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Circuit Le Mans
Date 13.06. – 14.06.2015
Laps 395
Distance 5.383,455 km / 3.345,839 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
51 Gianmaria Bruni
Toni Vilander
Giancarlo Fisichella
458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2886
AF Corse
25. overall / 3. in class LMGTE PRO
55 Duncan Cameron
Matt Griffin
Alexander Mortimer
 458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2854 AF Corse retired
61 Peter Mann
Raffaele Giammaria
Matteo Cressoni
 458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2848 AF Corse 31. overall / 5. in class LMGTE AM
62 William Sweedler
Townsend Bell
Jeffrey Segal
 458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2830 Scuderia Corsa 24. overall / 3. in class LMGTE AM
66 Abdulaziz Al Faisal
Jakub Giermaziak
Michael Avenatti
 458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2808 JMW Motorsport 36. overall / 7. in class LMGTE AM
71
Davide Rigon
James Calado
Olivier Beretta
458 Italia GT2
F 142 GT 2884
AF Corse
21. overall / 2. in class LMGTE PRO
72 Victor Shaytar
Andrea Bertolini
Aleksey Basov
458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2872
SMP Racing
20. overall / 1. in class LMGTE AM
83 Francois Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Rui Aguas
458 Italia GT2 F 142 GT 2880
AF Corse 26. overall / 4. in class LMGTE AM

 

Relive the Ferrari emotions of the Le Mans 24 Hours

Posted: 17.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 17 June – The emotions of the Le Mans 24 Hours, duels, strategies, people, the mechanics work in pit lane, the mistakes, the tiredness, the technical issues. Relive the Le Mans 24 Hours where Ferrari obtained four podium finishes and a win in GTE-Am class thanks to no. 72 of SMP Racing driven by Andrea Bertolini, Victor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov.

 

World Endurance Championship – Mixed fortunes for Ferrari at the Le Mans 24 Hours

Posted: 14.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 14 June – An unexpected victory and two bitter podiums. This is the final result for Ferrari’s drivers and teams at the 83rd edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours race: the joy of Andrea Bertolini, test driver for Ferrari and one of the strongest Italian Endurance drivers of all time, his two Russian team-mates, Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaytar, and the SMP Racing team, which, after winning the European Le Mans Series championship in 2014 succeeded, in the GTE-Am category, winning the most important race in the world. However, the joy of the Sassuolo driver isn’t enough to temper the bitterness of knowing that the potential for bringing home a victory in the GTE-Pro category was there. The 2014 winners, “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander, and Giancarlo Fisichela, threw themselves in like lions, succeeding, through various tactics, in recovering a race that seemed over, and which, in the end, was lost due only to a technical failure.
At 3pm yesterday, the battle in the GTE-Pro class kicked off and was immediately wide open, with Ferrari number 51 of the AF Corse team, in the hands of Bruni, attacking polesitter Aston Martin no. 97. The following four hours saw Ferrari experience difficult moments: number 51, driven by Fisichella, was struck by Audi prototype no. 8 at the restart after a yellow flag. The Italia 458 experienced a rear right tyre puncture and damage to its side, which caused it to lose precious minutes. At the same time, number 71 lost three laps due to the substitution of its starter.
Halfway through the race both Italia 458s were, therefore, quite far from their objective. 51 was in fifth, almost a lap behind the leader Aston Martin 99, while 71 was four laps down and very far from the podium. However neither of the two teams gave up hope. Using the issues experienced by Aston Martin (an accident for 99 and a malfunction for 97) and Porsche 91 to its advantage, number 51, thanks to an incredibly rapid stint by all of its drivers, managed overnight to put itself back in the running for victory together with Milner-Taylor-Gavin’s Chevrolet number 64. At dawn Vilander also skilfully took advantage of a yellow flag to change not only his tires, but also his brake pads, thus saving himself approximately 2/3 of a lap as compared to his rivals and re-entering the track ahead. Unfortunately, right after the Safety Car restart, he found himself with a punctured tyre and the strategy in vain. Forced to make another pit stop together with Corvette, he found himself racing against the American car in the pit lane and having to grant him the lead. At the next pit stop the American car changed its tyres while Bruni did not and instead took the lead, to the point that he passed the baton on to Vilander in first place. In Toni’s first lap, however, there was a problem with the gearbox which put an end to his dreams of victory. Number 51 returned to the box and the AF Corse crew was successfully able to fix the gearbox, putting Bruni back on the track in time to recover 3rd place on the podium, behind number 71 in 2nd place and Chevrolet in 1st.
For Ferrari in the GTE-Am category, in addition to the satisfaction of Andrea Bertolini’s and the SMP Racing team car’s victory, there was also the joy of seeing a second car on the podium in the Am category, it was Scuderia Corsa no. 62 of Bill Sweedler, Jeff Segal, and Townsend Bell. Of note in this category are also the fourth and fifth place wins of AF Corse cars no. 83 (Collard-Perrodo-Aguas) and 61 (Mann-Cressoni-Giammaria). Next race will take place on August 30th at Nurburgring in Germany, the only new stop included in the WEC calendar as compared to last year.

 

The Le Mans 24 Hours with the team – A unique experience for a group of Ferrari owners

Posted: 14.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 14 June – Ferrari means innovation, style, but also exclusivity. And the experience offered to five very special customers from various European countries and to their accompanying partners was decidedly exclusive: to live the Le Mans 24 Hours, perhaps the greatest race in the world, from an unusual perspective, not as spectators, but as team members. To enter into the mood of this historic race, guests were first of all the escorted to Friday’s historical parade, during which they were able to get a close look at splendid cars that have made car-racing history and to meet in person the 24 drivers of the Ferrari customers teams entered in the race.

Adrenalin at the start. On Saturday, the day began by meeting Amato Ferrari and the AF Corse team personnel, which fields the Ferrari 458 Italia racers in the GTE-Pro category, and by making acquaintance with the Le Mans paddock, the largest in the world, but also the most crowded, considering the 55 starting teams. After lunch in the hospitality centre, preparation for the race began. The guests, equipped with radios to listen to the communications of car number 51 of “Gimmi” Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Toni Vilander and car number 71 of Olivier Beretta, James Calado, and Davide Rigon, witnessed the departure of Ferrari’s technical motorhome, the facility used to continuously monitor the race.

Afternoon. In the afternoon, the customers were hosted at the box of the AF Corse team and were able to observe truly spectacular moments from just a few metres away: the driver exchange, which happens in an extremely short time and with incredible precision, tyre replacement, or refuelling. As evening fell, the customers who preferred to stay close to the race were able to go on following it (still with the aid of the radio) dining in the hospitality centre or staying in the garage; those who chose to explore the other side of Le Mans, were able to visit the big fairground, walk through the village inside the circuit or attend one of the many concerts in the programme.

Sunday. The next morning, they were able to enjoy the late phases of the race again as members of the team and in the end they even managed to celebrate a victory, the unexpected one of Andrea Bertolini with the SMP Racing Ferrari in the GTE-Am. One thing is certain, they will not forgot this edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

 

The Le Mans night, inside and outside the track

Posted: 14.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 14 June – The Le Mans 24 Hours is not only a race, it’s atmosphere, adrenaline, passion, that is translated in different ways, from the fans to the drivers, to the crew member. A sleepless night that is unique all over the world.

 

WEC – 24 Hours of Le Mans 20 Hours: A Puncture Cancels Out Ferrari 51′s Comeback

Posted: 14.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 14 June – The 2015 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race has begun its final sixth, the four hours that could determine who will claim the victory. During the past four hours, not much has happened, but the events which did take place have been particularly relevant. The AF Corse team has, in fact, succeeded in implementing an excellent strategy, taking advantage of pit stops during yellow flags in order to change the brake pads of car number 51 and to come out ahead of Chevrolet number 64. Unfortunately, at the restart, Toni Vilander suffered a puncture which made it all in vain, forcing him to make another stop and subsequently exiting the box tied with Corvette. In the end Chevrolet was able to remain ahead of Ferrari and Ferrari was left chasing behind. #71 continues to oscillate between fourth and fifth place.

GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am category there have been few changes: Aston Martin number 98 is still in first place, while Victo Shaytar with Ferrari number 72 of the SMP Racing team remains in second place, having however, gone off track at the start of the 20th hour of the race, nearly throwing away the beautiful second place which the team has been holding onto since before the halfway point. The car returned to the track after losing one and a half laps, but managed to retain its advantage over Scuderia Corsa number 62, in third place. In sixth and seventh places are AF Corse numbers 83 and 61. More detached, in ninth place, is number 66 of the JMW Motorsport Team.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours Hour 16: the No. 51 Ferrari fighting with the Chevrolet

Posted: 14.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, June 14 – The 83rd edition of Le Mans 24 Hours has reached two-thirds of the distance and has seen the GTE-Pro class Ferrari recover. The No. 51 has gained positions again and is now fighting with the No. 64 Chevrolet for first place. What made this extraordinary feat possible was conducted the night before by Toni Vilander, and then by “Gimmi” Bruni, as well as the accident in which the No. 99 Aston Martin played the main protagonist. The fight is down to the wire with the Chevrolet, now with Giancarlo Fisichella behind the wheel. Also, the No. 71 car gained the position occupied by the Aston Martin and is now fourth, although the step and podium are some laps away, and it is currently occupied by the No. 91 Porsche. Behind the wheel is James Calado.

GTE-Am There are few changes in the GTE-Am category: the No.98 Aston Martin is still in the lead, while Andrea Bertolini, driving SMP Racing team’s No.72 Ferrari, is in second place. The No.62 Scuderia Corsa car is fourth, while AF Corse’s cars, No. 55, 61 and 83, are in sixth to eighth place. Way behind is JMW Motorsport team’s No.66 car, which suffered an initial fire at night that caused it to miss several rounds.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours – Midrace: the No.51 Ferrari in podium position again

Posted: 14.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, June 14 – The midrace of the 83rd edition of Le Mans 24 Hours was reached, and in the last four hours, a number of things have happened. Team AF Corse’s GTE-Pro category 458 Italia Ferraris continue to climb back up after the streak of bad luck in the first hours of the race. The No.51 car, with Toni Vilander at the wheel, first benefited from the withdrawal of the No.97 Aston Martin and then from the No.91 Porsche’s long pit stop, making its way back up to third position. On the other hand, the No.71 car is in fifth position, just behind the German car, with Davide Rigon, the protagonist of a triple stint. The No.99 Aston Martin remains in the lead.

GTE-Am. In the last four hours, there has still been disappointment about AF Corse’s No.83; driven by Dana Collard, François Perrodo and Rui Aguas, it was the protagonist of the first phase of the race. In fact, it was a suspension problem that forced the team to a long pit stop. In the GTE-Am class, the No.98 Aston Martin is in the lead, while the No.72 SMP Racing team Ferrari is in second place, now driven by Victor Shaytar. In fourth place is Scuderia Corsa’s No.62 Ferrari, while JMW Motorsport’s No.66 458 Italia and AF Corse’s No. 55 are in sixth and seventh. In ninth place, ahead of No.61, the team from Piacenza also has the unlucky No.83.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours – Hour 8: the No.51 Ferrari tries to fight back

Posted: 13.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, June 13 – The No.83 Le Mans 24 Hours has reached a third of its course. The second four-hours of racing saw the GTE-Pro class Ferrari face uneasy moments. No.51, which had been hit by Loic Duval’s No.8 Audi at the stroke of the third hour, was forced to take a longer stop than expected when refueling in order to clean the debris from the rear right part of the car again, which resulted from the accident. Fisichella, who faced a double stint, launched himself back into the race before handing the car over to Toni Vilander. The Finn was the protagonist of a quick stint that allowed him to recover valuable time and pass the car to “Gimmi” Bruni who is continuing the endeavor. There are more mundane yet more expensive troubles in a key race for the No.71 car, which had ignition problems that forced the team to a long stop and the loss of four laps. It only increases one’s disappointment to note the fact that Calado, who is facing a triple stint, is the fastest driver on the track. The no.64 Chevrolet is in the lead.

GTE-Am. The last four hours have changed little in the GTE-Am category. The No.98 Aston Martin is in the lead, while the No. 83 and No.72 Ferraris are in second and third positions, respectively, from AF Corse and team SMP Racing, making the most of Emmanuel Collard and Andrea Bertolini’s talents. In fifth position is Scuderia Corsa’s 458 Italia (with Jeff Segal); in seventh and eighth are AF Corse’s No. 55 (Duncan Cameron) and team JMW Motorsport’s No.66 (Jakub Giermaziak). AF Corse’s No. 61 is tenth.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours – Hour 4: The No. 8 Audi hits the No.51 Ferrari

Posted: 13.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, June 13 – The first part of the race had plenty of twists and turns at the 83rd edition of Le Mans 24 Hours. In the GTE-Pro class, the No.99 Aston Martin took the lead while a Ferrari took second. However, it was not Giancarlo Fisichella (who was driving), “Gimmi” Bruni and Toni Vilander’s No.51, but rather it was Davide Rigon (behind the wheel), Olivier Beretta and James Calado’s No.71, which was very good at climbing back to the top of the line-up from second place. No.51′s speed slowed down at the stroke of the third hour of racing following an accident with the No.8 Audi, driven at that time by Loic Duval. A group of Chevrolet GT cars headed by of Giorgio Roda proceeded slowly. Giancarlo Fisichella then came onto them and, in turn, slowed down. At over 300 km/h, the Audi LMP1 plunged into the group, failing to dodge the cars hitting the Ferrari. Fisichella went back into the box with a flat tire. He inevitably lost time, falling from third to fifth place.

GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class, the No. 72 SMP Racing team was still in the lead, now driven by Victor Shaytar, which preceded the No. 98 Aston Martin and AF Corse’s No. 83 Ferrari, with François Perrodo behind the wheel. Three other Ferraris took seventh to ninth place: they were JMW Motorsport’s No.66 (with Abdulaziz Al Faisal at the wheel), Scuderia Corsa’s No. 62 (with Bill Sweedler) and AF Corse’s No. 55 (with Duncan Cameron). The No.61 car belongs to the same team, currently driven by Matteo Cressoni, who came in at eleventh Position.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours – A battle erupts in the first hour

Posted: 13.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, June 13 – The 83rd edition of Le Mans 24 Hours kicked off at 3 p.m. A battle in the GTE_Pro Class soon erupted. Team AF Corse’s No.1 Ferrari, which in the hands of “Gimmi” Bruni, was able to attack the No.97 Aston Martin that started in pole position. On the second lap, Bruni was in the lead ahead of Richie Stanaway and Niki Thiim with the No.95 Aston, but shortly after, the battle flared up again, with the two English cars having the upper hand in the 458 Italia. However, at the pit stop, Bruni, who also shifted to the rear right after a slight loss of pressure, was able to bypass the No.97 car. Behind the other team’s car, James Calado’s No. 71 was the protagonist of a great first stint. Starting second-to-last after an hour of racing, the car was sixth in its category.

GTE-Am. In the other GT category, which saw six Ferraris on the track, the 458 Italia was in the lead after a good hour of racing. Team SMP Racing’s No. 72, headed by Andrea Bertolini, was passed by the No. 98 Aston Martin in the Waltz of the pit stop. In third place was the No.55 AF Corse car with Matt Griffin, while sixth and seventh were AF Corse’s No.83 (Emmanuel Collard) and Scuderia Corsa’s No.62 (Jeff Segal); also, JMW Motorsport’s No.66 came in ninth and AF Corse’s No.61 came in eleventh (Peter Mann). As soon as the the time had struck, a long safety car was sent out due to the fire that enveloped Patrick Pilet’s No.92 Porsche.

 

WEC – 24 Hours of Le Mans – A sea of people in the center of Le Mans for the Ferrari drivers

Posted: 13.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 13 June – For several hours the Ferrari team drivers were distracted from thoughts about the race which begins today at 3pm. Yesterday all 56 teams competing in the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans race gathered in the city’s center for the traditional Friday parade. As always the crowed showed enormous admiration for the 24 Ferrari team drivers, who also paraded before several special guests which the Casa di Maranello invited to Le Mans for an exclusive experience with the team. There was major celebration in particular for the crew of car number 51 with last year’s winners: “Gimmi Bruni”, Toni Vilander, and Giancarlo Fisichella, now true celebrities in France.

 

Le Mans 24 Hours – The adrenalin of the qualifying sessions

Posted: 12.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 12 June – Few qualifying sessions are as difficult as those of Le Mans. Regulations are complex; each pilot must qualify at night too, completing at least five laps at a good pace in the dark, a non-negligible feat, considering that a lap is over thirteen kilometres long and that a GTE car takes approximately four minutes to cover it. Often, yellow flags, but red ones too, force the drivers to slow down and take off again in a later phase. Therefore, extreme attention must be paid even from the boxes: it is necessary to take advantage of green flag moments to go after fast times; but it is also necessary to be extremely versatile and try to adapt strategy to track conditions. The importance of the starting position in a 24-hour race is limited, but being able to start among the first in one’s category provides a substantial lift to the spirits of all crews. Ferrari obtained the second-fastest qualifying time both in the GTE-Pro class, with car number 51 of AF Corse driven by “Gimmi” Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Toni Vilander, and in the GTE-Am category with car number 83, still of AF Corse, driven by François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, and Rui Aguas. The race takes off tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

 

AF Corse racing family

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 11 June – Amato Ferrari introduces his team which is like a big racing family crisscrossing the world to race in many different championships. The most important series entered by AF Corse is the World Endurance Championship (WEC) of which the team is world champion alongside Ferrari among manufacturers. AF Corse also won last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours thanks to “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours – Ferrari comeback in last qualifying session

Posted: 12.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 12 June – Qualifying are finished at the 83rd edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Ferraris came back strongly in the GTE-Pro class after the problems at Tertre Rouge on Wednesday which cost the cancellation of their times to both “Gimmi” Bruni (car 51) and James Calado (car 71). The cars entered in the GTE-Am class confirmed their role of solid contenders for victory.

GTE-Pro. Luckily, the much-feared arrival of the rain did not materialise and qualifying were thus held under normal track conditions. This does not mean that everything went smoothly without hitches, as there were numerous yellow flags which forced the drivers to slow down; there were also some red flags. The third and decisive session started ahead of schedule in order to make up for the time lost in the second session after the accident of Jan Magnussen’s Chevrolet. “Gimmi” Bruni, who needed to complete his qualification laps at night, was the first to come out, at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia number 51. The WEC 2014 world champion pushed immediately to the limit, quickly bringing his car into second place, behind the Aston Martin number 99 of Stanaway-Rees-MacDowell. Car 71 too was able to comeback, with James Calado at the wheel, and tomorrow it will start in fourth place, with a time just a whisker behind that of the Aston Martin number 97.

GTE-Am. Two Ferraris confirmed themselves in second and third place in the GTE-Am class: we refer to car number 83 of AF Corse, with Perrodo-Collard-Aguas and car number 72 of the SMP Racing team driven by Shaytar-Basov-Bertolini. They will be the immediate pursuers of the Aston Martin number 98 of Dalla Lana-Lamy-Lauda, but four more 458 Italia will be ready for battle tomorrow. In fact, cars number 55 (Mortimer-Cameron-Griffin) and 61 (Mann-Cressoni-Giammaria) of AF Corse are in sixth and seventh place respectively in the class, followed by car number 62 of Scuderia Corsa driven by Bell-Sweedler-Segal in eighth place. Car number 66 of JMW Motorsport team driven by Al Faisal-Giermaziak-Avenatti is in eleventh position. No more activity on the track today: the drivers will be at centre stage in the parade held at the city centre. Tomorrow, on the other hand, is race day, with start at 3:00 p.m., preceded by a 45-minute warm-up session at 9:00 a.m.

 

Countdown to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Italia 458 #62 of Scuderia Corsa

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 june – Ferrari.com looks at the crews of customers of the Prancing Horse who have entered the upcoming Le Mans 24 Hours. Let’s find out more about the Scuderia Corsa and its crew.

The team. Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo founded Scuderia Corsa in 2011 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 United SportsCar Championship (USCC).

William “Bill” Sweedler. He became involved in high-level motoring at a late age but quickly proved very fast. He has competed in a number of US championships and has now raced with Ferrari for some years. Currently competing in the USCC, this is his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Townsend Bell. Versatility is the word for Townsend Bell who moved easily from single seater to GT cars. A few days ago he was on track at the Indianapolis 500 in the IndyCar series, but he usually focuses on US endurance races. Indy Lights champion in 2001, he raced in the USCC last year with the Ferrari of the Level 5 Motorsports team and this year is with Scuderia Corsa. This is also his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Jeffrey “Jeff” Segal. A native of Philadelphia, he started racing young and at 19 was already a star in the United States. He won the Sports Car Challenge in 2007 and the Grand Am championship in 2010 and 2012 with the Ferrari 458 Italia of the AIM Autosport team. Again for him this is his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

 

Countdown to Le Mans 24 Hours – Ferrari #55 AF Corse

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – AF Corse has long been one of Ferrari’s main client teams. The partnership between Ferrari and AF Corse has accounted for most of the GT wins of recent years and all those in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since its inception in 2012. The team and the manufacturer achieved success in the first year with victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Then in 2013 came the hat trick of drivers’, team and manufacturers’ titles, which was repeated again last year and rounded off by victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours with car no. 51 of “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Duncan Cameron. Duncan Cameron started car racing at a late age but immediately showed his ability. The Liverpudlian driver is fast, makes few mistakes and is always highly motivated. This is his debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, while with the AF Corse team this season he has taken part in various championships such as the European Le Mans Series, the Blancpain Endurance Series and the International GT Open.

Matthew Griffin. Born on 1 October 1981, Matthew Griffin is one of the best Irish drivers of all time in any category of motorsport. After karting Griffin made his debut in a single-seater in 2001 before moving to GT racing in 2003. In his first year he won the GTC class of the British GT Championship with eight victories. 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 of the RAM Racing team. In 2014 he took part in a number of championships with different Ferrari client teams, while in 2015 he paired with Duncan Cameron in the European Le Mans Series championships, the Blancpain Endurance Series and the International GT Open. He has competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours three times, achieving a fantastic third place in 2013 with the 458 of AF Corse with Jack Gerber and Marco Cioci.

Alex Mortimer. Born 28 October 1985 in Birmingham, Alex Mortimer started racing in 2004 in Great Britain. He won the British GT Championship in 2007 and then in the following years began competing in the international series. He has raced in the Blancpain International Series, the International GT Open and this season made his debut in the WEC. This is his first Le Mans 24 Hours.

 

Countdown to Le Mans 24 Hours – Taking a look at the Ferrari #61 of AF Corse

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – AF Corse has long been one of Ferrari’s main client teams. The partnership between Ferrari and AF Corse has accounted for most of the GT wins of recent years and all those in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since its inception in 2012. The team and the manufacturer achieved success in the first year with victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Then in 2013 came the hat trick of drivers’, team and manufacturers’ titles, which was repeated again last year and rounded off by victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours with car no. 51 of “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Peter Ashley Mann.  Peter Ashley Mann began for pleasure, but is now a real driver whose ability is not up for discussion. A lover of every aspect of Ferrari, in 2014 he won the Gentlemen Trophy at the Blancpain Endurance Series championship with Filipe Barreiros and Francisco Guedes at the wheel of the 458 Italia of AF Corse. He is racing with the same team in the European championship Le Mans Series. He made his debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 along with Raffaele Giammaria and Lorenzo Casé.

Raffaele Giammaria. Born in Civitavecchia on 1 September 1977, after several years in karting he made his debut in a single-seater in 2000, alternating between that and GT until 2009. Since 2010 he has focused solely on GT and Endurance competitions totting up a large number of victories. In 2014 he won the Italian GT Championship in the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Scuderia Baldini 27 Network with Lorenzo Casé. This year, he is taking part in the European Le Mans Series and the International GT Open championship with the Ferrari of AF Corse. He made his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours last year.

Marco Cressoni. Born on 28 October 1984 in Mantua, Marco Cressoni made his debut in single-seaters in 2001. He then began racing in GT competitions in 2005, winning the GT Supercar championship in 2011. He made his debut in the WEC races in 2014 and this year competes in his first Le Mans 24 Hours.

 

Towards the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Ferrari No. 51 of AF Corse, titleholder

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – Ferrari.com brings you to discover the Ferrari crews entered in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The car number 51 of AF Corse is the all-winning ace of the GTE-Pro category, as it won the drivers and teams title with “Gimmi” Bruni and Toni Vilander, made a decisive contribution to Ferrari’s win of the Constructors Championship, and, especially, brought home the win in the 2014 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours with the contribution of Giancarlo Fisichella. During the current season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), car 51 took the Silverstone race and would have done the same at the Spa Francorchamps race had it not been for an unfortunate pit stop which caused a one-minute penalty and negated the efforts of “Gimmi” and Toni.

The team. AF Corse has been one of Ferrari’s main customers teams for a number of years. The cooperation between Ferrari and AF Corse generated a good deal 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 team and constructors titles, as well as the win in the Le Mans 24 Hours; in 2013 there were the three titles for drivers, teams and constructors, a feat duplicated last year.

Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni. Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni was born in Rome on 30 May 1981. He began on karts at the age of ten, but gained his first experience with a racing car in 1997, when he entered the Formula Renault Campus Italia, in which he won the title in 1998. The following year he won the European Formula Renault series and, in 2000, he moved to the British Formula 3 series, where he remained for three seasons. In 2003 he was the runner up in the Euro 3000 Series and the following year he made his début in Formula 1, racing for Minardi for one season. In 2005 and 2006 he went back to the GP2 cadet category and, in 2007, he moved on to compete in the FIA GT2 championship with AF Corse and in the American Le Mans Series with the Risi Competizione team. In 2008, he dominated the FIA GT2 championship along with Toni Vilander, winning two of the three races in the Le Mans Series championship, teamed with Robert Bell. He also won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, paired again with Salo. In 2009, Bruni came in second in the Le Mans Series and in the FIA GT championship and, in 2010, he obtained the same position in the American Le Mans Series. The Roman driver renewed with success alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Since 2012, Bruni races for the AF Corse team at the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Italia GTE, in the World Endurance Championship (WEC); in this class, he took first place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, together with Toni Vilander e Giancarlo Fisichella. In 2013 he teamed up with Fisichella for the whole season except for the last race, in Bahrain, where he won with Vilander, thus earning, individually, the GT WEC Drivers Championship, while making a substantial contributions to Ferrari’s and AF Corse’s titles for constructors and teams. In 2014, he made a regular pair with Vilander and confirmed himself WEC world champion. With a practically perfect season, the two brought two more titles to Ferrari and AF Corse and returned to the top the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans together with Giancarlo Fisichella, thus repeating the feat of 2012. In 2015, still paired with Vilander, he won the first race of the 2015 WEC season at Silverstone.

Toni Markus Vilander. Toni Markus Vilander made his motorsport début at the age of five. He began his career in karting, winning the Junior Finnish championship in 1995 and the German Oceanic series in 1999. 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 race, first event of the 2015 WEC season.

Giancarlo “Fisico” 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. Between the ages of 11 and 18 he participated in Italian and International kart championships obtaining many excellent results. In 1992 he started in Formula 3, where he ended the season in eighth place, but he won the Italian championship in 1994, with ten victories, after coming in second the year before. After a hiatus in the international Turismo championship with Alfa Romeo, 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 (1997), Benetton (from 1998 to 2001), and again Jordan (2002 and 2003, when he earned the first win of his career in Brazil). He then raced for Sauber (2004), Renault (2005-2007) and Force India (2008 and a part of 2009). In 2009, after Felipe Massa’s accident in Hungary, and after Luca Badoer replaced Massa for two races, Giancarlo Fisichella was called up to the Scuderia Ferrari, for which he drove the F60 No.3 from the Italian Grand Prix to the end of the season. 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 USCC (United Sports Car Championship) and winning twice, in the Road America and Virginia races, together with the German Pierre Kaffer, at the wheel of the 458 Italia of the Risi Competizione team. In 2015, he is still competing in the same championship with the same team-mate.

 

Countdown to Le Mans 24 Hours – Ferrari 458 Italia #66 of JMW Motorsport

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – Ferrari.com is continuing its journey, looking at the Ferrari crews set to compete in the upcoming Le Mans 24 Hours. We will stay with the GTE-Am category to find out more about the JMW Motorsport team and its crew.

The team. JMW Motorsport was founded in 2009 by Jim McWhirter in Holywood, Northern Ireland. Mr McWhirter 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 among the top teams. Its 458 Italia took second place in the opening race of the 2014 season, the 4 Hours of Silverstone.

Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud “Al Faisal”. Born on 4 June 1983, the Saudi prince has almost 10 years experience in GT racing and is one of the most successful drivers in the Middle East. He has won two GT3 Middle East championships, and in January 2015 triumphed in the Dubai 24 Hours. This will be his fifth start at the Le Mans 24 Hours. His first two races were at the wheel of a Porsche, in which he never managed to reach the finishing line. Over the past two years he has competed in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari, achieving a best result of seventh place in 2014 together with Seth Neiman and Spencer Pumpelly.

Jakub “Kuba” Giermaziak. Not yet 25, he is one of the younger drivers at the start of the 24 Hours. “Kuba” began his career in single-seaters in 2007, moving to GT in 2012. Since then he has mainly competed in America. This is his first experience in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Michael J. Avenatti. A native of Sacramento, Michael Avenatti is a long term GT driver, even if his racing career began late. This is not his first experience of the Le Mans 24 Hours, having competed in 2013 for Patrick Dempsey and Alessandro Del Piero’s team. On that occasion he came fourth together with Dempsey a

 

Towards the 24 Hours of Le Mans – AF Corse Ferrari No. 71

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – 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 last year, 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. Here, we talk about the other GTE-Pro car, driven by the young James Calado and by Davide Rigon, who, for the occasion, will be joined by a veteran of the racetracks: Olivier Beretta.

James John Calado. James Calado began his career in the kart world in the Cadets category in 1999, to reach the top class (the KF1) in 2006. He then moved on to the English Formula Renault series in 2008 with the Fortec team and took part in two races of the North Europe Formula Renault 2.0 Cup at Zolder and Spa-Francorchamps; at the end of the season, he participated in the Winter Series of both the Portuguese and English Formula Renault series. That year, Calado also took part in three Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races with the Forte team and then moved to the British Formula 3 series for the 2010 season, racing with the Carlin team. In 2011, he raced in GP3 bearing the colours of the Lotus ART team and, with the same team, he made his GP2 début in the final round of 2011, held at Yas Marina, where he earned a full-time position for 2012. During that season, he was fifth in the championship standings, with wins at Sepang and Hockenheim and climbing the podium five more times. In 2013 Calado fulfilled the role of test driver for the Force India Formula 1 team and, from September to the end of the year, that of third driver. On the track, in GP2 (again with ART Grand Prix), he won two more races (Spa-Francorchamps and Yas Marina) finishing third in the championship. In 2014, James teamed up with Davide Rigon at the wheel of one of the 458 Italia GT fielded by the AF Corse team in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in which he earned five podium positions and contributed to Ferrari’s win in the Constructors’ Championship. This season he continues to be Davide’s partner in the WEC.

Davide Rigon. Born in Thiene, (Vicenza, Italy) on 26 August 1986, Davide Rigon made his début in Formula BMW ADAC in 2003 and then went on to win the Italian Formula Renault, Italian Formula 3 and Formula Azzurra championships. In 2007, Rigon triumphed in the Euroseries 3000, thanks to six wins, seven podiums, four pole positions and eight fastest laps. In 2008, he also took part in the GT2 class of the FIA GT championship for the BMS Scuderia Italia team, winning the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. During the same season, he made his début in the Superleague Formula Championship under the white and green colours of the Beijing Guoan Racing Club. At the end of the season, Davide took his second title in two years, thus making the first entry in the honour roll for the championship which brought together the worlds of football and motor racing. Thanks to these results, in 2009, he found his way into GP2 with the Trident Team, competing in the three final rounds of the GP2 Asia series and obtaining his first podium finish at the final event in Sepang, Malaysia. Since 2011, Davide has been available to the Scuderia Ferrari, to perform activities linked to development of the car as well as marketing-related tasks. He also took part in some races at the wheel of the 458 GT. In 2013, he contributed to the victory of the 8 Stars Motorsport team in the GTE-AM category of the FIA World Endurance Championship and this year he is racing in the GTE Pro series, driving the second car of the AF Corse team, along with James Calado from Britain. They have earned five podium finishes and made a decisive contribution to Ferrari’s win of the Constructors Championship title. In 2015, he continues to participate in the WEC, together with James, and to carry out testing activities for the Scuderia Ferrari.

Olivier Beretta. Olivier Beretta was born on 23 November 1969 in Monte Carlo. After making his début in karts in 1983, he switched to the French Formula 3 in 1989 and to Formula 3000 two years later. He drove in Formula 1 for the Larrousse team in 1994 and was test driver for the Williams team in 2003 and 2004, before switching to the world of endurance racing in 2005. He has taken part in the American Le Mans Series in the GT1 class, obtaining six class wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours and many other successes. Beretta is one of the most successful GT drivers of the past decade. After eight years with Corvette Racing, in 2012, the Monegasque joined the Ferrari professionals engaged in GT races, at the wheel of a 458 Italia; he is also available for all sporting and commercial activities linked to Prancing Horse owners. In 2014 he won the European le Mans Series championship (in the GTC class) at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia of the SMP team together with the Russians Devi Matkozov and Anton Ladygin, winning the race at the Paul Ricard circuit. This year he is engaged in America in the Pirelli World Challenge championship, in which he currently tops the standings with the 458 Italia of the R. Ferri Motorsport Team.

 

The road to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Introducing SMP Racing’s Ferrari #72

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – Ferrari.com continues its introduction to the eight Ferrari client team crews set to start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13. This time we stick with the GTE-AM class and SMP Racing’s car no. 72.

The team. SMP Racing is a Russian team involved in several different motorsport categories. It began competing as Russian Bears in 2007 and, over the years, became a force to be reckoned with in the GT championships. In 2014, it was one of the main players in the International GT Open championship and won the European Le Mans Series with a 458 Italia driven by Sergey Zlobin, Viktor Shaytar and Andrea Bertolini. In 2015, Aleksey Basov replaced Zlobin and the team decided to tackle the most difficult challenge of all: the World Endurance Championship.

Aleksey Basov. No. 72 has fared very well indeed in the opening rounds of the 2015 season, making it to the third step on the podium in both events held thus far. 38 year old Russian Aleksey Basov first made a major impact in top-level motor-racing in 2007 when he won the European Touring Car Cup at the wheel of a Lada. Just two years later, he had his maiden GT race and in 2012, took victory in the Ferrari Challenge Europe. The following year, he raced for SMP Racing in the International GT Open and the Blancpain Series while in 2014, he finished third in the European Le Mans Series which was won by his team-mates. Basov made his Le Mans debut in 2014 in the SMP Racing 458 Italia, flanked by Bertolini and Shaytar with whom he is teamed again this year.

Viktor Shaytar. The second Russian driver in the team was born on February 13 1983 and began his career in single-seaters, competing in German Formula 3 in 2009. However, he quickly shifted his focus to enclosed wheel cars. Shaytar joined SMP in 2013, winning the GTC class of the European Le Mans Series alongside fellow Russian Kirill Ladygin and Italian Fabio Babini. The following year, paired with Bertolini and Zlobin, he triumphed in the GTE class. Shaytar also made his Le Mans debut in 2014 with Bertolini and Basov.

Andrea Bertolini. The Sassuolo driver was born on December 1 1973 and is one of the top GT drivers on the Italian scene today. His name will forever be linked to the Maserati MC12, the car built under the aegis of Ferrari that garnered FIA GT1 titles in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2011, Bertolini won the Superstars title with the Swiss Team and two years later, triumphed in the GTC class of the Asian Le Mans Series in an AF Corse 458 Italia with Michele Rugolo and Australian Steve Wyatt. He then went on to win the European Le Mans Series in 2014. Andrea is a Scuderia Ferrari driver and has test-driven over 350 Formula 1 cars. His favourite 24-hour race is Spa-Francorchamps, which he has won on several different occasions. He has also competed at Le Mans three times, finishing fourth in 2012 in the GTE-Pro class in the AF Corse 458 Italia teamed with Marco Cioci and Monegasque driver Olivier Beretta.

 

The road to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Meet AF Corse’s Ferrari #83

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – Today we begin our run-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans during which we will introduce the eight Ferrari client teams lining out at the start on June 13. The French race is, of course, an event that’s worth an entire season, a competition that sets up the careers of the drivers, teams and constructors that manage to get their name on its roll of honour. We start our journey with a drum roll of sorts: the GTE-AM class and the highest-numbered Ferrari in the running, AF Corse’s no. 83.

The team. AF Corse has been one of Ferrari’s leading client teams for many years. The partnership between the Prancing Horse and AF Corse has produced the lion’s share of the GT victories of recent years and all those delivered in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since its launch in 2012. In its maiden year, success came in the teams’ and constructors’ as well as victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2013, AF Corse swept the boards taking the triple – the drivers’, teams’ and constructors’ titles all at once. They did it again last year but also added a win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from car no. 51 fielded by “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

François Hubert Marie “Glenmor” Perrodo. Car no. 83 has fared brilliantly in 2015, making it to the second step of the podium in both rounds of the WEC season held so far. François Perrodo is a Frenchman born in 1977 who came to the top echelons of motorsport in 2012 when he began competing in the Superstars championship and also made his debut at the wheel of a Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Spa in an AF Corse car. Perrodo had his first outing in the WEC in 2013 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing ninth in the GTE-AM class. Last year too, he competed in the Sarthe classic but unfortunately was forced to retire. This is the first time he will be driving a Ferrari at Le Mans.

Rui Aguas. The Portuguese driver was born on February 29 1972 in Mozambique. He has clocked up a huge array of victories in the course of his career and has been involved with AF Corse since 2005. Rui had his maiden WEC outing in the first race in this championship, the 12 Hours of Sebring, in 2012 in one of the AF Corse-Waltrip Ferraris, finishing fourth. The following year, he made the move to 8 Star Motorsport, winning the Spa-Francorchamps and Shanghai rounds in its Ferrari 458 Italia flanked by Venezuelan driver Enzo Potolicchio. As a result, the duo was beaten to victory in the final standings by just one point by Aston Martin’s Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell-Walter and were deputy champions. Aguas competed in Asia in 2014. This is his fourth 24 Hours of Le Mans. His best result so far was sixth in 2012 in the Ferrari of AF Corse-Waltrip in partnership with Americans Rob Kauffmann and Bryan Vickers with whom he also made his maiden outing the previous year.

Emmanuel Collard. Although only born on April 3 1971, the French driver has an impressive track record in the 24 Hour of Le Mans: 2015 will be his 21st outing. So far he has clocked two victories, both in Porsches. The first came in 2003, with Alex Job Racing/Petersen Motorsports which paired him with Germans Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, while the second was in 2009 for Team Essex with Danish drivers Casper Elgaard and Kristian Pulsen. The Frenchman also won the Le Mans series three times (2005, 2006 and 2011). Other wins include the 12 Hours of Sebring, Daytona and the 1999 Sports Car World Cup in 1999 at the wheel of the Ferrari 333 SP of JB Giesse Team Ferrari. Collard has competed in every season of the WEC since its launch, but his best performance so far has been 2015 in the AF Corse Ferrari he shares with Perrodo and Aguas.

 

WEC – 24 Hours of Le Mans – Ferraris unlucky in first qualification session

Posted: 11.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 11 June – The Ferraris were competitive, but unlucky, in the first qualification sessions, which did not lack surprises, with times voided, red flags, and a shortened session. The two 458 Italia entered in the GTE-Pro category as well as the six  competing in the GTE-Am class kept a good pace, taking advantage of improved track conditions, but both cars in the top category were penalized.

GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the Ferrari number 51 of titleholders “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander, and Giancarlo Fisichella had recorded the second fastest time, but then Bruni had all his times voided for failing to observe the track limits at curve 6, Tertre Rouge. Now Bruni risks having to qualify on a wet track, a situation that, obviously, would penalize him beyond measure. Tertre Rouge was also deadly for James Calado, standard-bearer of car number 71, who, however was notified on time by the race managers and was able to go back to the track. In the end, the car, shared with Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta, took seventh spot. The Aston Martin number 99 recorded the fastest time.

GTE-Am. A Ferrari of the AF Corse team is second in the standings of the GTE-Am class. It is car number 83 driven by François Perrodo, Rui Aguas, and Emmanuel Collard which was preceded only by the Aston Martin of Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana, and Mathias Lauda. Car number 72 of the SMP Racing team driven by Andrea Bertolini, Aleksey Basov, and Victor Shaytar also did well, recording the third best time, while car 61 of AF Corse (Mann-Cressoni-Giammaria) was fifth and car 62 of Scuderia Corsa (Sweedler-Bell-Segal) was seventh. Car number 55 of AF Corse (Mortimer-Cameron-Griffin) had a more difficult session,  stopping on the track for a few minutes and coming in ninth place. Car 66 of JMW Motorsport (Al Faisal-Giermaziak-Avenatti) also had a difficult session, finishing in eleventh position. The second qualification session is scheduled for today from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; it will be followed by the last night session from 10:00 p.m. to midnight.

 

WEC – Le Mans 24 Hours – The rain interferes with the first free practice session.

Posted: 10.06.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 10 June – First free practice session for the 56 entered in the 24 Hours of le Mans 2015. The session, which lasted four hours, did not give definite indications, because the rain interfered repeatedly. It rained practically once every hour, relenting only during the second hour and at the end.

GTE-Pro. The two Ferrari 458 Italia of the AF Corse team competing in the GTE-Pro category clocked the sixth and ninth best times respectively; however, they never really pushed to the limit. Car number 71 of Davide Rigon, James Calado, and Olivier Beretta clocked 3’59”653, while the best time of car number 51 of the titleholders “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander, and Giancarlo Fisichella was 4’00”082. Both cars have to work on settings, tyres, and brakes. The Aston Martin number 99 obtained the best time in the category: 3’55”895.

GTE-Am. Car number 83 of AF Corse driven by François Perrodo, Rui Aguas, and Emmanuel Collard obtained the best time among the six Ferraris competing in the GTE-Am category; their 4’02”637 was the fifth best time in the category. Car number 62 of Scuderia Corsa driven by Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, and Jeff Segal, who normally race in America, came in seventh (4’03”799), ahead of car 61 of AF Corse driven by Peter Mann, Raffaele Giammaria, and Matteo Cressoni (4’03”840), and car 66 of JMW Motorsport (Al Faisal-Giermaziak-Avenatti, 4’04”367), car 72 of the SMP Racing team driven by Andrea Bertolini, Aleksey Basov, and Victor Shaytar (4’05”137), and car 55 of AF Corse driven by Matt Griffin, Duncan Cameron, and Alex Mortimer (4’05”319), which came in eleventh. The Aston Martin number 98 obtained the best time in the category: 3’58”783. The first qualifying session will take place at 10:00 p.m.

 

WEC – 24 Hours of Le Mans – Tight results during first day of trials

Posted: 31.05.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 31 May – The first day of trials on the Le Mans track, ahead of the 24 Hours of 13 and 14 June, confirmed the tight results among the main contenders already seen during the first two championship races in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes, the categories in which the Ferrari 458 Italia cars are competing. On a day that ended in the rain, all teams and drivers had the opportunity to start reacquainting themselves with the Sarthe track, drawing useful hints on what it will be starting next week

GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the fastest car in the morning was Oliver Gavin’s Chevrolet number 64 which stopped the clock at a time of 3’58”616. In second place, just under half a second behind (3’58”816), was the Ferrari number 51 driven by “Gimmi” Bruni and Toni Vilander, who will be joined by Giancarlo Fisichella for the 24 Hours. However, in the afternoon, before it started raining, the Aston Martin number 97 clocked an excellent 3’58”069 which stood as the best time of the day. On the other hand, in the afternoon, the Ferrari number 51 did not improve its morning time; 3’59”546 was the best time it could manage. However, car number 71 did improve its time: in the morning it did not go below 4 the minutes mark, while, in the afternoon, it stopped the clock at 3’59”420, despite being slowed down by some technical problems during the second part of its session.

GTE-Am. The Ferraris were competitive also in the GTE-Am class, in which car number 61 of AF Corse driven by Raffaele Giammaria, Peter Mann and Marco Cressoni led in the morning with a time of 4’00”677. However, Aston Martin recorded a great time in this category as well. In fact, car number 98 stopped the clock at 3’59”338. Car number 72 of the SMP Racing team, driven by Bertolini-Shaytar-Basov and car number 83 of AF Corse driven by Perrodo-Aguas-Collard also sent good signals. The best time overall was 3’21”061, obtained by the Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley.

 

WEC – 24 Hour of Le Mans: 11 Ferraris on track on Sunday for the test day

Posted: 29.05.2015
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 29 May – On Sunday the 56 entries taking part in the 83rd edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours will gather in La Sarthe for the official pre-event test, with the 34 World Endurance Championship full season entries forming over 50% of the eligible cars. They will be joined by some of the reserve entries making a total of 64 cars on track.

Prototypes. The LMP1 field will be composed by 14 cars while the LMP2 group is even bigger. The impressive 21-car LMP2 grid includes all 9 WEC full season entries and some ELMS cars, including two cars from SMP Racing team that is also present in the GTE-Am category with the no. 72 Ferrari.

GTE-Pro. With just 9 entries in total the LMGTE Pro is numerically the smallest category at this year’s race but what the class lacks in quantity it certainly makes up for it with quality. The 7 WEC works entries from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche will face the challenge of the works Corvettes from the United SportsCar Championship (USCC). This four-way battle for the win at Le Mans will mean the class is one of the ones to watch during the 2015 race. On Ferrari side there will be the usual cars no. 51 of “Gimmi” Bruni and Toni Vilander and 71 of Davide Rigon and James Calado. Both crew will be joined by a third driver for the longest race of the year: Giancarlo Fisichella (currently racing in the USCC) will join Bruni and Vilander; Olivier Beretta (leading the Pirelli World Challenge, also in the United States) will be joining Rigon and Calado.

GTE-Am. The LMGTE Am will feature all 7 WEC entries and they will be joining by a similar number of ELMS competitors, with the remaining four cars coming from the USCC and Asian Le Mans Series. AF Corse will be fielding five cars: no. 55 for Duncan Russel Cameron, Matthew Griffin and Alex Mortimer; no. 61 for Peter Ashley Mann, Raffaele Giammaria and Matteo Cressoni; no. 81 for Piergiuseppe Perazzini and Marco Cioci (the third driver is still to be announced); no. 82 for Yannick Mallegol, Jean-Marc Bachelier, Howard Blank and Eric Mouez and no. 83 for François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas. SMP Racing will field no. 72 for Andrea Bertolini, Aleksey Basov and Victor Shaytar while American entry Scuderia Corsa will be testing with Townsend Bell and William Sweedlerand JMW Motorsport will have Abdulaziz Turki Al Faisal, Jakub Giermaziak and Michael Avenatti. Formula Racing is a reserve entry but will be testing with the all-Danish trio composed by Johnny Laursen, Mikkel Mac Jensen and Christina Nielsen.

Schedule. Tomorrow at 16 May the 56 cars taking part in the 24 Heures Le Mans on the 13/14 June will form up on the grid for the traditional grid photograph, and on Sunday the first 4-hour test session will begin at 09h00 followed at 14h00 by the second session.

 

Le Mans 24 Hours – The 2015 race is presented in Paris

Posted: 06.02.2015
Source: Ferrari

Paris 5 February – Paris was the scene today of the presentation for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours. In the presence of ACO President Pierre Fillon, it was revealed which teams and drivers will be taking part in the most famous endurance race in the world, due to take place at the La Sarthe circuit on 13 and 14 June. Also announced at the conference was the list of entries in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and ELMS.

The 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours will feature no less than 53 cars, made up of prototypes and GT cars. There will be a strong Ferrari presence, with the marque ready to fight and go for a repeat of the 2014 win and defend the championship titles secured last year. Two World Champions, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander will be racing again for the AF Corse team.

In the LM GTE Am category of the Le Mans 24 Hours, there will be six Ferrari 458 Italias, including the numbers 55, 61 and 83 entered by the Italian AF Corse squad, while JMW Motorsport is racing the number 66 Ferrari, with Scuderia Corsa running number 62. A total of thirteen cars complete the grid in the amateur category.

Nine cars will be battling it out for LM GTE Pro honours, with the number 51 car flying the Ferrari flag with Gimmi Bruni, while there will also be the other AF Corse car, the number 71 458 Italia, driven by Davide Rigon.

In the FIA WEC, the 2014 Ferrari crews are back in action with Gimmi Bruni, Toni Vilander, Davide Rigon and James Calado in the Pro category, while in the Am group we have the AF Corse number 83 car and the 72 entered by SMP Racing.

Now all that is left to do is await the first round of the World Endurance Championship, which takes place on 12 April, when Silverstone hosts its 6 Hours race, while one must wait until 13 June for the most thrilling round of the series, the Le Mans 24 Hours.

 

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