IMSA – Ferrari triumph at the Petit Le Mans
The Ferrari 488 GTE courtesy of Risi Competizione has won the Petit Le Mans in the GTLM class, 21 years after the maiden overall victory clinched in the inaugural edition of what has today become an endurance racing ‘classic’. For the American team this represents a fifth victory in the ten-hour marathon, the most recent of which dates back to 2016, while for the crew made up of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra, the achievement replicates the extraordinary 24 Hours of Le Mans win from last June.
GTLM. After having claimed pole position with James Calado, breaking the track record in the process, the #62 Ferrari of Risi Competizione was first across the finish-line at the end of the ten scheduled hours of a race interrupted by just four “caution” periods, the final one signalled with thirty minutes still to run. The 488 GTE held sway for much of the race, always amidst the front-runners, in spite of some issues with blistering which abated when atmospheric and asphalt temperatures dropped as night fell. A perfect strategy, impeccable pit-stops and optimal stints at the wheel by Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra, allowed the Ferrari to take the lead some two-and-a-half hours from the finish. After the final restart, James Calado set an imposing pace which proved to be unmatchable for rivals, allowing the driver to pass the chequered flag with an eight-second advantage over the second-placed car.
GTD. In the GTD class, the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 crewed by Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Westphal failed to live up to expectations. After having battled for the leadership in the opening stretches of the race, the #63 car dropped a couple of positions in the middle section, but was preparing to launch an assault over the final stages. The strategy, however, came a cropper after an accident half-an-hour from the end. Vilander, at the wheel of the car, ran into the gravel after a duel with a GTD class rival. The Finn managed to get back on track, taking the chequered flag in fifth place. The result sees Scuderia Corsa conclude the Endurance Cup in second place.
Legendary car. The extraordinary success of the 488 GTE, after the second place in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series title with Luzich Racing and the victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, once again reaffirms the competitiveness of the Ferrari car.
James Calado – Risi Competizione #62
“Thanks to the team for an amazing car. The line-up was incredible and our result, it was a hard race. We kind of came into the race at a pace unknown. We had a serious blistering of the tires so we were hoping that the temperatures would come down. They did, and it helped. The car was amazing at the end and what driving and what a team! It’s an incredible achievement. We keep getting better and better. I’m in it in every lap still and I just look forward to more of this in the future. ”
Antonello Coletta – Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT
“I’m extremely pleased with this result which makes this extraordinary season even more special. Having clinched the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June and now the Petit Le Mans, with a great car and a crew amongst the strongest ever, fills me with pride. With this triumph we have written an important page in the sporting history of Ferrari.
Congratulations to James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra for an outstanding performance which repeats the French achievement and congratulations to Risi Competizione for having performed a perfect weekend, as witnessed by the pole position claimed in qualifying. Runner-up in the FIA WEC championship, victory in the ELMS and in other international championships too, testifies to the competitiveness of the 488 in both the GTE and GT3 versions.”