Nurburg, 14 July 2017 – The FIA World Endurance Championship is back at the Nurburgring after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ferrari, which fielded a record 11 cars in the Sarthe classic, will be there with the usual four 488 GTEs that compete in this, the most important GT series in the world.
GTE-Pro. Davide Rigon is Maranello’s best placed driver in the GTE-Pro class. The driver of AF Corse car no. 71 is just 11 lengths behind the Ford trio of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Luis Felipe Derani. Unfortunately, zero points earned at Le Mans have left Alessandro Pier Guidi (who describes the track in the video below) and James Calado in car no. 51, further behind in the standings. However, with six races still to go, they are well placed to put themselves back in the running.
Clash. We only mentioned Davide Rigon and not Sam Bird, because the British driver will be at Formula E’s New York ePrix. So Toni Vilander will join Rigon in the 488 GTE no. 71, marking his first return to the World Championship since the 6 Hours of Bahrain 2015. The battle is wide open between the constructors, with Ford leading on 117 points followed by Ferrari on 109 and Aston Martin on 95.
GTE-Am. After Le Mans where 488 GTEs from three different teams monopolised the podium in the GTE-Am class, a Ferrari team tops the standings. Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa and Weng Sun Mok in car no. 61 of Clearwater Racing, enjoy a six-length over their fearsome Aston Martin rivals, Mathias Lauda, Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy. Official Maranello driver, Miguel Molina, returns to this class after Le Mans where he competed in car no. 71. At the Nurburgring he will again be alongside Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci at the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 54 of Spirit of Race.
Programme. The race starts on Sunday at 1 pm and concludes just after 7 pm, while qualifying takes place at 2:55 pm on Saturday. Ferrari has almost 70 wins under its belt at the Nurburgring in its various configurations. Piero Carini secured the first in 1952 at the wheel of a private 340 America, while the latest came three weeks ago in the VLN championship with the 488 GT3 of Wochenspiegel Team Monschau driven by Oliver Kainz, Georg Weiss and Jochen Krumbach. Last year the 488 GTE achieved its first win in the WEC here, with Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado.