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Ferrari Announces Drivers For FIA WEC Season 8

Ferrari LMGTE PRO class crews announced for the start of the FIA WEC Season 8

The Ferrari crews entered in the LMGTE Pro class have officially been announced, a few weeks from the start of Season 8 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The AF Corse car number 51 will be entrusted to Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado. After winning the drivers’ and team title in 2017 and following their recent triumph at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019, along with Daniel Serra, the Italian-British crew is aiming for a leading role.

Car number 71 will have a new team, made up of Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, who already drive the AF Corse 488 GTE in long distance races as third driver. The Spaniard takes the place of Sam Bird, who has been the official Competizioni GT driver since 2016 and whose racing programs will be announced in due course. Miguel Molina has been racing with the Prancing Horse colours since 2017. He is currently engaged in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America, paired with Toni Vilander in R. Ferri Motorsport’s 488 GT3, and in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, where he competes with the SMP Racing colours alongside Mikhail Aleshin and Davide Rigon.

The team. AF Corse has been one of Ferrari’s main customer teams for years. Most of the GT successes of recent years and all those achieved in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since it was founded in 2012 result from the partnership between Ferrari and AF Corse. In the first year, success was achieved in the team and constructors’, as well as victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2013 saw the hat-trick of drivers, team and manufacturers, which was repeated in 2014, enhanced by the success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, thanks to “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella in car number 51. In 2016, the first year with the new 488 GTE, the AF Corse team brought the Constructors’ world title to Ferrari, a feat that was repeated in 2017 with another memorable hat-trick. In the 2018-2019 Super Season, the Piacenza team came out on top at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra at the wheel of the 488 GTE.

Drivers profile #71: Davide Rigon

Born in Thiene (Vicenza) on 26 August 1986, Davide Rigon made his debut in Formula BMW ADAC in 2003 and subsequently won the Italian Formula Renault, Italian Formula 3 and Formula Azzurra. In 2007, he triumphed in the Euroseries 3000, thanks to six victories, seven podiums, four pole positions and eight fast laps, whereas the following year he took part in the FIA GT championship for the BMS Scuderia Italia team in the GT2 class, winning the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. In the same season, he won the Superleague Formula. Thanks to these successes, he started in GP2 in 2008 with the Trident team, taking part in the last three stages of the GP2 Asia series and taking the podium at Sepang.

In 2013, he contributed to the success of the 8 Stars Motorsport team in the GTE Am category of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), while in 2014, he raced in the GTE-Pro series in the second car of the AF Corse team, paired with the British James Calado. The two got five podiums, contributing decisively to Ferrari’s conquest of the Constructors’ title. At the end of the year, Rigon was awarded the title “Rookie of the Year” for being the best debutant of the season. In 2015, still together with Calado, he competed in the WEC with the AF Corse number 71 Ferrari. He got a second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and climbed the podium three more times, finishing fourth in the drivers championship.

From 2016, he has been participating in the WEC at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE number 71 with Sam Bird and the pair have achieved a total of four successes to date. In 2017, Rigon participated in the WEC and the Blancpain Endurance Cup, with SMP Racing team’s 488 GT3, alongside Miguel Molina and Victor Shaytar. In 2018, Rigon competed in the FIA WEC Super Season with the AF Corse 488 GTE, in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Molina and Mikhail Aleshin, in some IMSA races with Risi Competizione, in Asia with HubAuto Corsa and in the ADAC GT Masters with HB Racing’s 488 GT3. In 2019, Rigon completed the FIA WEC Super Season 2018-2019 with 54.5 points and continues his participation in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, for SMP Racing, with Miguel Molina and Mikhail Aleshin. The Italian driver will face the FIA WEC Season 8 at the wheel of AF Corse’s 488 GTE with Miguel Molina.

Drivers profile #71: Miguel Molina

Miguel Molina was born in Barcelona on 17 February 1989 and began competing with karts at the age of seven. In 2005, he made his debut in a single-seater in the Formula Renault, competing in the Spanish Formula 3 championship the following year, where he ranked sixth, with a victory on the home track in Barcelona, behind the wheel of the Racing Engineering team car.

In 2007, he competed in the World Series with the Pons Racing team achieving two victories in Barcelona and Estoril and finishing seventh in the championship. The following year, he moved to Formula 3.5 with the Prema Powerteam where he won two more victories (Nürburgring and Estoril) and achieved fourth place in the standings. In 2010 he left the single-seaters to switch to covered-wheels and, in this case, to the DTM. He competed for various teams, always with Audi cars, competing in 87 races and winning three (Nürburgring 2015; Lausitzring and Hockenheim 2016). He tried GT competitions for the first time, competing in the Australian championship with the Jamec Pem Racing team.

In March 2017, he became an official Ferrari driver for GT competitions and became involved in an intense programme of races: he took part in eight of the nine rounds of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), in the GTE-Am class, with the Spirit of Race team’s Ferrari 488 GTE, winning at the 6 Hours of Fuji. He participated in the Blancpain Endurance Cup of the WEC, with the SMP Racing team’s 488 GT3, with Davide Rigon and Victor Shaytar, finishing in fourth place in a season enhanced by second place at Paul Ricard. In 2018, he raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans on AF Corse car 71, but above all he took part in the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship in America, which he won. While in Europe, he raced in the Blancpain Endurance with SMP Racing’s Ferrari, with Davide Rigon and Mikhail Aleshin, as well as in the European Le Mans Series with JMW Motorsport, where he finished in second place with Liam Griffin and Alex MacDowell. In 2019, Molina continues his journey with the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, with Davide Rigon and Mikhail Aleshin, and in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America with R. Ferri Motorsport’s 488 GT3, together with Toni Vilander. In addition, he will take part in the FIA ​​WEC Season 8 in the AF Corse 488 GTE, alongside Davide Rigon.

Drivers profile #51: James Calado

James Calado was born in Worcester on 13 June 1989. His career started in the karting world in 1999 and he began with single-seaters in 2008, when he took part in the English Formula Renault with the Fortec team. At the end of the season he took part in the Winter Series in both the Portuguese and the English Formula Renault. That year, Calado also participated in three Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races with the Fortec team and went on to compete in the English Formula 3 championship for the 2010 season with the Carlin team.

In 2011, he changed to the GP3 Series as standard bearer for the Lotus ART team, with which he debuted in GP2 in the 2011 finals held in Abu Dhabi. In 2012, he took fifth place in the championship, winning at Sepang and Hockenheim and reaching the podium another five times. In 2013, Calado was the test driver for Formula 1’s Force India and then the third driver for the Indian team. In GP2 (again at the ART Grand Prix), he won two more races, taking third place in the championship. In 2014, the Englishman joined Davide Rigon at the wheel of one of the 458 Italia GTEs lined up by the AF Corse team in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), where he reached the podium five times and contributed to Ferrari’s victory in the Constructor Championship. In 2015, again with Rigon, he competed in the WEC with the AF Corse number 71 Ferrari, finishing second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, gaining three more podiums and finishing fourth in the drivers championship.

In 2016, he took on the WEC at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE number 51 together with Gianmaria Bruni, while in 2017 he became the GT class world champion with Alessandro Pier Guidi, thanks to three victories with the AF Corse team’s 488 GTE. In the WEC, Calado participated in some IMSA races, including the Daytona 24 Hours where he finished in second place. In 2018, James took part in the WEC Super Season, where he won at Silverstone and competed in the IMSA championship at Daytona and Sebring with the Risi Competizione team. He made a decisive contribution to the Japanese CarGuy team’s victory at the Asian Le Mans Series, with which he had four victories in as many races, together with Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino. In 2019, he finished the WEC Super Season in second place with Alessandro Pier Guidi, a result enhanced by the victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In Season 8 of the WEC, Calado will again be the Italian driver’s teammate, at the wheel of the AF Corse 488 GTE.

Drivers profile #51: Alessandro Pier Guidi

Alessandro Pier Guidi was born on 18 December 1983, in Tortona, Piedmont. He started racing karts as a child and made his car debut in 2002 in the Formula Renault. However, it’s with covered-wheel cars that Pier Guidi managed to demonstrate the full extent of his talent. His debut with the Scuderia Playteam in 2005 marks the beginning of a very long sequence of victories in the main European GT championships, at the wheel of the Ferrari 360 Modena GTC.

In 2005 and 2006, he triumphed in the Italian GT Championship, in GT2 and GT1 class respectively. After two fleeting returns with the A1 Grand Prix and Superleague series cars in 2007 and 2008, Pier Guidi continued to succeed in the GT category behind the wheel of the Maserati MC12 and the GranTurismo GT4. He returned to driving Prancing Horse cars in 2011 and, as before, achieved success around the world, including the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the prestigious Daytona 24 Hours in 2014. In 2016, he competed on three continents with various Ferrari customer teams and debuted in the 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado, in the AF Corse team’s 488 GTE number 51.

He became an official Ferrari driver in 2017 and lived up to the task, becoming WEC GT world champion with James Calado, thanks to three successes achieved with the 488 GTE. He also took part in the Blancpain Endurance Cup for the same team, finishing second in the Monza 3 Hours. In 2018, Alessandro competed in the FIA WEC Super Season, winning the Silverstone race, and contributed to the success of Mikkel Mac in the International GT Open at the wheel of the Luzich Racing 488 GT3. He also competed in some IMSA races with the Risi Competizione and Scuderia Corsa teams. In 2019, the Tortona driver finished the WEC 2018-2019 Super Season in second place, paired with James Calado, winning the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pier Guidi will take on Season 8 of the WEC with the AF Corse colours, again alongside the English driver, as well as continuing to compete in the European Le Mans Series in the Luzich Racing colours.

 

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