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24 Hours of Le Mans – The 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa triumphs in the Sarthe classic

Posted: 19.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 19 June 2016 – The 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans finished with a win, two podiums finishes and a big disappointment for Ferrari in the two GT classes. The victory, for the second consecutive year, came in the GTE-Am class and was delivered by the 458 Italia of US team Scuderia Corsa driven by Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell. Second place in the same class went to the 458 Italia of AF Corse with François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard who galloped ahead in the championship standings. The other podium came in the GTE-Pro class where the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione, in the capable hands of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli, battled for victory to the last with the Ford GT of Team USA driven by Hand-Muller-Bourdais.

GTE-Pro. A true storm raged on the French track a few minutes before the start. The rain flooded the course and forced the race director to order a start behind the Safety Car. The Safety Car stayed on the track for almost the entire first hour before the race could finally start, with the two Fords of Team USA in the lead and the Ferrari 488 number 51 of AF Corse driven by James Calado immediately behind. Car 71, with Sam Bird, and car 82 of the Risi Competizione team, with Giancarlo Fisichella, went up to fifth and sixth place thanks to the fact that the Ford of Team UK #67 started from the box. All Ferraris did a triple stint, which ended one lap ahead of schedule for car number 51 due to a slow puncture. The car was called to the box at the last moment and James, coming in, drove roughly over a curb and heavily damaged the car. Car number 71 was not able to sustain a fast pace either; on the other hand, the 488 of Risi Competizione was extremely consistent and was even able to pull into the lead, vying for the top positions throughout the race. In the meantime, car 51 started again, 12 laps behind, after repairs. Disappointment came deep into the night for the 488 number 71: with Davide Rigon at the wheel, a problem in a rim forced the car into the sand at curve 4 and put it out of contention. The negative day for the AF Corse team finally ended very near sundown, as several engine sensors made it advisable to pull the car into the box. At sundown, the duel of car 82 with the Ford continued and went on almost to the end when, because of a spin of Toni Vilander, the Ford 68 built a comfortable lead and finished ahead of car 82.

GTE-Am. The big reward for Ferrari came in GTE-Am class, in which the American drivers of Scuderia Corsa, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, and Jeff Segal, at the wheel of the 458 Italia number 62 (on which they earned third place in 2015), hit the target and gave Ferrari the win for the second consecutive year in this class (in 2015 the win came courtesy of SMP Racing team). This is the 35th win for the Maranello firm (9 overall and 26 class wins). After qualifications that were difficult to say the least, Sweedler, Bell, and Segal were able to make up ground quickly, vying with Aston Martin and Porsche for the first 12 hours of the race and then taking the lead during the night. Two other Ferrari 458 Italia also ran a brilliant race: François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, and Rui Aguas, on car number 83 of AF Corse, finished second and took a commanding lead in the championship because of this success, and car number 61 of the Singapore Clearwater Racing team, with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa, and Rob Bell, finished fourth. The sixth place (after a very difficult start) of car number 60 of the Danish team Formula Racing, with Johnny Laursen, Mikkel Mac Jansen, and Christina Nielsen must also be mentioned.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa triumphs in Sarthe classic

Posted: 19.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 19 June 2016 – The 84th edition of the 24 Hours finished with a win and two podiums for Ferrari in the two GT classes. The victory, for the second consecutive year, came in the GTE-Am and was delivered by the 458 Italia of US team Scuderia Corsa driven by Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell. Second place in the same class went to the 458 Italia of AF Corse with François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard who galloped ahead in the championship standings. The other podium came in the GTE-Pro class where the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione, in the capable hands of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli, battled for victory to the last with the Ford GT of Team USA driven by Hand-Muller-Bourdais.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 20 – Battle remains tight

Posted: 19.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 19 June 2016 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is now in its later stages. With just four hours to go the battle is still very much alive for both classes in which Ferrari is competing. In the GTE-Pro, car no. 82 Risi Competizione, the only Ferrari 488 still in the race, has lost first position to car no. 68 of Hand-Muller-Bourdais, but is still chasing hard on the tail of the Ford. Matteo Malucelli, author of a double stint, will soon hand over the wheel of the Ferrari to Toni Vilander.

GTE-Am. The 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa remans ahead in the GTE-Am class, with Townsend Bell currently in command of the car also crewed by Jeff Segal and Bill Sweedler. Car no. 83 AF Corse has moved into second, with Rui Aguas, who has now spent four hours in the hot seat, François Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard. Car no. 61 Clearwater Racing is in fourth. The car of Formula Racing and the second AF Corse car are in sixth and seventh respectively.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – On track with Christina

Posted: 19.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 19 June 2016 – Christina Nielsen, full-season IMSA SportsCar Championship driver in the newest Ferrari 488 GT-D for California-based Scuderia Corsa, joins the Danish team of Formula Racing for the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well for the European Le Mans Series championship. Driving the no. 60 Ferrari 458 GTE in the GTE-Am class, she carries on her father’s legacy of competing in the French endurance classic. She’s also one of two women taking to the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe this year. Hear her insights as she prepares for the twice around the clock endurance race.

 

Le Mans 24 Hours – Hour 17 – Americans do it better…

Posted: 19.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 19 June 2016 – The most difficult night of the year has passed and a Ferrari is still battling for the top spots in the GTE-Pro category. It is the Risi Competizione team 488 GTE driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli that is in the lead with seven hours left in the race, ahead of the Hand-Muller-Bourdais Team USA Ford. Both of the AF Corse 488 cars have retired.

GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am category there is also a Ferrari in the lead seven hours from the finish. It is the 458 Italia managed by the other American team, Scuderia Corsa, driven by Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell leading the race ahead of the Porsche driven by Al Qubaisi-Heinemeier-Hansson-Long and the 458 Italia that races regularly in the World Endurance Championship driven by François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas. Fourth place for the Clearwater Racing Ferrari and fifth for the other AF Corse car.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – Risi Competizione in front, AF Corse following

Posted: 19.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 19 June – At midnight, the Le Mans 24 Hours had its first Safety Car phase and the two AF Corse 488 GTE cars took advantage of the time to carry out the classic brake maintenance. The number 71 car is therefore in tenth place but coming back, whereas the number 51 car, farther back from the beginning of the second hour, is twelfth. At the front, on the other hand, the Risi Competizione Ferrari is battling hard, currently in second place behind the Hand-Mueller-Bourdais Ford.

GTE-Am. In the lead it’s the Long-Al Qubaisi-Heinemeier-Hansson Porsche which is, however, followed by three Ferraris: the Scuderia Corsa number 62 car, now being driven by Bill Sweedler, the AF Corse number 55 car with Duncan Cameron at the wheel and the Clearwater Racing number 61 car with Rob Bell.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – 488 of Risi Competizione in the lead

Posted: 18.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 18 June 2016 – The picture at the four-hour mark is mixed for the Ferraris in the GTE-Pro class. The 488 GTE of Risi Competizione is out in front with Toni Vilander at the wheel, after an extraordinary performance by Giancarlo Fisichella. However, car no. 71 AF Corse is recovering after a difficult final stint for Sam Bird whose tyres were very worn. An electrical problem forced car no. 51 into the pits but it is now back and among the fastest cars on the track thanks to Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni.

GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am the Porsche of KCMG is ahead but both Ferraris of AF Corse, competing for Clearwater Racing and Scuderia Corsa, are in the leading group. The 458 Italia of Formula Racing is further back, having lost a wheel in the second hour and spent a long time in the pits for repairs for damage sustained to the rear while on three wheels.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – First hour behind Safety Car

Posted: 18.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 18 June 2016 – The 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans got underway behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain that began falling 20 minutes before 3 pm. The Safety Car left the track only eight minutes before the end of the first hour. In the GTE-Pro class car no. 51 AF Corse is third with James Calado, while no. 71 driven by Sam Bird is fifth and no. 82 of Risi Competizione is sixth with Giancarlo Fisichella after one of the UK team’s Fords spent two laps in the pits.

GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class car no. 61 of Clearwater Racing made a pit stop and no. 55 AF Corse is the best of the Ferraris with Matt Griffin at the wheel ahead of no. 83 driven by Emmanuel Collard. The car of Formula Racing is 10th (Christina Nielsen), while Clearwater is 11th (Rob Bell) and Scuderia Corsa 13th (Townsend Bell)

 

24 Hours of le Mans – The race starts with a showcase through the city

Posted: 18.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans 18 June 2016 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans, which begins today at 15:00, had its traditional prologue to the race weekend on Friday afternoon when all the drivers, suited in their team racing attire passed, stood atop the a fleet of classic automobiles in a traditional procession through the Le Mans city center. Among the most anticipated teams there were obviously the Ferrari…

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – The rain spoils the last two qualifying sessions

Posted: 16.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 16 June 2016 – Rain fell relentlessly during the second day of qualifications for the 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans, making it impossible for the teams to improve the times recorded during Wednesday’s first session. Therefore, at the end of the third session, Ferrari claimed the third, sixth, and seventh position for the 488 in GTE-Pro class and pole position in GTE-Am class for the number 61 458 Italia of rookie team Clearwater Racing.

GTE-Pro. In GTE-Pro class the reference time for the #51 488 of AF Corse remained the 3’51”568 clocked by team on Wednesday which earned the third position for Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi. The first two places are occupied by the two Fords of Team USA driven by Hand-Muller-Bourdais (3’51”185) and Briscoe-Westbrook-Dixon (3’51”497). These two cars are not racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC); this allows Ferrari to cash in the two bonus points of the pole position. The car that is dominating the GTE-Pro class in the WEC, #71 488 of AF Corse entrusted to Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, joined by Andrea Bertolini for the occasion, is in sixth position with 3’52”508 ahead of the sister car of Risi Competizione team in the hands of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, and Matteo Malucelli.

GTE-Am. In GTE-Am class, pole position at the end of the qualifying went to the number 61 458 Italia of rookie team Clearwater Racing with Weng Sun Mok, Rob Bell, and Keita Sawa who, with a time of 3’56”827, came ahead of the Aston Martin of Lamy-Lauda-Dalla Lana (3’57”198) and of the two 458 Italia of AF Corse, number 55 driven by Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, and Aaron Scott (3’57”596) and number 83 driven by François Perrodo, Rui Aguas, and Emmanuel Collard (3’57”742). The Formula Racing team car (with Christina Nielsen, Mikkel Mac Jansen, and Johnny Laursen at the wheel) is in sixth position with 3’58”760, while the Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari driven by Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler, and Jeff Segal is in ninth position with an aggregate time of 4’00”008.

Parade. As tradition requires, tomorrow 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 15:00, following the Ferrari Challenge Europe and the GT3 Le Mans Cup which will be held in the morning.

 

WEC – Rigon and the lights of his 488 GTE

Posted: 16.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 16 June 2016 – Cars taking part in the World Endurance Championship must have working lights and windshield wipers at all times. To distinguish from LMP cars the GTE machines must use yellow headlights. But especially in Le Mans there are special lights designed to help the drivers to have a better view during the night. Davide Rigon, driver of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE #71, introduces this aspect on the brand new car that is leading the WEC standings.

 
 
 

24 Hours of Le Mans – Ferrari and Ford duel it out in first qualifying sessions

Posted: 16.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 16 June 2016 – The first two hours of qualifying saw the expected head to head between Ferrari and Ford in the GTE-Pro class while a 458 Italia was fastest in the GTE-Am.

GTE-Pro. The three 488s competing in the GTE-Pro class alternated with the Fords in the top seven positions. Car no. 51 AF Corse with Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, recorded a time of 3:51.568, less than four tenths of a second off the Ford of Team USA driven by Hand-Muller-Bourdais and 71 thousandths behind the other Ford of Briscoe-Westbrook-Dixon. Car no. 51 was followed by the two Fords that usually compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), while the 488 GTE no. 71 of Sam Bird, Davide Rigon and Andrea Bertolini finished sixth in 3:52.508, ahead of no. 82 of Risi Competizione car with Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli (3:53.176).

GTE-Am. In GTE-Am class the 458 Italia no. 61 of Clearwater Racing put in an astonishing performance with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Bob Bell clocking a time of 3:56.827, more than three tenths of a second faster than the Aston Martin of Lamy-Lauda-Dalla Lana. Cars no. 55 and 83 of AF Corse (Cameron-Griffin-Scott, 3:57.596, and Perrodo-Collard-Aguas, 3:57.742) took third and fourth respectively, while Christina Nielsen, Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac Jansen came sixth in 3:58.760. The 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa was ninth, driven by Bill Sweedler, Jeff Segal and Townsend Bell (4:00.008). There are two qualifying sessions on Thursday (7 pm – 9 pm and 10 pm – 12 am) but if things stayed the same the Ferrari no. 51 would win the two points for pole as the two Fords with the fastest times are not competing in the WEC.

 

FIA – Ferrari at 24 Hours of Le Mans with eight cars

Posted: 15.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 15 June 2016 – The 84th 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 3pm on Saturday to 3pm on Sunday on one of the most challenging tracks in the world with its 38 bends and 13,629 metres. The 60 cars lined up at the start will include eight Ferraris, three 488s entered in the GTE-Pro class, and five 458 Italias in the GTE-Am class.

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 15 other victories in different classes.

GTE-Pro. The race is now part of the GT World Endurance Championship (WEC), with Ferraris competing in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes. Three of the new GTE 488s will race in the GTE-Pro class, which is only open to professional drivers. The 488 is the first Ferrari GT fitted with a turbo since the F40 in the late 1980’s. Two of the vehicles will compete for AF Corse and one for the US team Risi Competizione. Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado will drive car no. 51 for the Italian team, while no. 71 which is leading the WEC after two races, will be entrusted to Davide Rigon, Sam Bird and Andrea Bertolini. No. 82 of Risi Competizione will be in the hands of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli.

GTE-Am. Ferrari is also vying for victory in the GTE Am category, where it has five cars, two of them under the AF Corse team banner. These are no. 55, with Matt Griffin, Duncan Cameron and Alex Mortimer, and no. 83, a usual WEC competitor, driven by François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas. Ferrari’s last victory in this class came in 2015, with the 458 Italia of SMP Racing team crewed by Andrea Bertolini, Viktor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov. Two qualifying sessions are scheduled for Thursday, both lasting two hours, with the first starting at 7 pm and the second at 10 pm.

#51 AF Corse; #71 AF Corse; #82 Risi Competizione; #55 AF Corse; #60 Formula Racing; #61 #Clearwater Racing; #62 Scuderia Corsa; #83 AF Corse

 

The road to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari #51 of team AF Corse

Posted: 14.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 14 June 2016 – Ferrari.com brings you to discover the Ferrari crews entered in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Today our introduction tour to the Ferrari crews comes to an end with 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. In 2015 the crew won at Silverstone and Fuji but for 2016 only Bruni remained in the car. The Italian driver new teammate is James Calado even if for the Le Mans 24 Hours the pair will be joined by Alessandro Pier Guidi.

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 when the team also won for the second time in three years the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Bruni. Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni was born in Rome on 30 May 1981. He raced single-seaters until 2007 when 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 with Mika Salo and Jaime Melo. 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 at Silverstone and Fuji. From this season he’s racing with James Calado.

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 keep racing in singleseater until 2013 when Calado fulfilled the role of test driver for the Force India Formula 1. 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. In 2015 he continued to be Davide’s partner in the WEC while for 2016 he was promoted on the 51 car alongside Bruni.

Pier Guidi. Alessandro Pier Guidi is a very talented Italian driver. Born in 1983, this is his debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, he has previous experience in endurance racing and over 10 years of GT competition under his belt. In 2005 he won the Italian GT title with the 360 Modena of Playteam SaraFree. Since then he has competed in all major Gran Turismo championships with many victories to his name.In 2015 he won the 24 Hours of Spa with Bruni, Stephane Lemeret and Pasin Lathouras in the Pro-Am class of the Blancpain Championship.This season he has alternated races in the American IMSA championship with the European Le Mans Series at the wheel of the 458 Italia of AT Racing.

 

Challenge and GT – Sixty-one Ferrari cars ready for Le Mans

Posted: 13.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 13 June 2016 – Ferrari has a busy week ahead, especially its GT racing cars. All eyes are on a single venue, the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans, where at the weekend Prancing Horse cars will compete in three competitions.

Challenge Europe. Forty-five Ferrari 458 Challenge EVOs will take part in the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe with all the great stars of the season on track plus a few drivers irresistibly drawn by the glamour of the Sarthe. This is the case for Australia’s Liam Talbot, a driver with some experience in GT competition who will compete for Kessel Racing, or Steve Wyatt who leads the Trofeo Pirelli APAC standings. There will also be the three women fighting for the Ladies Cup, Manuela and Corinna Gostner and France’s Deborah Mayer, racing on home turf. It will be the third time on the historic French track for the one-make championship. Four drivers were there in 2011 and 2013: David Gostner, Philipp Baron, Fons Scheltema and Erich Prinoth. Qualifying is on Thursday and the race on Saturday morning.

The 24 Hours. Qualifying for the world’s toughest race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will start on Wednesday. Eight Ferraris will line up at the start, three 488 GTEs and five 458 Italia GTEs divided into two classes, the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am. Two 488 GTEs will be entered by the AF Corse team, which usually competes in the World Endurance Championship. No. 51 will be crewed by Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni and James Calado, who in France will also be joined by Alessandro Pier Guidi, while car no. 71 will be in the hands of championship leaders Sam Bird and Davide Rigon plus the highly experienced Andrea Bertolini. The third 488 will be that of Risi Competizione with Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Matteo Malucelli. Of the 458 Italias competing in the GTE-Am class we should mention the crew of Emmanuel Collard, François Perrodo and Rui Aguas, currently second in the WEC, and that of Formula Racing where Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac Jansen will be joined by Christina Nielsen, a very talented woman currently leading the GT-Daytona class of the IMSA SCC championship.

GT3 Le Mans Cup. Another eight Ferraris will be on track in the “Road to Le Mans”, a race solely for GT3 cars participating in the GT3 Le Mans Cup. Four cars will compete under the banner of AF Corse, two 488 GT3s and two 458 Italia GT3s, while FF Corse team will field another 488. The remaining 458 Italias will fly the flag for Scuderia Villorba Corse, Classic and Modern Racing and Duqueine Engineering. The race takes place on Saturday at 11 am and qualifying on Thursday.

 

The road to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari #71 of AF Corse

Posted: 13.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 13 June 2016 – 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 is dominating the 2016 WEC championship having won the first two races of the season. In this occasion Davide and Sam will be joined by a veteran of the racetracks: Andrea Bertolini winner of the 24 Hours last year in the GTE-Am class.

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.

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.

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 currently top the championship standings.

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 almost 400 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 four times, winning the race last year in the GTE-Am class sharing the 458 Italia of SMP Racing with Russian drivers Viktor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov.

 

The road to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari #82 of team Risi Competizione

Posted: 12.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 12 June 2016 – 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 Matteo Malucelli 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 18 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.

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 this season he’s racing in the American Imsa SCC series with Rici Competizione.

Malucelli. Matteo Malucelli is an Italian driver who has devoted almost his entire career to GT racing. He won the Italian GT title in 2005 and since then has competed in all major Gran Turismo championships with many wins. This season he has competed in the 24 Hours of Dubai and raced in the Blancpain Championship at the wheel of the Ferrari of Scuderia Praha. This is his sixth time at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where he debuted in 2005. He won in 2007 in the LMGT2 class at the wheel of the official Aston Martin with Fabio Babini and Jamie Davies, while over the next two years he came second in the Ferrari of BMS Scuderia Italia together with Babini and Paolo Ruberti.

 

The road to the Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari No.55 of AF Corse

Posted: 11.06.2016
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.

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 last year, 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, which he won in Pro-Am class, and the International GT Open.

Griffin. Born on 1 October 1981, 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 of RAM Racing. In 2014 he took part in a number of championships with different Ferrari customer teams, while in 2015 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. He has competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours four 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.

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 first Le Mans 24 Hours.

 

The road to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari #83 of AF Corse

Posted: 11.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 11 June – Ferrari.com continues the presentation tour of the ten Ferrari customer teams lining out at the start on June 18 at the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours. 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. Today we end the Ferrari crews competing in the GTE-Am class with the AF Corse’s no. 83. This car is having a wonderful 2016 campaign: François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard kicked off the season with a win in Silverstone and a second place at Spa-Francorchamps.

The team. AF Corse has been one of Ferrari’s leading customer 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 in 2014 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.

Perrodo. 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 he came home fourth. This is the second time he will be driving a Ferrari at Le Mans.

Aguas. Rui Aguas was born on February 29 1972 in Mozambique. The Portuguese driver 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 while last year he joined the #83 Ferrari crew winning a race. This is his fifth 24 Hours of Le Mans. His best result so far was fourth in 2015.

Collard. Although only born on April 3 1971, Emmanuel Collard has an impressive track record in the 24 Hour of Le Mans: 2015 will be his 22nd 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 at the wheel of the F333 SP of JB Giesse Team. Collard has competed in every season of the WEC since its launch.

 

The road to the Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari No.62 of Scuderia Corsa

Posted: 09.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 9 June 2016 – 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.

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 Imsa SportsCar Championship and the Pirelli World Challenge. It competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours getting on the podium in 2015. In Imsa racing won the championship in 2013 and 2015. In 2016 Scuderia Corsa won the 12 Hours of Sebring with the brand new Ferrari 488 GT3.

Sweedler. Bill Sweedler has competed in various US championships. Last year, on a Ferrari, 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. This will be his second appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2015 he was third in the GTE-Am class, with Bell and Segal. In 2014 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona at the wheel of the 458 Italia of the AIM Autosport team.

Bell. Versatility is the word that identifies him best. Townsend Bell switches seamlessly from uncovered to covered wheels. A few days ago he was on the track at the Indianapolis 500 in IndyCar, but normally he is a leading contender in endurance races in the United States. Indy Lights champion in 2001, last year he won the Imsa SCC with Bill Sweedler and the 458 Italia of Scuderia Corsa. In 2014 he won the 24 Hours of Daytona at the wheel of the Ferrari of the AIM Autosport team. Last year he was third at Le Mans with the Scuderia Corsa team.

Segal. A native of Philadelphia, Jeff Segal started racing at a very early age and, at the age of 19, he was already a star of his country’s car racing scene. He has won the Sports Car Challenge in 2007 and the Grand Am championship in 2010 and 2012, at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia of the AIM Autosport Team. He too was part of the crew that won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014 (AIM Autosport) and finished third at Le Mans in the GTE-Am class in 2015 with Scuderia Corsa.

The road to the Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari No.60 of Formula Racing

Posted: 08.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 8 June 2016 – Another stop in our voyage of discovery of the Ferrari crews entered in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 458 Italia GTE of the Formula Racing team will be on the starting grid of the GTE-Am class.

The team. Formula Racing is the competition offspring of the Ferrari importer for Denmark, Formula Automobile. It is a solid team that in 2015 won the European Le Mans Series championship in the GTE class, thus earning a ticket to this season’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Laursen. Johnny Laursen, a Danish driver born in 1964, earned his spurs in the Ferrari Challenge from 2009 to 2011 and then raced in prestigious GT championships such as the International GT Open and the Blancpain Endurance Series. In 2014, he made his début in the European Le Mans Series which he won the following year on the Ferrari of Formula Racing. This will be his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Mac Jansen. Mikkel Mac Jansen is a Danish young man, only 23 years of age, who raced on single-seaters until 2011. In 2013 he moved to covered wheels making his début in the European Le Mans Series the following year. In 2015 he won the continental series championship with his crewmate Johnny Laursen. This will be his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Nielsen. Christina Nielsen will be the 58th woman to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will be the first time for her (however, it runs in the family: her father Lars-Erik raced five times in the French classic) but she has already obtained great results in America. In 2015 she was runner-up in the GT-Daytona class of the Imsa SCC championship and this season she leads the standings at the wheel of the 488 GT3 of Scuderia Corsa. She competes in the European Le Mans Series with Formula Racing. She has won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2016.

 

The road to the Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari No.61 of the Clearwater Racing team

Posted: 07.06.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 7 June 2016 – 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. Eight Ferraris, three 488 GTE in the GTE-Pro class, and five 458 Italia GTE in the GTE-Am class will compete in the 2016 edition. The journey of Ferrari.com to discover the Ferrari crews competing at Le Mans starts with the GTE-Am class, and specifically with car No.61 of the Clearwater Racing team.

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 9 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.

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 (2011, 2012, and 2014), and is the reigning champion of the Asian Le Mans Series. This is his début in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but he is experienced in 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 début at Le Mans, but he has gained experience in endurance races like the 24 hours of Dubai, in which he participated twice.

Bell. Robert “Rob” Bell is a vastly experienced British driver. He became Formula Renault champion early in his career and then won two Le Mans Series titles at the wheel of Prancing Horse cars. He won the 2015-2016 Asian Le Mans Series title with the Clearwater Racing team. This will be his eighth appearance at Le Mans, where his best finish was a fourth place earned in 2009 with Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Sugden on the F430 GT2 of the JMW Motorsport team.

 

FIA WEC – Pier Guidi and Bertolini to drive the Ferrari 488s of AF Corse at Le Mans

Posted: 18.05.2016
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 18 May – Alessandro Pier Guidi and Andrea Bertolini will reinforce the crews of the Ferrari 488s no. 51 and 71 of the AF Corse team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the third round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2016.

Car 51. Alessandro Pier Guidi will join Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni and James Calado in car no. 51. Pier Guidi, 32, is making his debut in the French marathon but has had a superb season in the United States with the 488 GTE of Scuderia Corsa, coming second at Laguna Seca and fourth at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Italian driver is also taking part in the European Le Mans Series where he achieved second place in the first race of the season at Silverstone at the wheel of the 458 Italia GTE of AT Racing.

Car 71. The experienced Andrea Bertolini will accompany the championship leaders to Le Mans. Davide Rigon and Sam Bird have full points after wins at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. Bertolini is one of the strongest Italian GT drivers and is fresh from victory in 2015 in the GTE-Am class with the 458 Italia of SMP Racing along with Russia’s Aleksey Basov and Viktor Shaytar. Having competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona, Andrea is currently racing in the European Le Mans Series with the 458 Italia GTE of JMW Motorsport with Robert Smith and Rory Butcher. The crew had won the Silverstone race before being disqualified on an homologation related technicality and finished second in Imola where, if it were not for the rain, they could have won.

Programme. The week at Le Mans week is very long and demanding. The drivers will take to the track for the first time on Wednesday 15 May for the free practices. Qualifying is on Thursday, while the race will start at 3 pm as usual.

 

FIA WEC – Ferrari at Le Mans 24 Hours with eight cars

Posted: 05.02.2016
Source: Ferrari

Paris, 5 Feb 2016 – The World Endurance Championship (WEC) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS) were presented on Friday just a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris along with the names of the crews accepted for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Eight Ferraris to start. Eight Ferraris will start the most famous endurance race in the world. Three will be in the GTE-Pro class, where the 488 GTEs no. 31 and no. 71 AF Corsa will be joined by Ferrari no. 62 Risi Competizione. The other five Maranello cars, all 458 Italia GTEs, will be at the off in the GTE-Am class. Two cars will be flying the colours of AF Corse, one of which will be entrusted to the crew that will kick off the WEC season: François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard. The other three will be for the three teams that have won Continental GT series: one for Formula Racing, the Danish team that won the ELMS 2015, one for Scuderia Corsa, champion in the IMSA class GTD (GT-Daytona) and another for Clearwater Racing, which earned its place in the Sarthe classic with a victory in the Asian Le Mans Series.

WEC. Two 488 GTEs and one 458 Italia will race the entire season in the World Endurance Championship. The 488s with their turbocharged engines, will be on track in the GTE-Pro class under the banner of AF Corse, with Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni and James Calado in the traditional no. 51 and Sam Bird and Davide Rigon in the no. 71. However, Perrodo-Collard-Aguas will don the colours of AF Corse in the GTE-Am class at the wheel of the 458 Italia no. 83. Ferrari will again this season be competing against major manufacturers such as Porsche, Aston Martin, Chevrolet and newcomer Ford. The championship kicks off on 17 April at Silverstone.

ELMS. There will be five Ferraris in the European Le Mans Series, all 458 Italias. AF Corse will enter two cars, one of which will be driven by the reigning champions of Formula Racing, while Austrian team AT Racing will deploy the other. Then finally, there will be the 458 Italia of JMW Motorsport, which also has a pass for the Le Mans 24 hours as a reserve. This means that it may take part but will have to wait until the last to join the 58 crews of the world’s most famous endurance race. The ELMS championship kicks off on 16 April at Silverstone.

 

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