Kimi “to get them hot enough. And obviously, when they are not performing 100%, it’s a bit tricky out there on the track. The car feels ok, but we still have to work on that. If you manage to do that, then everything is a lot easier”. Seb’s comments reflect what was basically a day of learning: “We tried something in the afternoon, but I think it is difficult to find the rhythm here as the track is not easy. I believe I was not the only one to go down the escape roads. However, tomorrow is another day. I think we are close. Red Bull is very fast and today it was not just for one lap but throughout both sessions. However, I was pretty happy with our overall job. The straight here is very long, so you have to make sure you are quick enough there. Maybe we may still want to try a couple of things even tomorrow”.
Posted: 23.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Seb 3rd and Kimi 9th: Ferrari only ran the Softs
Baku – Formula 1 has moved on from Canada to Azerbaijan, the street circuit that made its debut last year. As expected, the track was still very dirty for the first free practice session. Sebastian Vettel was third fastest in 1:44.967 the fastest of those drivers who only used the Soft compound. Kimi Raikkonen was ninth in 1:46.000 and he wasn’t able to push to the limit because the session was stopped after Perez crashed.
Posted: 22.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Kimi, Seb gearing up for “specific layout” track
Baku, June 22nd – A different track and a different challenge await the Scuderia Ferrari drivers in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. That’s how Kimi Raikkonen describes the newest circuit in the F1 calendar: “The Baku track is a unique place. It’s a street circuit, but nothing like Monaco and more similar to Singapore, with long straights and very narrow sections. Last year it was the first time we were racing here and it was difficult. It was very hot and quite tricky on the tire side, not very easy to manage. This year being the second time here, it should be easier for everybody, even though the cars are different and we have slightly different tires. Today it’s a bit cooler, but it is supposed to heat up over the weekend; let’s see how the weather will turn out. Last year there were many teams that proved to be fast and you would not expect that; maybe it will be the same thing this year, maybe not. As for us, we have been quite good everywhere this season; obviously there are stronger and weaker places, but our base level is quite strong and we expect to be in the fight. Then it’s a question of putting all the things together and try to be the fastest team”.
Sebastian Vettel is also looking forward to the weekend: “In Canada we didn’t have an ideal race. But I think we had a good recovery from there. Now, we’ll see what happens during this weekend. This is a different track with a specific layout. Last year we did a god job here in Baku. We finished second, struggled a little bit on Friday, but managed to recover well on Saturday. Now we are working real well in the team and I think things are coming together”.
Posted: 23.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maygorod, 23 June 2017 – With two races at the Hungaroring track on the outskirts of Budapest, the Ferrari Challenge Europe reaches the halfway mark ahead of a final round at the Paul Ricard before the summer break.
Trofeo Pirelli. Fabio Leimer, winner of Valencia Race-1, tops the Trofeo Pirelli standings. The Swiss, who drives for Octane 126, has a three-point lead over Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa), always in the podium places in the first four races. Daniele Di Amato (CDP), who dominated at Monza, lags 10 points behind the leader. Then after a weekend off, Bjorn Grossmann is back in the second 488 Challenge of Octane 126.
Pirelli Am. Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) has won all four races so far in the Trofeo Pirelli Am class and is 30 points ahead of Jens Liebhauser of Gohm Motorsport, finishing on the podium in every race so far this year. Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa), with two podiums at Monza, lies two points behind.
Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell, Johnny Laursen (Formula Racing), with a victory, a podium and two fourth places, has a 13-point advantage over Rick Lovat (Kessel Racing) and Eric Cheung (Formula Racing), two of the Challenge’s most experienced drivers. Lovat also leads the Gentlemen Cup for the over-55s. In the Ladies Cup, Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) returns after Valencia with ground to make up on Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126), who took the lead with a fifth place at Monza.
Programme. Free practices are programmed for Thursday. Qualifying is on Saturday and Sunday at 9 am and 11:30 am. The races are at 12:50 pm (Trofeo Pirelli) and at 3:35 pm (Coppa Shell) on both on Saturday and Sunday, and are also streamed in English at http://live.ferrari.com/.
Posted: 20.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
“Street” and super quick: Baku is a set-up puzzle
Baku, 19 June – It’s the “youngest” circuit on the calendar and, at 6.003 kilometres, the second longest after Spa. It is undoubtedly one of the most unusual tracks on the Formula 1 calendar. It is a street circuit, running through the centre of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, but nevertheless it boasts a straight of 2.1 kilometres, which is over a third of the total distance and is tackled flat out. Last year, the highest recorded speed was in excess of 378 km/h. This year, it is unlikely the F1 cars will hit those sort of numbers because of their increased downforce and wider wheels. However, finding the right set-up for Baku will still be a difficult task for drivers and engineers, because when deciding on the optimal level of aerodynamic downforce, one has to weigh up the demands of the slowest section, with the need for speed down the straights. This type of circuit also requires excellent traction in the twistier corner and it is also tough when it comes to energy recovery. S
cuderia Ferrari’s advance party already arrived in the capital city on the banks of the Caspian Sea over the weekend. Indeed, just like the circuit, the city itself has two sides: one, dynamic and modern, the other more historic and friendly. The forecast is for sunny weather, but cooler than the heatwave conditions affecting parts of Europe at the moment. Pirelli is bringing its Medium, Soft and Supersoft compounds, as degradation here is higher than in Monaco and Montreal.
Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have gone for the same tyre choices: one set with the white stripe, four of yellow and eight of the softest compound that bear the red band. Last year, Seb finished second, while Kimi lost out on a podium place because of a penalty. The 2016 pole was 1’42”758 and it’s expected that this time will be beaten by some margin.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Clean sweep for 488 GTE-Am Class
Posted: 18.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 18 June 2017 – The 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans brought Ferrari a clean sweep of the podium, a fifth place and two disappointments in the two GT classes. Victory for the third consecutive year came in the GTE-Am class where the 488 GTE literally dominated. The car of JMW Motorsport won with a lap advantage over everyone. The British team was making its debut with the new berlinetta, driven by Robert Smith, Dries Vanthoor and Will Stevens. Marco Cioci, Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott came second with the 488 GTE no. 55 of Spirit of Race, while third place went to the 2016 winners, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell, along with Cooper MacNeil in the 488 GTE of Scuderia Corsa. Things went less well in the GTE-Pro class where only the Ferrari no. 71 of AF Corse, driven by Davide Rigon, Sam Bird and Miguel Molina, finished in the points. However, James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Michele Rugolo in car no. 51 were entirely out of luck, knocked out due to a misunderstanding with a lapped car that destroyed a radiator. The same held for the 488 no. 82 of Risi Competizione driven by Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer, which was struck and put out of action due to a crazy manoeuvre by Mathieu Vaxiviere in the Oreca of TDS Racing. The class win went to the Aston Martin of Turner-Adam-Serra, while the overall laurels were taken by the Porsche no. 2 of Bernhard-Bamberg-Hartley.
GTE-Pro. Alessandro Pier Guidi pulled off a lightning start in the 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse to overtake the Aston Martin of Turner-Adam-Serra and lead the group. In contrast, Sam Bird lost a position in no. 71, while Toni Vilander began well in 11th and started to make up ground. However, the Aston Martins, with their much faster speed on the straight, soon took the lead with Thiim-Stanaway-Sorensen in no. 95 pulling away from their teammates. The first major incident struck on the fourth hour when a ridiculous manoeuvre by Mathieu Vaxiviere at the second Hunaudières chicane literally smashed the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione and its current driver Pierre Kaffer, into the barriers. Miguel Molina in 488 no. 71 only escaped the accident by a whisper. However, this car really experienced a very difficult night firstly with a drive-through for exceeding track limits, then with a puncture that lost it valuable seconds and finally two slow zones, which were introduced when the first half of the GT group had already passed, thus only penalising the cars that were already behind. A series of Safety Cars in the night left both Ferraris in the leading group by the morning with no. 51 in the third place and no. 71 further behind. As the seventeenth hour of racing approached a misunderstanding between Calado and Euan Hankey in Aston Martin no. 90, put an end to the race of car no. 51. James came into contact with the lapped car, damaging a radiator that took an hour to replace. Ferrari 488 no. 71 found itself in a fight for fourth with Ford no. 67 and Porsche no. 91. The positions remained unchanged over the final hour and so the no. 71 of Davide Rigon, Miguel Molina and Sam Bird came fifth in the race won by the Aston Martin of Darren Turner, Jonny Adam and Daniel Serra.
GTE-Am. Ferrari had everything to celebrate in the GTE-Am class, where Maranello enjoyed a clean sweep of the podium with three 488 GTEs from three teams: JMW Motorsport, Spirit of Race and Scuderia Corsa. The Aston Martin of Dalla Lana-Lamy-Lauda dictated the pace from the start, but as darkness fell its front right tyre exploded to put it out of the running. At that point first place went to the 488 of JMW Motorsport that had been the only one to vie with the British car for first place. The youthful Dries Vanthoor, a former Formula One driver like Will Stevens and the experienced Robert Smith drove impeccably to pull off an extraordinary result for the British team that a few weeks ago in Monza had won its last race with the 458 Italia GTE (in the European Le Mans Series). At Le Mans it embarked upon the new 488 GTE era in the best possible way. Second place went to the sister car of Spirit of Race crewed by Marco Cioci, Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott. A Prancing Horse car also took third. The 488 GTE of Scuderia Corsa driven by the 2016 winners, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell, alongside Cooper MacNeil. Also worth mentioning is the fifth place of the Ferrari of Clearwater Racing driven by Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa and Mok Weng Sung, which notched up some very important points for the GTE-Am title of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The championship resumes in mid-July at the Nurburgring.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Sprint to the finish
Posted: 18.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 18 June 2017 – The 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has entered its final phase two hours from the finish, with the Ferraris in the two GT classes in profoundly different situations.
GTE-Pro. On Sunday morning the 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse dropped out of the fight for the top places in the GTE-Pro class. This was due to a misunderstanding between James Calado and Euan Hankey in the Aston Martin GTE-Am no. 90. James came into contact with the British car and had to return to the pits to have a radiator replaced. This took over 60 minutes and even though the car re-entered the race, the fight for a podium place was over. Car no. 71 of Rigon-Bird-Molina is still in the mix even though it lost ground due to two slow zones, one drive-through and one puncture. It is in fifth place and battling with Ford no. 67 for fourth.
GTE-Am. The Ferraris are dominant in the GTE-Am class. The 488 of JMW Motorsport, with Dries Vanthoor, Will Stevens and Robert Smith, has led the race since the early stages. Second place is held by the 488 GTE no. 55 of Spirit of Race, with Aaron Scott, Duncan Cameron and Marco Cioci. Car no. 62 of Scuderia Corsa is still in third, crewed by Cooper MacNeil, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell. The race is due to finish at 3pm.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Battle at dawn
Posted: 18.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 18 June 2017 – The 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans hit the two-thirds mark after a largely quiet night.
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the two Ferrari 488 GTEs of AF Corse are in the leading group. Car no. 51 is particularly competitive in second with James Calado at the wheel. Rigon in no. 71 is fourth.
GTE-Am. The Ferraris in the GTE-Am class are still performing very well. Car no. 84 of JMW Motorsport crewed by Will Stevens, Robert Smith and Dries Vanthoor is out in front. No. 55 of Spirit of Race holds second place a lap behind, with Duncan Cameron, Aaron Scott and Marco Cioci. Another 488 GTE, no. 62 of Scuderia Corsa, is in third, driven by Cooper MacNeil, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Complicated evening
Posted: 18.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 18 June 2017 – The evening and early night were very complex for many of the competitors in all classes and nor were the Ferraris entirely problem-free.
GTE-Pro. The 488 GTE of Risi Competizione suffered the heaviest setback, kicked out for irresponsible conduct by Mathieu Vaxiviere at the wheel of the Oreca no. 28 of TDS Racing. At the first Hunaudières chicane the prototype lapped Ferrari no. 71, then driven by Miguel Molina, and shortly after did the same to Ferrari no. 82. However, even before completing the manoeuvre, the prototype struck the Ferrari, sending it smashing into the barriers. It was the end of the race for the Risi Competizione car, at that time driven by Pierre Kaffer, while Molina only just avoided the incident. Over an hour after midnight, Ferrari no. 51 is fourth with James Calado while no.71 is sixth with Miguel Molina.
GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class, Ferrari no. 84 is comfortably in command after a Dunlop tyre exploded on Aston Martin no. 98, which had been in the lead. Dries Vanthoor, Will Stevens and Robert Smith are driving a perfect race, but Marco Cioci, Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott with Ferrari no. 55 of Spirit of Race are still doing very well as are Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Cooper MacNeil in no. 62 of Scuderia Corsa. Aside from the Risi Competizione car, all the Ferraris are still in the race as they approach the halfway mark.
24 Hours of Le Mans – First two hours: great start for Pier Guidi
Posted: 17.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 17 June 2017 – At 3pm precisely Formula 1 boss Chase Carey waved the flag to signal the start of 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class Alessandro Pier Guidi, in the 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse, took command of the race ahead of the Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim, while no. 71 slipped back a few positions with Sam Bird at the wheel. Toni Vilander in the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione held onto eleventh place. Thiim and Darren Turner, with the Aston Martins, which are very fast on the straights, overtook Pier Guidi but the group is still fairly compact. Pier Guidi had a great battle with the 91 Porsche and finally kept third place giving the car to James Calado few seconds before the 2 hours bell.
GTE-Am. The only Ferrari to suffer a problem was DH Racing no. 83 in the GTE-Am class. The car, entrusted to Krohn Racing, suffered a puncture and had to return to the pits after just three laps. The highest placed Ferrari is no. 62 of Scuderia Corsa, in third with Townsend Bell. Marco Cioci is fifth in Spirit of Race car no. 55, Stevens is seventh in the 488 GTE of JMW Motorsport, while Alessandro Balzan, who set off last in the 488 GTE of Scuderia Corsa, has climbed to tenth after a disastrous qualifying.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Ferrari cars competitive in night-time qualifying
Posted: 16.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 16 June 2017 – A Ferrari will start from the front row in the GTE-Pro class in the 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans that will start on Saturday at 3 pm, the No. 51 AF Corse 488 GTE of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Michele Rugolo. The sister car, the AF Corse 71 of Sam Bird, Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, was fourth while Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Pierre Kaffer will start from 11th in the Risi Competizione car. In the GTE-Am class the fastest Ferrari was the No. 62 of Scuderia Corsa. The 2016 class winners Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler are joined this year by Cooper MacNeil in their 488 GTE. It was also a successful day for the No. 55 Spirit of Race crew of Cioci-Scott-Cameron and for the JMW Motorsport trio of Vanthoor-Stevens-Smith.
GTE-Pro. In GTE-Pro class the best times for Ferrari were those recorded by AF Corse in the first session. Only at the end of the second session, that ended well after 9 pm because of a series of accidents involving some cars of the LMP2 class, did the times begin to drop. In the 71 car, the best placed after Q1, Sam Bird was able to repeat his time of 3’52”2. Similar times were also recorded by teammates Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina. Sam Bird, however, improved the best time of the 71 car significantly when he was able to stop the clock at 3’51”086, the fourth best time. In the 51 the improvements were more progressive. Starting from Wednesday’s 3’53”123, Alessandro Pier Guidi was able to set 3’52”952. James Calado later improved that time with a 3’52”374 and then with a 3’52”087. It was the newcomer Michele Rugolo who took the most laps in the 51 car after Lucas Di Grassi was declared unfit to race by the Medical Delegate. In the final minutes James Calado was back in the car and improved significantly, getting a 3’51”028 that was enough for second place. The Risi Competizione team, on the other hand, had a more complex day. For a rule infringement, all of the Wednesday times of the 82 crew were deleted. When the car emerged from the garage, it was Giancarlo Fisichella at the wheel. The Italian driver first stopped the clock at 3’52”575 and then immediately improved to 3’52”138. Toni Vilander was able to set a pretty similar time while Pierre Kaffer focused more on race pace. The No. 82 Ferrari will start from 11th on the grid. Pole position went to the No. 97 Aston Martin of Turner-Adam-Serra.
GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class, with eight Ferrari crews involved, the best Ferrari 488 GTE was third. It was the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa car of 2016 winners Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell joined by Cooper MacNeil, fresh from competing in the Ferrari Challenge North America round last Sunday at Montreal. Fifth place went to the No. 55 Spirit of Race car of Marco Cioci, Aaron Scott and Duncan Cameron, sixth was the No. 84 car of JMW Motorsport driven by Dries Vanthoor, Will Stevens and Robert Smith. The DH Racing 488 GTE, entrusted to Krohn Racing, was seventh with Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Andrea Bertolini. It was a difficult day for the other Scuderia Corsa car, the No. 65 of Christina Nielsen, the only woman competing this year, Alessandro Balzan and Bret Curtis. The car couldn’t run after a technical issue emerged and the trio will have to start from last on the grid. However the race will last 24 hours and the starting place has a limited value, especially if one remembers what happened last year in GTE-Am class. The 62 car of Sweedler, Bell and Segal started last after a terrible qualifying: 24 Hours later the drivers enjoyed the champagne from the top step of the podium.
Parade. As tradition requires, on Friday there will be no activity on the track, as the 60 crews of the 24 Hours will move to Le Mans’ historic centre for the parade that introduces the event. The start of the race is scheduled for Saturday at 3pm, following the second race of the Michelin Le Mans Cup which will be held in the morning.
24H of Le Mans – Discovering the AF Corse #71 488 GTE
Posted: 15.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 15 June 2017 – Ferrari.com brings you to discover the Ferrari crews entered in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Here, we talk about the the 488 GTE #71 by AF Corse driven by the Davide Rigon and Sam Bird that has won the last race before the 24 Hours, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. In this occasion Davide and Sam will be joined by Miguel Molina, usually competing in the FIA WEC in GTE-Am class on the Spirit of Race 488 GTE.
The team. AF Corse has been one of Ferrari’s main clients’ teams for a number of years. The cooperation between Ferrari and AF Corse generated many of the GT successes during the past few years and all those obtained in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since its inception in 2012. The first year brought the success among teams and constructors, as well as the win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans; in 2013, there was the triple title for drivers, teams, and constructors, e feat repeated in 2014 enriched by the success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to car No. 51 driven by “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella. In 2016 with the new 488 GTE AF Corse won for Ferrari the World Cup for Manufacturer.
Rigon. Born in Thiene (Vicenza) on 26 August 1986, Davide Rigon debuted in open wheel racing and entered the Ferrari orbit in 2008, when he started competing in GT racing with Prancing Horse cars winning the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps for BMS Scuderia Italia. In 2013 he contributed to the success of the 8 Stars Motorsport team in the GTE Am category of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and in 2014 and 2015 he raced in the GTE-Pro class in car no. 71 AF Corse, paired with Britain’s James Calado. The duo took five podiums in 2014, making a decisive contribution to Ferrari winning the manufacturers’ title. In 2015 he came second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans while this year he won the first two races of the season. The following year Davide won two races alongside Sam Bird and was runner up in the Drivers’ standings.
Bird. Sam Bird was born on 9 January 1987 in Roehampton, near London. He started out in open wheel racing and debuted at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2014 driving a Ferrari 458 AF Corse at Silverstone, finishing on the podium. He then competed with the same car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning pole position in the GTE-Am class. In 2015 Bird won the WEC title in the LMP2 class with four victories, three podiums and four pole positions. In 2016 he became an official Ferrari driver for GT racing, pairing up with Davide Rigon on the 488 GTE no. 71 AF Corse. The two were victorious at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps and ended up second in the Drivers’ standings.
Molina. Miguel Molina was born in Barcelona on 17 February 1989 and began competing in karts when he was seven years old. In 2005 he made his single-seater debut in Formula Renault trying his hand in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship the following year.He finished sixth in the championship standings that year, winning on his home track in Barcelona at the wheel of the car of Racing Engineering. In 2007 he competed in the World Series with Pons Racing notching up wins in Barcelona and Estoril and finishing seventh in the championship. The following year he moved to Formula 3.5 with Prema Powerteam where he bagged another two wins (the Nurburgring and Estoril) and finished fourth in the standings. As of 2010 he left single-seaters for covered wheel racing and the DTM. He drove Audis for various teams taking part in 87 races and winning three (at the Nürburgring in 2015, and Lausitzring and Hockenheim in 2016). He tasted GT competition for the first time competing in a number of Australian championship races with Jamec Pem Racing. In March 2017 he became an official Ferrari driver for GT competitions. This is his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Eleven Ferrari 488s to race at Sarthe
Posted: 15.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 15 June 2017 – The 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans began with the first qualifying session. Drivers and vehicles will compete in the world’s toughest race from 3 pm on Saturday to 3 pm on Sunday on one of the most challenging tracks in existence with its 38 bends and 13,629 metres. The 60 cars lined up at the start will include 11 Ferraris, with three 488 GTEs entered in the GTE-Pro class, and eight in the GTE-Am.
GTE-Pro. The race is now part of the GT World Endurance Championship (WEC), with Ferraris taking part in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes. Three 488 GTEs will race in the GTE-Pro class, which is only open to professional drivers. Two of the vehicles will compete for AF Corse and one for the US team Risi Competizione. James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi will drive car no. 51 for the Italian team with the last minute addition of Michele Rugolo, replacing Lucas Di Grassi, who had to pull out due to an injured right ankle. In car no. 71, which won the last race at Spa-Francorchamps, Sam Bird and Davide Rigon will be joined by Miguel Molina, another of the official Ferrari drivers, who usually drives for Spirit of Race in the GTE-Am class. Then finally, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander will take the wheel of Risi Competizione’s car no. 80, with the help of Pierre Kaffer, an old acquaintance of the team who for years assisted Fisichella in the 458 Italia GTE.
GTE-Am. Ferrari is also in the running in the GTE Am class, where it has eight cars, two of them under the banner of Spirit of Race. Car no. 55 will be in the capable hands of Marco Cioci, Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott, while no. 54, a perennial star of the WEC, is crewed by Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr, with the addition of Olivier Beretta who for this race only takes Molina’s place. Scuderia Corsa is fielding two cars: the 488 GTE no. 62 will be driven by 2016 winners Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, with the addition of Cooper MacNeil, while no. 65 will be in the hands of the IMSA GTD class champions Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan, who are joined by Bret Curtis. Clearwater Racing also has two cars: Ferrari no. 61, crewed as always by Matt Griffin, Mok Weng Sun and Keita Sawa, alongside no. 60 with Alvaro Parente, Richard Wee and Hiroki Katoh. Then finally there is DH Racing with car no. 83 entrusted to Krohn Racing’s Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Andrea Bertolini, and the no. 84 of JMW Motorsport with Dries Vanthoor, Will Stevens and Robert Smith. Two qualifying sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, both lasting two hours, with the first beginning at 7 pm and the second at 10 pm.
The perfect debut. The 24 Hours of Le Mans dates back to 1923. Ferrari has won the French endurance classic on nine occasions, getting also 25 class victories. Its debut in 1949 was perfect: Italy’s Luigi Chinetti brought in British aristocrat Lord Selsdon, aka Peter Mitchell-Thomson, who financed the purchase of two Ferrari 166 MMs. Chinetti drove for most of the race, passing the baton to Selsdon only after building up a very substantial lead. The first victory with an official car came in 1954, when Argentina’s Jose Froilán González and France’s Maurice Trintignant won for Scuderia Ferrari in a 375 Plus. Ferrari again topped the podium in 1958 when America’s Phil Hill and Belgium’s Olivier Gendebien in a Ferrari 250 TR58, beat off an Aston Martin.
Great victories. After another class victory in 1959, Ferrari began its golden years at Le Mans with six wins in a row and an unprecedented domination on the Sarthe circuit. In 1960 Gendebien, with the driver and journalist Paul Frere, triumphed in an official 250 TR59/60. The following year, the Belgian made it three along with Hill in a 250 TRI/61. Indeed, that year the podium was all Ferrari with Willy Mairesse and Mike Parkes in second and Pierre Noblet and Jean Guichet third. There was another all Ferrari podium the year after when Hill and Gendebien triumphed once again with the 330 TRI/LM Spider. It was total domination in 1963, with victory, two class wins and the top six places in the rankings. The triumph was all Italian, with Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini in the 250 P. The following year Vaccarella and Guichet won with the 275 P, while 1965 saw the last overall victory when the North American Racing Team won with Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt. Since then there have been 16 other victories in different classes.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Di Grassi not allowed to race, Rugolo joins 51 Ferrari
Posted: 14.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 14 June 2017 – The Medical Delegate at the 24 Hours of Le Mans declared that “driver Lucas Di Grassi is not allowed to take part in the event for medical reasons” after suffering an injury to his right ankle in recent days.
Michele Rugolo will take his place in the AF Corse No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE car alongside James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi. This season the 34-year-old driver from Montebelluna won the Asian Le Mans Series with the 488 GT3 of DH Racing and is currently third in the Blancpain Endurance Cup in which he is driving a 488 GT3 of Spirit of Race together with Pasin Lathouras and Pier Guidi. Rugolo will be contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the fifth time, his best achievement in the French marathon being a third place in GTE-Am class in the 2012 edition on the Krohn Racing Ferrari.
24H of Le Mans – Discovering the #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE
Posted: 14.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 14 June 2017 – Ferrari.com brings you to discover the Ferrari crews entered in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Here we talk about the other 488 GTE-Pro car #82 by Risi Competizione driven by the Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander that is usually racing in the IMSA SCC series. Fisichella and Vilander will have Pierre Kaffer as third driver.
The team. Risi Competizione is a Houston-based professional Ferrari racing team founded and managed by Giuseppe Risi. The team is headquartered at and co-located with the Ferrari of Houston facility in Southwest Houston. Over the last 20 years, Risi Competizione has been one of the most consistent, winning organizations in world class professional road racing. It is the most successful Ferrari GT racing team in North America and has a history that includes 3 wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 4 wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and 3 wins at the Petit Le Mans.
Fisichella. Giancarlo Fisichella was born in Rome on 14 January 1973 and developed a passion for motors very early: he was only 8 years old when he started training with karts at the Guidonia circuit. Giancarlo joined the Formula 1 circuit at age 23, when Minardi hired him for the 1996 season. In the following years he raced for Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India and Scuderia Ferrari. In 2010, he fulfilled the role of third driver for Scuderia Ferrari and competed in the Le Mans Series, at the wheel of an F430 GTC of the AF Corse team. Since 2011, he has been racing in GT competitions at the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia GT with the AF Corse team, first in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and then in the World Endurance Championship. In 2012 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with“Gimmi” Bruni and Toni Vilander and the following year he was runner up in the drivers’ Championship, but was a determining factor in Ferrari’s and AF Corse’s wins of the Constructors and Teams Championships respectively. In 2014, he won again in Le Mans with Bruni and Vilander, but he raced in the United States for the season participating in the Imsa SCC series. He’s still racing there with the Risi Competizione team with which he was second at the Le Mans 24 Hours and was able to win the IMSA season finally: the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta.
Vilander. Toni Markus Vilander made his motorsport début at the age of five. In 2004, Vilander moved to Formula 3 and, in 2005, he competed in Formula 3000 and in the Italian GT Championship, where he immediately took the title along with his partner Alessandro Pier Guidi. Still with Guidi and Giambattista Giannoccaro, in 2006, Vilander dominated the GT1 class of the Italian GT Championship, while in 2007 and 2008, he won the GT2 class championship of the FIA GT series at the wheel of a Ferrari 430. In 2008, he also took part in the American Le Mans Series alongside Jaime Melo, at the wheel of the Risi Competizione team’s Ferrari 458 Italia GTC, while in 2012 he earned top honours in the Le Mans 24 Hours, alongside Giancarlo Fisichella and “Gimmi” Bruni. In 2013, he partnered with Kamui Kobayashi on the 458 Italia of the AF Corse team in the World Endurance Championship (WEC); however, he took the only win of the season in the last race in Bahrain with “Gimmi” Bruni, thus contributing to the Roman racer’s Drivers Championship, to Ferrari’s Constructors Championship, and to AF Corse’s Team Championship. In 2014, Toni teamed up regularly with Bruni and earned his first GT title in the WEC; he also duplicated the successes in the Teams and Constructors Championships. The most prestigious of the pair’s four seasonal wins was undoubtedly that of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, earned with Giancarlo Fisichella’s help. In 2015, again with Bruni, he won the Silverstone and Fuji races. From 2016 he’s racing in the American IMSA SCC series with Rici Competizione. Last year he was second in the Le Mans 24 Hours and won the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlante in the month of October.
Kaffer. Pierre Kaffer was born in Bad Neuenahr on 7 November 1976. After karting he made his debut in single-seaters competing in Formula 3. He moved over to closed wheels in 2002, initially with Porsche and then for Audi with which he won the 12 Hours Sebring in 2004. After two seasons in DTM, he returned to GT racing in 2007 moving to the United States the following year. In 2009 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the F430 of Risi Competizione with Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni, while the following year he triumphed in the International GT Open with the AF Corse team. Pierre is one of the stars of the GT racing world, this season also competing in the United States. This will be Kaffer’s tenth 24th Hours of Mans.
Posted: 12.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 12 June 2017 – The Monza raceway and the city of Milan have been the stars of a great Ferrari weekend. On Saturday and Sunday the Ferrari Challenge Europe held the four races of the second round of the European Series. Almost fifty drivers offered great racing action and a lot of thrills at the wheel of the 488 Challenge, the brand new race car introduced for the 25th year of the world’s most famous one-make series championship, the first equipped with a turbo engine. Among the drivers there were the 2013 Gp2 champion Fabio Leimer and three very fast girls: Fabienne Wohlwend, Deborah Mayer and Tina Kok.
To further enrich the weekend, in the paddock were available all the initiatives linked to Ferrari’s 70 years: the entire range was on display, including the limited edition LaFerrari Aperta, the 70-year iconic model. Enthusiasts were able to purchase the official merchandise available at the Ferrari Store and had the chance to prove their ability at the wheel of the F1 simulator. On Friday, a symbolic parade including cars from Switzerland and Italy, kicked off the weekend allowing customers to drive together from Monza through to the Piazza Castello in Milan, a way to honour the Italian city and celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the brand together with the extended Ferrari family of owners, drivers and fans alike.
24H of Le Mans – Discovering the #65 Ferrari 488 GTE of Scuderia Corsa
Posted: 11.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 11 June 2017 – Ferrari.com leads you on a trip to discover the crews of Prancing Horse customers entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Let us take a closer look at Scuderia Corsa and its second crew. This team is for two thirds the champion in IMSA GTD class: we are talking about Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan that will race with Bret Curtis in the French marathon.
The team. Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo founded Scuderia Corsa in 2013 to meet the needs of Ferrari customers who wanted to race their cars. The team takes part in the Ferrari Challenge North America as well as the Pirelli World Challenge and the IMSA SportsCar Championship where is the Teams’ and Drivers’ title holder with Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan. It competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours getting on the podium in 2015 and winning it in 2016 with Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Jeff Segal.
Balzan. Alessandro Balzan is one of Italy’s most successful GT drivers. Born in Rovigo on 17 October 1980, after starting out in karting he soon saw a future in closed-wheel cars. In 2001 he won the Clio Cup Winter Series, and the following year was victorious in the Alfa Romeo 147 single-make championship. After racing in the Tourism championships, he moved over to GT, winning the Italian Porsche single-make championship on three occasions and becoming Ferrari Challenge Europe championship in 2012. Then in 2013 he triumphed in the Grand-Am Championship with the Ferrari of Scuderia Corsa, while in 2016 he helped Christina Nielsen to victory in the GTD class of the IMSA title with the 488 GT3 of Scuderia Corsa. This is his first time at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Curtis. Bret Curtis is a US driver, born in 1966, who started out in high-level competition in closed-wheel cars in 2009. Since then, increasingly impressive results led to his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014 and in 2017 to his first outing in a Ferrari at the French classic marathon. This season he has also taken part in the Ferrari Challenge North America in the new 488 Challenge with its 650 hp-plus engine.
Nielsen. In 2016 Christina Nielsen became the 58th woman to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. She was born for this, with her father Lars-Erik a five-time winner of the French classic. Christina came to the race after winning a very important title, the GTD of the IMSA along with Alessandro Balzan. She has just finished an autobiography, but is already dreaming of a rewrite that will include another great result.
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Unfortunately, our race was compromised right from the start, when Seb’s car was damaged so he was no longer able to give it his best shot. Initially, our data showed the damage was not too serious. It was only in the following laps that the wing broke, causing further damage to the turning vanes and the floor. As for Kimi, towards the end he had a problem with the braking system. Right from tomorrow in Maranello we will carry out a detailed analysis of the race, making the most of the data gathered as we prepare as well as possible for the next round in Baku.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “At the start I got wheelspin off the line and obviously we lost quite a few places. From that moment it was not an easy race: I struggled in the first few laps, it was difficult to get past . We decided to switch our tactics to two stops to create a speed difference with fresh tires. We had a very good pace again and we were nicely going back close to the guys in front. Unfortunately, we had the issue with the brakes and we could not really use our speed. In the last ten laps I had hardly no brakes; it’s a pity but at least we could bring the car back and get some points. It was not an easy day for the team but this is how it goes sometimes. If this is our bad day, then we have to take it and go forward.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I think my start was not particularly good but at the same time not that bad either. The car was good, I think it was clear that today we could have been better than fourth, but that’s how we finished and what is done is done. Overall, we know we have a strong car. Looking back at the start, Bottas and I were trying to go from the inside when Max came around but these things can happen. Then, with the safety car on track I did not realize that the damage to the front wing was as bad as it actually was, we only noticed it at full speed. There was also some additional damage to other parts of the bodywork, hard to say what they cost me in terms of laptime, but the car did not feel as the one I had driven in the past two days. Yet the pace was there and I would have liked some more laps to finish on the podium, the trophy here looked nice… That was my target and I missed it. But we are growing up as a team.”
A long fight back for Seb to finish fourth and Kimi seventh
Montreal, 11 June – The toughest Grand Prix of the year ended with Seb in fourth place and Kimi in seventh. Given how things went on the opening lap, with both cars damaged and a front wing to change, a strategy to rejig, overtaking moves to make, it was a demonstration of courage and determination from drivers and team. Sebastian still leads the Drivers’ championship on 141 points, 13 more than Hamilton.
Gusty conditions, dust flying around the track and even a few black but harmless clouds all served to ramp up the tension before the start. Verstappen’s blistering start meant that Seb, who had got off the line well, had to lift off. He thus found himself back in fourth, but further back, a collision between Massa and Sainz immediately brought out the Safety Car. Max’s move had damaged the right front wing end plate on Sebastian’s car. Rather than risk further problems, he pitted for a new nose and a change to Supersofts. Unfortunately, the SF70H had additional damage to the floor. Meanwhile, Kimi lost ground in the duel with Ricciardo and found himself sixth and a trip across the grass also caused him some damage.
Verstappen’s race ended at the side of the track at Turn 3 and out came the safety car again, albeit this time a virtual one. The race resumed on lap 14 and that number also represented Seb’s position, but he soon dispensed with Grosjean. On lap 18, Kimi, who was having a tricky time of it, pitted and fitted the red-banded tyres and by this point Seb was already up to eleventh. He then passed Hulkenberg to move into the points before pulling off a passing move on Stroll at the chicane. Kimi got ahead of Alonso to go sixth, with Sebastian now just two places further back having come out on top of duels with Magnussen and Fernando.
Life wasn’t easy with two damaged cars: on lap 42, Kimi pitted for fresh rubber, the super-quick Ultrasofts. Seb stayed out until lap 50, dealing with traffic ahead of him, but he would also have to rescue his race with the purple tyres, with which Kimi was now flying. Seb started to demolish the lap times, getting under the 1’15” mark with 10 laps to go. He passed Kimi who had a brake control issue. At the start of lap 66, Seb pulled off a miracle, risking everything to pass Ocon who was also using the DRS. Perez was now in his sights and he slipped by at the start of the penultimate lap, so that his race ended just off the podium. KImi brought his wounded No 7 car home in seventh spot. “Thanks guys” was the immediate message from Maurizio. That said it all.
Posted: 11.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Jakarta, June 11th, 2017 – It’s a beautiful Sunday especially for the orphanage located in Priok, North Jakarta. More than 20 Ferrari owners visited their home, bringing gifts, money and food.
The Prancing Horse convoy started from the Ferrari Jakarta showroom, cruising through the highway to the northest side of Jakarta. There were 1000 orphans ready to welcome them. Since it’s Ramadhan season, a holy month for moslems, the community also hosted break fasting with the children and the local citizens there.
“ Our organization’s foundation is based on friendship as we share the same passion and dream for Ferrari. One of our Club’s mission is to transmit this passion by giving back to society. By donating to these orphans, we hope to do our small part in bringing some joy to the lives of these children. We would like to give them hope and a better future. What we did today is a part of our commitment to humanity. “ said Hanan Supangkat, The President of Ferrari Owners Club Indonesia.
Arie Christopher, CEO of Ferrari Jakarta added, “Helping these children is an excellent way to uphold the Club’s commitment to the values of compassion and generosity. Ferrari Owners Club Indonesia strives to be the role model to society and we at Ferrari Jakarta are proud to support them.”
Posted: 11.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Monza, 11 June 2017 – The second day of the Ferrari Challenge Europe at Monza, the Round 2 of the season, was packed full of excitement and spectacle with a number of drivers confirming their dominance and others rising to prominence for the first time. This was the case with France’s Henry Hassid, who dominated the Coppa Shell in the second Ferrari one-make series race, while Jens Liebhauser just missed out on a first win on the final straight, losing out to Martin Nelson and Tommaso Rocca. The Trofeo Pirelli saw a second win for Daniele Di Amato.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell again provided the first race of the day and a lot of excitement. At the start, Fons Scheltema in pole held onto first position while behind him Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) sowed a bit of confusion at the first chicane. Shortly after, Vladimir Hladik (Baron Service) ended up in a spin at the Roggia chicane. The Safety Car was called out one third of the way through, when Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing), who was in a battle with Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) and Fabienne Wohlwend, lost control of his 488 Challenge colliding with the woman Octane 126 driver. No one was hurt but the race was over for the pair. At the restart Henry Hassid (Team Charles Pozzi) overtook Fons Scheltema and broke away. However, the Dutch Kessel Racing driver successfully defended second position firstly from the attacks of Johnny Laursen (Formula Racing) and then from Christoph Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) who came third. Hassid also won the Gentlemen’s Cup while the Ladies’ Cup went to Deborah Mayer (Kessel Racing) in one of the greatest performance of her Challenge career so far.
Trofeo Pirelli. In the Trofeo Pirelli Daniele Di Amato (CDP) started again from pole and totally dominated the race. At the start Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) tried to keep up with the Italian driver, but in vain. He also had to look over his shoulder at a rampant Fabio Leimer (Octane 126). The three arrived in that order.
Pirelli Am. In the Pirelli Am class for most of the race Jens Liebhauser (Gohm Motorsport) did the lion’s share of the work, scattering all his opponents from the start. Indeed he forced Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa), dominant in Valencia and on Saturday in Race-1, to chase the lead for the first time this season. The German driver was ahead of the Swedish championship leader right down to the final straight. However, as luck would have it just at that point Liebhauser’s 488 Challenge ran out of fuel. Nelson won, with Rocca second while the German salvaged third place. Japan’s Yoshiki Ohmura (StileF Squadra Corse) was the best of the drivers in the 458 Challenge EVO. The next round is in Budapest in two-week time.
Both Ferrari drivers convinced race can go better
Montreal, June 10th – After qualifying on the first and second rows of the grid for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari drivers reflect on their performance. “I was not so happy with my job in the last run of Q3” says Seb, who will start from second slot on the grid. It is true that we faced tough competition, but we could have been closer. We could even have been ahead, but Lewis did a very good job today. As for me, I lost the car in Turn 2 and from there I knew I had to catch up. The car was very good and I had been happy in the morning session. To be on the front row gives you the chance to make a good start. I am looking forward to tomorrow, I am sure we’re going to have a very close race. This is a nice track and we had a good run here also last year”. Kimi makes no secret of not having got everything right: “Today it was a bit tricky: for whatever reason yesterday we had been a bit more comfortable. The car felt pretty OK, but we struggled to make the tires work as we wanted. There was a lot of potential in the car, but I was not driving very well, and did not manage to put a good lap together. My last run was very poor, I made mistakes in the first and second corner and I paid the price for it. Tomorrow it should be a different story. It’s going to be a long race and obviously a lot can happen; you never know here, it’s one of those places where things can change very quickly. We’ll try to make the best choices; we should have the speed, let’s see”.
Seb second fastest, Kimi fourth
Montreal, 10 June – Come the end of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari secured a spot on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. He was second quickest, just 0.330 seconds slower than the pole time of 1:11.459 set by Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth with a lap in 1:12.252.
Sebastian faster than Kimi by 292 thousandths
Montreal, 10 June –The sun was out and the temperature was already high for the final hour of free practice prior to qualifying, although the track surface was still dirty at the start of the 60 minutes. Scuderia Ferrari were first and second, with Sebastian Vettel (1:12.572) and Kimi Raikkonen (+0.292) respectively. The two SF70 Hs ran with the Soft and Ultrasoft tyres and are now all set for qualifying which takes place at 13h00 (19h00 CET.)
Posted: 10.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Monza, 10 June 2017 – Daniele Di Amato, Martin Nelson and Erich Prinoth in the brand new 488 Challenge won the first Ferrari Challenge races of the Monza weekend, celebrating the second round of the European series. Fans were treated to two races packed with excitement and spectacle.
Coppa Shell. The first race of the day was the Coppa Shell, which, as often, was also the most spectacular with lots of bumps and a spectacular accident. Johnny Laursen started poorly from first on the grid and ended up being sucked back into the group. Christoph Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) pulled ahead of everyone but Erich Prinoth was in immediate pursuit. Indeed the Ineco-MP Racing driver was already in front by the end of the first lap after a great overtake at the Serraglio. Soon after, Thomas Gostner offered further proof of the sturdiness of the new 488 Challenge. The Ineco-MP Racing driver was involved in a terrible accident. After colliding heavily with a curb, Gostner suffered a puncture to lose control of the car at nearly 300 km/h on the main straight. Like a billiard ball, the 488 Challenge smacked first into the barriers to its left, before crossing the track and smashing into the entirely innocent Christian Kinch (Gohm Motorsport). Both drivers were unhurt. After a long period of the Safety Car, Prinoth, who also won the Gentlemen’s Cup, crossed the line first ahead of Hurni and Eric Cheung (Formula Racing). The debutant Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) also had a great race, placed fifth overall and winner of the Ladies’ Cup.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli provided an equally tight race, although without any dramatic incidents. Daniele Di Amato (CDP), in pole, enjoyed the best start, immediately establishing a lead with a bit of help from Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari). The latter had a real fight with Philipp Baron (Rossocorsa) and Fabio Leimer (Octane 126). Amato drove unchallenged to victory while behind Baron and Leimer both overtook Smeeth. Then at the end the pair collided and ended up skipping the first chicane on the penultimate lap. Leimer suffered damage that relegated him to last place while Baron was hit with a 25-second penalty. This allowed Smeeth to finish second while third place went to Alessandro Vezzoni (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing).
Pirelli Am. Martin Nelson, the driver who had dominated in Valencia, did the lion’s share of the work in the Pirelli Am class. The Scuderia Autoropa driver finished ahead of Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa) and Jens Liebhauser (Gohm Motorsport) dominating the race and taking the 9th win of his career. It is the same again on Sunday with the Coppa Shell at 12:50 pm and the Trofeo Pirelli at 3:35 pm.
Posted: 10.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Zhejiang Shaoxing, 10 June,2017 – The third round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific finished its second race earlier today on the Zhejiang International Circuit which is located in Shaoxing of Zhejiang Province in China. The heavy rain bothering Yangtze River Delta region from north to south became the leading role today while Evan Mak from Hong Kong won in Coppa Shell and Australian Martin Berry defended his winning in the Trofeo Pirelli 458, the only two classes competing on Sunday.
Coppa Shell. The field in the Coppa Shell showed very pretty drive on wet track. Evan Mak from Hong Kong was the first one to cross finish line in this class bringing back his maiden win in Ferrari family. Korean Andrew Moon got the second place while local hero Eric Zang caught last position on the podium. Grant Baker from New Zealand was the winner of Gentlemen Cup. And Kanthicha Chimsiri from Thailand won the Ladies Cup today.
Trofeo Pirelli 458. In this class drivers raced with their Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO cars in which Martin Berry from Australia who won the Race 1 in this weekend got another win making double wins in this third round of 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific championship. Hidehiko Hagiwara from Japan was the runner-up catching a two-consecutive podium finish and Sky Chen from Hong Kong got the third place in this class.
Schedule. Finishing two races of the Round 3, next round of this year’s Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific will come to Japan in July 7th to 9th. In Fuji circuit, it will be the fourth round of the calendar.
Posted: 10.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Zhejiang Shaoxing, 10 June, 2017 – The third round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific took place on the Zhejiang International Circuit earlier today. The whole new circuit based in Shaoxing of Zhejiang Province in China. Including 13 Chinese drivers to race at hometown, the field with 28 drivers harnessed the power of their Ferrari Challenge racing cars on this new international class track to full effect in a breathtaking display of Ferrari’s sporting heritage and Prancing Horse’s spirit to make ongoing progress on the way to overcome one and another new challenge. With a 3.20-kilometer lap layout, the newly built Zhejiang International Circuit is the latest international class track in China. This very unique anti-clock circuit was built around a hill which brought its very challenge high-low design made it very demanding on technical and physical.
Trofeo Pirelli. Italian driver Philippe Prette kept his outstanding status. Catching a third place and a first place in last race weekend in Shanghai, he started from pole position in this race and kept advantage in the whole course to be the first one to waving chequered flag which brought him a back-to-back win. Starting from front row as well, Zen Low from Malaysia had a clear start and then kept chasing the leader. With no more overtake chance, the Malaysian driver got second place in this race. And the third podium position came to Japanese driver Go Max who was just promoted from Pirelli AM to Trofeo Pirelli in this race weekend.
Pirelli AM. Five drivers competed in Pirelli AM class this weekend among which local hero Jia Xu matched high expectation and won in this class. In the Race-1, the Chinese driver kept very strong pace even better than those of some drivers from higher class. Ken Seto from Japan and Eric Yeo from Malaysia was the second and the third in this class.
Trofeo Pirelli 458. Seven drivers competed in this class with their Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO cars. Very popular local driver Min Xiao had an accident at the start and retired quite sadly. In the end, Australian driver Martin Berry kept his winning trend. Hidehiko Hagiwara from Japan was the runner-up and Chinese driver Sky Chen caught the last position on the podium.
Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell, there was also an accident in first lap. Chinese driver Eric Zang who performed quite well in last round started from pole position in this class while he retired very regrettably cause of the start accident. Charles Chan from Hong Kong showed great race pace crossing the finish line firstly and got his first win in Ferrari Challenge series. Hideo Honda and Makoto Fujiwara both from Japan got the second place and the third place. While Hideo Honda is also the winner of Gentlemen Cup, Kanthicha Chimsiri from Thailand kept the Ladies’ Cup.
Kimi happy so far, Seb finds the right direction
Montreal, June 9th – Warm weather and a ‘green’ track were the conditions in which the first two practice sessions took place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As usual, we can expect a lot of track improvement over the next two days but, for the moment, Kimi Raikkonen’s lap time at the end of the afternoon was the best overall (1’12”935 on Ultrasoft tires), while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was in third spot with a best lap time of 1’13”200.
“It was a good day”, says Kimi. “Things worked out smoothly and the car felt ok both on high and low fuel; that’s the main thing. So far so good, but it’s still Friday and obviously there’s always things to improve. The nature of the circuit is quite tricky because of the low downforce configuration; in some corners, like in the chicanes, you have to use the kerbs a lot to go fast, but because of the low downforce the car is bouncing and it always feels very slippery. But at this track, given the long straights, to achieve pure lap time you have to drive in that configuration. Today we started pretty well, we keep on doing our usual work, trying to improve for tomorrow”.
Seb was slightly less happy than his team-mate, but saw a substantial improvement over the day: “Today I was fighting with the car at the beginning, but in the end I understood what we needed and what we had to do. Tomorrow should be a better day. It was an interesting session. The track was slippery and very dirty this morning. We try to do our best, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But in the end we found the right direction. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings, but I am confident it will be better. We focus on what we have to do. We could have had a better session today, but hopefully we’ll have it tomorrow”.
Kimi ahead of Seb in Montreal. Supersofts and Ultra Softs on the agenda
Montreal, 9 June – Kimi Raikkonen was fastest for Ferrari in the second free practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix with a lap in 1:12.935. Sebastian Vettel was third fastest just 0.265s slower than his team-mate. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers used two sets of Supersoft and Ultrasoft tyres. Towards the end of today’s last session, Scuderia Ferrari concentrated on running in race trim. Next up, the final hour of free practice at 10h00 (local time) tomorrow.
Seb 2nd and Kimi 4th for Ferrari
Montreal, 9 June –Sebastian Vettel was second fastest come the end of the first free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix. He took the number 5 Ferrari round in a time of 1:14.007, running the Ultrasoft tyres. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, using the same compound on his way to a lap in 1:14.230. During the first free practice session on the Canadian track, Scuderia Ferrari concentrated on comparative aero tests, as well as some long runs at the end of the session.
Ferrari Challenge underway on three continents
Posted: 09.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 9 June 2017 – The words “Ferrari Challenge Days” give us a clear idea of the weekend ahead. Indeed, this weekend all three of the world’s most famous single-make continental series will be in action, stopping-off at three very special tracks.
Europe. The European series is in Monza for the second meeting of the season. After the first race in Valencia, the championship will be at the temple of speed where cars accelerate to 300 km/h before slowing down at the first chicane, taking full advantage of the 650 hp of the turbo power unit that won the Engine of the Year award. The leading competitors in the three championship classes include Switzerland’s Fabio Leimer, Sweden’s Martin Nelson and the highly experienced Rick Lovat. We should mention the return of Coppa Shell champion, Thomas Loefflad, as well as the arrival of a new woman in the championship, 19-year-old Fabienne Wohlwend from Liechtenstein.
North America. The North American series goes to Montreal where, as is now traditional, it is the support race for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. On Thursday, the championship drivers had their photos taken with the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Peter Ludwig is someone to keep an eye on in the Trofeo Pirelli but Martin Fuentes is geared up to cause him problems. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am all eyes are on Chris Cagnazzi, while in the Coppa Shell Karl Williams is the favourite.
Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific series will be in China where it has the prestigious task of inaugurating the new track in Zhejiang. Various Chinese drivers, along with other representatives from all over Asia, will battle it out on the 3.2km built around a hill. Italy’s Philippe Prette is the favourite in the Trofeo Pirelli, but Chinese fans are looking to Yanbin Xing. In the Coppa Shell, Japan’s Makoto Fujiwara has totally dominated the series so far.
Seb, Kimi ahead of Canada: “We’ve done well so far but there are no guarantees”
Montreal, June 8th – Sunny conditions and very agreeable temperatures welcomed Scuderia Ferrari at Montreal. As usual, the team’s hospitality is filled with guests. After the Monaco double win, both Sebastian and Kimi have been asked about the team’s strong points and their expectations for the Canadian weekend.
“I think our strength comes from the team effort”, Seb says. “We are working very hard together to extract the maximum. People see what I do on track, but you don’t see all the work in Maranello. Obviously, looking back we can say that we have done very well so far, but there is no guarantee that just because the last race was good, then the next one will be good as well. So, we have to sit down again and go through everything, paying attention to details. I like this place and I am looking forward to driving here. The car has been very good so far, it should be good here as well, but as I’ve just said there is no guarantee”.
Kimi says nothing’s for granted, either: “We have to face this weekend like any other one; we’ll try to maximize everything, go from the practice and see what it brings on Saturday and then on Sunday. Every track is different and it’s never going to be easy. It’s not an easy circuit even if there are not many corners. Also because, in the race like this, usually quite a lot of things can happen”.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Discovering the 488 GTE no. 60 of Clearwater Racing
Posted: 08.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 8 June 2017 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most famous races in the world, the one that every manufacturer, team and driver wants to win. Eleven Ferrari 488 GTEs will be at the 2017 edition, three in the GTE-Pro class and eight in the GTE-Am. The Ferrari.com journey through the Prancing Horse crews competing at Le Mans continues in the GTE-Am class with a look at Clearwater Racing’s car no. 60.
The team. Clearwater Racing is one of the most successful GT teams in Asia. It has been in existence for 10 years and has won many titles including three drivers’ championships and three team wins in the GT Asia Series. It also has three victories in the Sepang 12 Hours to its name along with the Asian Le Mans Series 2015-16. In 2016 the team debuted in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing fourth with Mok-Sawa-Bell and the 458 Italia GTE. In 2017, Clearwater Racing is competing in the World Endurance Championships with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin, but will redouble its efforts in the French classic by deploying a second 488 GTE crewed by Hiroki Katoh, Alvaro Parente and Richard Wee.
Katoh. Hiroki Katoh, a Japanese driver born in Kanagawa on 23 February 1968, is closed-wheel expert and is by far the most experienced driver in this crew. After starting out in Formula racing categories, he has devoted himself to closed-wheels since 2000 with many major victories at home but also abroad. He is back for his seventh 24 Hours of Le Mans, after a break since 2008. His best result was fifth in a Panoz powered by an Elan engine, along with Johnny O’Connell and Pierre-Henri Raphanel.
Parente. Alvaro Parente, born in Oporto on 4 October 1984, is an extremely fast Portuguese driver. After dabbling with Formula 1, in the early 2010s he became a star performer in GT, often behind the wheel of a McLaren. He has won an International GT Open championship and the Pirelli World Challenge 2016. He has also won the 2016 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hours. He has competed at Le Mans just once before, in 2014 when he had to retire at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GTE of the RAM team, when he raced with Federico Leo and Matt Griffin.
Wee. Born on 28 December 1964, Richard Wee aka “Rocket” is very active in Asia in closed-wheel competitions. He has always competed for Clearwater Racing, also winning a number of podiums in the GT Asia Series. This is his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Montreal – an altogether special track and not just because of its history
Three famous circuits have hosted the Canadian F1 Grand Prix, with the first race dating back fifty years. The “Gilles Villeneuve Circuit” might be the most recent venue, following on from Mosport and Mont-Tremblant, but it is also the best known. It was built on the Ile Notre-Dame, with the paddock running alongside the rowing basin used in the 1976 Olympics and the first GP was held here two years later. Gilles Villeneuve won for Ferrari and a few years later the facility was named in his honour. Gilles used to own a house nearby, a small wooden cottage, painted white and he would also live in a caravan near the track.
Scuderia Ferrari feels very much at home in Montreal. The trip across the ocean that splits the European season is much liked by everyone in the team, as the capital of Quebec is always welcoming and is home to an Italian community of around 200,000 people. From Monaco to the Gilles Villeneuve circuit is a long way and not just geographically: the 4.361 kilometre track is one of the shortest on the calendar, but it is also very fast. It has several straights split by hairpins and chicanes.
Fuel consumption and engine power, as well as good traction out of the slow corners are the technical themes of a pretty special race. The nature of the track surface leans towards the use of the softest compounds in the range. Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will each have just one set of Softs, three of Supersoft and nine of Ultrasoft. Dry conditions are forecast for qualifying and the race with temperatures no higher than 24 degrees.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Discovering the 488 GT3 no. 84 of JMW Motorsport
Posted: 06.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 6 June – Ferrari.com is embarking on another episode of its journey among the crews due to take part in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the wheel of a Prancing Horse car. In the GTE-Am category we are going to find out more about the JMW Motorsport team and its crew.
The team. Jim McWhirter founded JMW Motorsport in 2009 in Holywood, Northern Ireland. McWhirter already had links with Ferrari and motorsport for some years, when he was very closely associated with Virgo Motorsport. JMW Motorsport usually takes part in the European Le Mans Series championship where it is one of the top teams in GT. In 2015, its 458 Italia GTE took second place in the season’s first race, the 4 Hours of Silverstone. In 2016 it dominated the season, but eventually lost out on the title in an unlucky final race. The team won its last outing with the 458 Italia GTE and the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be its first with the new 488 GTE.
Smith. Robert Smith is a British driver and started competing at high level in the 2012 Britcar Championship. In 2015 he started to race in the European Le Mans Series with the Ferrari 458 Italia of JMW Motorsport. In 2016 he won at Spielberg, Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps missing the title in an unfortunate last race.This is his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Stevens. Born in Rochford, Surrey, 25 years ago, Britain’s Will Stevens has followed the usual route taken by today’s young drivers. He began with karting before going over to single-seaters and joining Formula 1, the world’s biggest stage. He made his debut in the top category in the final race of 2014, at the wheel of an uncompetitive Caterham. The following year he drove the Marussia but that single-seater was also tremendously uncompetitive. So he moved over to GT and Endurance races. This is his first time at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Vanthoor. Not to be confused with his powerful brother Laurens, Dries Vanthoor is just 19 years old. He made his debut in single-seaters in 2015 before moving quickly to covered-wheel racing. In 2017 he was involved in the Blancpain Sprint Cup, while his debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will also be the Belgian driver’s first race in a Ferrari.
Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the 488 GTE #83 of DH Racing
Posted: 05.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 5 June 2017 – Ferrari.com is continuing its journey among the crews due to take part in the next 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the wheel of a Prancing Horse car. Staying with the GTE-Am class we are going to take a close look at the 488 GTE no. 83 of DH Racing, which in fact will compete in the colours of the Krohn Racing Team on the occasion of the French classic.
The team. DH Racing was founded in 2016 with a first aim of winning the Asian Le Mans Series championship. The team competed with two cars and triumphed with Michele Rugolo. Its victory in the championship secured it a place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for which occasion the car has been handed over to members of the Krohn Racing team. The car will be in green colour and crewed by Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Andrea Bertolini.
Bertolini. Andrea Bertolini was born in Sassuolo (Modena) on 1 December 1973 and made his debut at 11 years old in the minikart category. In 2001 he had his first outing in GT races and the following year at the wheel of the Ferrari 360 Modena of team JMB in which he came fourth. In 2003, with the same team, he won the N-GT title while the following year he became a test driver for Scuderia Ferrari. It was at this time that the development of the Maserati MC12 began. He competed in this car in the last four races of the 2005 season together with Mika Salo. Bertolini ended up winning virtually everything with the Maserati. With Ferrari he took the laurels at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 in the 458 Italia GTE of SMP Racing along with the Russians Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaytar.
Jonsson. Niclas Jonsson is a Swedish driver born in 1967 who began his career in Europe with Formula 3 and became closely linked to US-based Tracy Krohn. This is also Jonsson’s twelfth time at Le Mans, and he has as a second place to his name, achieved in 2007 with F430 GT2 of Risi Competizione along with Krohn and Colin Braun and two thirds in 2009 (with Krohn and Eric Van De Poele) and in 2012 (with the 458 Italia GTE of Krohn Racing together with Krohn and Michele Rugolo).
Krohn. Tracy Krohn, an American driver born in 1954 also has plenty of experience, a long-term feature of the US motor sport scene. He has wins to his name both in the Grand-Am and IMSA championships. Tracy will be competing in the French classic for the twelfth time, the ninth in a Ferrari. He was second in 2007 with a F430 GT2 of Risi Competizione together with Nic Jonsson and Colin Braun and was third twice, firstly in 2009 (with Jonsson and Eric Van De Poele) and then in 2012 (with the 458 Italia GTE of Krohn Racing together with Jonsson and Michele Rugolo).
Posted: 03.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
June 3, 2017, Aalborg – On a beautiful morning on 3 June, more than 70 Ferraris gathered in the most Northern city in Denmark, Aalborg, to attend “Rally Danimarca” the celebration of Ferraris 70 years anniversary by Denmark’s official Ferrari dealer, Formula Automobile.
After breakfast, the convoy drove South through the amazing hills of Rebild and down to the Fjord of Mariager. Refreshments were provided at several “pit-stops”, with lunch taking place in the town of Vejle where the Ferrari cars were on display for the crowds to see and enjoy.
After lunch, this most beautiful convoy reached the capital Copenhage, with other Ferrari cars joining en route, meaning that the final parade included more than 70 cars from six decades, including 275 GTB, F40, LaFerrari to name a few.
The activity provided Ferrari owners and fans with an incredible experience and it was a wonderful day with more than 400 km of fun. Formula Automobile also organised a VIP Gala Dinner later that evening for 250 Ferrari clients who also witnessed an exclusive premiere of the 812Superfast unveiled to wonderful tunes of electric violins – in carbon-fibre to match the LaFerrari Aperta sitting in the main ball room.
Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the #62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE
Posted: 02.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 2 June 2017 – Ferrari.com leads you on a trip to discover the crews of Prancing Horse customers entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Let us take a closer look at Scuderia Corsa and its crew. This team is reigning champion in GTE-Am class and two thirds of the champions among drivers return this year for a very difficult mission: winning two Le Mans 24 Hours in a row: we are talking about Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell that will race with Cooper MacNeil.
The team. Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo founded Scuderia Corsa in 2013 to meet the needs of Ferrari customers who wanted to race their cars. The team takes part in the Ferrari Challenge North America as well as the Pirelli World Challenge and the IMSA SportsCar Championship where is the Teams’ and Drivers’ title holder with Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan. It competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours getting on the podium in 2015 and winning it in 2016.
Bell. Versatility is the word that identifies this driver best. Townsend Bell switches seamlessly from uncovered to covered wheels. Indy Lights champion in 2001, in 2015 he won the IMSA SCC with Bill Sweedler and the 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa and was third in the French marathon while the following year he won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Sweedler and Jeff Segal. Back in 2014 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona at the wheel of the Ferrari of the AIM Autosport team.
MacNeil. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois, Cooper MacNeil started racing at a very early age and, at the age of 18, he was already a star of his country’s car racing scene competing in the Grand-Am championship. He has won the American Le Mans Series in 2012 and in 2013, when he also debited in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The following year he was fifth at La Sarthe and in 2016 he debuted in the Ferrari Challenge North America, a series in which he’s competing also this year.
Sweedler. Bill Sweedler has competed in various US championships. In 2015, on a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, he won the IMSA SCC in the GT-Daytona class with an incredible come-from-behind performance that culminated in the last race in partnership with Bell. That year he was third at the Le Mans 24 Hours and won it the following year. In 2017 he’s racing to make two in a row. In 2014 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona at the wheel of the 458 Italia of the AIM Autosport team.
Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Spirit of Race #55 488 GTE
Posted: 01.06.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 1 June 2017 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is among the best-known car races in the world, the race that all constructors, teams, and drivers want to win. Eleven Ferrari 488 GTEs will be racing, three in the GTE-Pro class, and eight in the GTE-Am class. The journey of Ferrari.com to discover the Prancing Horse crews competing at Le Mans goes on with the GTE-Am class, and specifically with car No. 55 of the Spirit of Race team driven by Duncan Cameron, Aaron Scott and Marco Cioci.
Cameron. Duncan Cameron started car racing quite late but immediately showed his ability. The Liverpulian driver is fast, makes few mistakes and is always highly motivated. He already raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours twice, while with the AF Corse team in 2016 and with Spirit of Race this year he has taken part in various championships such as the European Le Mans Series, the Blancpain Endurance Series, which he won in Pro-Am class in 2016, the International GT Open and the Biritsh GT Championship.
Cioci. Born on 26 September 1975, Marco Cioci is a successful Italian driver. He’s born in Rome and first started racing karts in 1988. He started racing on covered wheels in 2004. In 2008 season he took part in Italian GT Championship and the following year was second and then third in 2010. He’s a five-time winner of 6 Hours Vallelunga, won the Abu Dhabi Gulf 12 Hours and claimed 1st in the 24 Hours of Dubai. In the ELMS and on some races of the FIA WEC championship he has collected 4 pole positions, 16 podiums and 8 race wins from 2010–2016. In the WEC he has a record of 3 pole positions, 6 podiums and 3 race wins collected in three years. In 2016 he was on the podium in the ELMS at Spielberg, he also in the International GT Open and picked up 2 podiums at Spa-Francorchamps and Paul Ricard. In 2017 he’s part of team Kaspersky Motorsport in the Blancpain Endurance Cup alongside Giancarlo Fisichella and James Calado.
Scott. British driver Aaron Scott, born in 1977, won the 2011 British GT Championship at the wheel of a Ferrari and then made his way in endurance competitions, competing in the Blancpain championship in the Asian Le Mans Series and the Endurance Le Mans Series, where he is racing this season for the AF Corse team. This is his second Le Mans 24 Hours while in 2017 he has been involved by Spirit of Race in the European Le Mans Series chanpionship.
Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Clearwater Racing #61 488 GTE
Posted: 31.05.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 31 May 2017 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is among the best-known car races in the world, the race that all constructors, teams, and drivers want to win. Eleven Ferrari 488 GTEs will be racing, three in the GTE-Pro class, and eight in the GTE-Am class. The journey of Ferrari.com to discover the Prancing Horse crews competing at Le Mans starts with the GTE-Am class, and specifically with car #61 of Clearwater Racing.
The team. Clearwater Racing is one of the most successful GT Racing teams in the Asian region. The team, which has been in existence for ten years, has won numerous titles including three GT Asia Series Driver’s and Team’s championships, three overall victories in the Sepang 12-Hours and the 2015/2016 Asian Le Mans Series Championship. In 2016 Clearwater Racing made its debuta at the Le Mans 24 Hours finishing the race in fourth place with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Bob Bell. This year the Singapore team is competing in the FIA WEC for the entire season collecting a win in the first race of the year at Silverstone. For the Le Mans race the effort has been doubled with the #60 car also fielded by the team.
Mok. Weng Sun Mok, a Malaysian driver born in 1962, has raced in the Ferrari Challenge APAC, is a three-time winner of the GT Asia Series and debuted in the Le Mans 24 Hours last year. He also has experienced many endurance races such as the 24 Ore of Dubai, the 12 hours of Sepang, and the 12 hours of Bathurst.
Sawa. Keita Sawa, a Japanese driver born in 1976, has competed in the Ferrari Challenge APAC and, in the 2015-2016 season, won the championship in the Asian Le Mans Series. This will be his second year at Le Mans following the fourth place collected last year. He has experience in endurance races like the 24 hours of Dubai, in which he participated twice.
Griffin. Born on 1 October 1981, Matthew “Matt” Griffin is one of Ireland’s strongest drivers. After karting he made his debut in a single-seater in 2001 before moving to GT racing in 2003. In his first year eight wins secured the GTC class of the British GT Championship. In 2012 he came first in the Gulf 12 Hours with the 458 Italia of AF Corse, while the following year he took the GTE title of the European Le Mans Series in a 458 Italia of RAM Racing. In 2014 he took part in a number of championships with different Ferrari customer teams, while in 2015 and 2016 he paired with Duncan Cameron in the European Le Mans Series championships and the Blancpain Endurance Series where he won the Pro-Am class title 2015. He has competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours five times, achieving a fantastic third place in 2013 with the 458 of AF Corse with Jack Gerber and Marco Cioci in the GTE-Am class.
Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Spirit of Race #54 488 GTE
Posted: 30.05.2017 / Source: Ferrari
Maranello, 30 May 2017 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is among the best-known car races in the world, the race that all constructors, teams, and drivers want to win. Eleven Ferrari 488 GTEs will be racing, three in the GTE-Pro class, and eight in the GTE-Am class. The journey of Ferrari.com to discover the Prancing Horse crews competing at Le Mans starts with the GTE-Am class, and specifically with car No. 54 of the Spirit of Race team.
The team. Spirit of Race is an AF Corse offshoot founded in 2014 for American competitions but that now also races in Asia and Europe. It made its debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona 2014 and some of its biggest triumphs include that at Zhuhai in the Asian Le Mans Series 2016-17 with Marco Cioci, Nasrat Muzayyin and Rui Aguas, in the 6 Hours of Vallelunga 2016 with Cioci, Alexander Moiseev and Giancarlo Fisichella and at the 24 Hours of Barcelona in 2016 with Alexander Coigny, Gino Forgione, David Iradj-Alexander and Tom Dyer.
Beretta. Olivier Beretta was born on 23 November 1969 in Monte Carlo. After making his debut in karts in 1983, he switched to the French Formula 3 championship in 1989 and then Formula 3000 two years later. He drove in Formula 1 for the Larrousse team in 1994 and as a test driver with Williams in 2003 and 2004, before switching to the world of endurance racing in 2005. He is one oof the most winning drivers and raced at Le Mans already 20 times winning seven editions with Chrysler and Chevrolet. He was runner-up in 2015 in the AF Corse No. 71 458 Italia GTE alongside Davide Rigon and James Calado.
Castellacci. Francesco Castellacci De Villanova made his GT debut in 2010, winning the 2011 Euro GT3 championship along with Federico Leo at the wheel of the 458 Italia of AF Corse. The pair stood out for their tactical intelligence and consistent results, so much so that they took the title with just one victory at Silverstone to their names. In 2014 he made a decisive contribution to Andrea Rizzoli and Stefano Gai winning the Pro-Am title of the Blancpain Endurance Series in the 458 Italia GT3 of the Scuderia Villorba Corse. In 2017 he is competing in the WEC together with Flohr and Miguel Molina in Spirit of Race car no. 54.
Flohr. Thomas Flohr, a Swiss driver and businessman, debuted in GT races in 2012 at the 6 Hours of Vallelunga in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Kessel Racing, finishing seventh with Castellacci. Over the years, his improvement has been impressive with a first win in the GTC class at the 4-Hour Spielberg of 2016 along with Castellacci and Stuart Hall. In 2017 he is making his WEC debut with the Ferrari 488 GTE of Spirit of Race.