|Circuit||Bahrain International Circuit|
|Distance||1.076,988 km / 669,352 miles|
|458 Italia GT2||F 142 GT 2876||AF Corse||9. overall / 1. in class LMGTE Pro|
|458 Italia GT2||F 142 GT 28xx
||Krohn Racing||24. overall / 8. in class LMGTE Am / retired
|458 Italia GT2||F 142 GT 2848||AF Corse||16. overall / 3. in class LMGTE Am|
|458 Italia GT2||F 142 GT 2874||AF Corse||11. overall / 3. in class LMGTE Pro|
|458 Italia GT2||F 142 GT 2846||8 Star Motorsports||15. overall / 2. in class LMGTE Am|
There are two wonderful images that will linger from this amazing day in Sakhir. The first is the parade finish from the two 458 GT2s which reprises those famous ones staged by other Prancing Horse cars at places like Le Mans and Daytona. The other is the kiss Gimmi planted on little Stella, his daughter, in the pits while the race was going through its final heartstopping moments: to see her afterwards on the podium along with Amato Ferrari, Toni Vilander, Kamui Kobayashi and Giancarlo Fisichella was really a beautiful moment.
“This is an amazing result,” commented Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari’s Corse Clienti department, who was in Sakhir to support the Prancing Horse teams for this title-decider weekend. “Reliability, work in the pits, car and race preparation, the drivers’ performance and their great ability to work together have been the keys to this success, which confirms that Ferrari is at the top of GT racing on a global scale for a second year running. It was a very difficult season, in which there were times when it looked as though we had little chance of winning. We never gave up, always believing we could do it. Now we can enjoy this victory and, as from Monday, we will turn our attention to next year, aware that, in this category, the competition is very strong and we are ever more determined to stay ahead of it.”
Sakhir, 29 November – The AF Corse 458 GT2s qualified fourth and sixth today for the Bahrain Six Hours, the eighth and final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The number 51 car, crewed on this occasion by Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander was fourth with an average time of 1.59.049, a bit over two tenths off the Lieb-Lietz Porsche, fastest in 1.58.833.
The two former Formula 1 drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Kamui Kobayashi, paired for the first time in this final round of the championship are sixth with an average of 1.59.459.
It was all very close, at least in this session, between the six cars in the hunt for the GTE Pro class title, all of them covered by a bit over six tenths. Therefore it looks like being a fascinating race, even if, obviously, it’s hard to get a clear picture of the true hierarchy down pit lane. What is certain is that AF Corse and its drivers are very determined to give it their all to bring something home at the end of what has been a particularly hard season against really competitive opponents.
Ferrari is closer to pole in the GTE Am class, where the 8 Star Motorsport team’s car, in the hands of Portugal’s Rui Aguas, teamed with Italy’s Davide Rigon, the pair joined on this occasion by Venezuelan gentleman driver Enzo Potoliccchio, was second quickest with a 2.00.337, just a whisker of the best time of 2.00.303, set by the all-Danish crew of Nygaard-Poulsen-Thiim in their Aston Martin. The AF Corse car driven by Griffin-Perrodo-Collard was fourth in 2.00.527. This class also looks like providing a great show tomorrow, with all the titles still up for grabs.
The Six Hours gets underway at 15h00 tomorrow local time and will therefore end under floodlights, as the new lighting system at the Bahrain International Circuit makes its debut, gets its first try out prior to next year’s Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, due to be run at night.
A tougher task awaits in the Constructors’ classification, where the gap that has be closed to Aston Martin is 17.5 points, while in the teams classification, AF Corse is 8.5 points behind Aston Martin Racing.
In the GTE Am class, everything is also up for grabs, with the 8 Star Motorsport team entering David Rigon alongside the tried and tested duo of Enzo Potolicchio and Rui Aguas, both currently third but still in the hunt for the drivers’ title, as they have 9 points to make up on the leaders, the duo of Hall-Campbell-Walter. However, a win for the Ferrari trio will be enough to give the win to the team whose technical operation is run by AF Corse, that is 5 points down on Aston Martin Racing. For the final round of the year, the Italian team has entrusted the car to Matt Griffin, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo.
“I am happy to do my bit to try and take the title for 8 Star Motorsport,” said Rigon. “Winning in Shanghai was fantastic and I find myself really comfortable within the team and with the car: lets hope we can do it!”
To find out how this exciting season turns out, one will have to wait until the six hours chime to end the Sakhir race at 21h00 local time on Saturday.