Maranello, 8 June 2017 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most famous races in the world, the one that every manufacturer, team and driver wants to win. Eleven Ferrari 488 GTEs will be at the 2017 edition, three in the GTE-Pro class and eight in the GTE-Am. The Ferrari.com journey through the Prancing Horse crews competing at Le Mans continues in the GTE-Am class with a look at Clearwater Racing’s car no. 60.
The team. Clearwater Racing is one of the most successful GT teams in Asia. It has been in existence for 10 years and has won many titles including three drivers’ championships and three team wins in the GT Asia Series. It also has three victories in the Sepang 12 Hours to its name along with the Asian Le Mans Series 2015-16. In 2016 the team debuted in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing fourth with Mok-Sawa-Bell and the 458 Italia GTE. In 2017, Clearwater Racing is competing in the World Endurance Championships with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin, but will redouble its efforts in the French classic by deploying a second 488 GTE crewed by Hiroki Katoh, Alvaro Parente and Richard Wee.
Katoh. Hiroki Katoh, a Japanese driver born in Kanagawa on 23 February 1968, is closed-wheel expert and is by far the most experienced driver in this crew. After starting out in Formula racing categories, he has devoted himself to closed-wheels since 2000 with many major victories at home but also abroad. He is back for his seventh 24 Hours of Le Mans, after a break since 2008. His best result was fifth in a Panoz powered by an Elan engine, along with Johnny O’Connell and Pierre-Henri Raphanel.
Parente. Alvaro Parente, born in Oporto on 4 October 1984, is an extremely fast Portuguese driver. After dabbling with Formula 1, in the early 2010s he became a star performer in GT, often behind the wheel of a McLaren. He has won an International GT Open championship and the Pirelli World Challenge 2016. He has also won the 2016 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hours. He has competed at Le Mans just once before, in 2014 when he had to retire at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GTE of the RAM team, when he raced with Federico Leo and Matt Griffin.
Wee. Born on 28 December 1964, Richard Wee aka “Rocket” is very active in Asia in closed-wheel competitions. He has always competed for Clearwater Racing, also winning a number of podiums in the GT Asia Series. This is his first 24 Hours of Le Mans.