The sixth edition of the awards ceremony for the drivers and teams that drove Ferraris to victory in GT championships around the world took place in the splendid setting of the iconic new Ferrari Style Centre in Maranello.
Palmarès and future. Two-time GT World Challenge America Champion Toni Vilander was one of the presenters of an evening that saw the projection of the most exciting videos and images of 2019 on two impressive screens. More than forty stars took to the stage celebrating a season when Ferrari added twenty-five more winner’s laurels to its roll of honour.
In his welcome speech to the guests, who included the award-winners and the sponsors, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Enrico Galliera stressed the deep bond between the Maranello-based company and its customers. He took stock of a season that will also go down in history for the triumphs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans, stressing the company’s desire to continue this string of victories with the introduction of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
International series. Luzich Racing received some thoroughly deserved acclaim at the ceremony. The Swiss team won the European Le Mans Series after four victories in seven races with Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Fabien Lavergne. Toni Vilander, temporarily removing his presenter’s hat, also received his award for dominating the Blancpain World Challenge America. It was the second consecutive SRO series triumph for the Finn and R. Ferri Motorsport. Andrea Bertolini and Louis Machiels also took to the stage to receive an award for their victory in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe in the Pro-Am class at the wheel of the 488 GT3 of AF Corse. The duo was also keen to share this moment with their old crewmate Niek Hommerson. Awards went to Florian Scholze and Wolfgang Triller for the Am class title won with HB Racing in the same series, as well as Stephen Earle, in his third consecutive Iron class triumph in the Blancpain GT Sports Club.
Sergio Pianezzola and Giacomo Piccini basked in applause for retaining their Le Mans Cup title. Likewise for the 24H Series stars, Scuderia Praha, with Jiri Pisarik on stage to collect the prize on behalf of his 488 GT3 crewmates Josef Kral and Matteo Malucelli. Jean-Paul Pagny, Jean Bernard Bouvet and Thierry Perrier, winners of the Ultimate Cup, and Bjorn Grossmann, received an award for victory in the SPX class of the German VLN series, held exclusively on the Nordschleife.
National series and individual races. After celebrating the victories of Roberto Ragazzi, Stefano Artuso and Tommaso Colella in the Italian Hill Climb Championship, the winners of the Italian GT Championship received their awards. Alberto Lippi and Giorgio Sernagiotto, dominators of the GTL class, Antonio Fuoco and Sean Hudspeth, revelations in the Pro-Am class of the Sprint series, and Stefano Gai, Italian Endurance champion with the 488 GT3 of Scuderia Baldini, all took to the stage.
The evening then moved onto its highlight, the prizes for the winners of individual races, such as the 24 Hours of Spa with Christian Hook, Manuel Lauck, Alexander Mattschull and Hendrik Still together with Michele Rinaldi for the Am class triumph. The programme then celebrated Mikkel Mac and Fabien Lavergne’s one-two in the Road to Le Mans with the 488 GT3 of Luzich Racing before leaving the stage for the story of the two most important wins of 2019, the Petit Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In both cases, the three official drivers, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra, remained on stage. They were joined by Giuseppe Risi, who received a long and heartfelt applause from everyone for his triumph on the Road Atlanta track, and Amato Ferrari who thanked everyone on the platform for Ferrari’s 36th victory in the world’s most prestigious endurance race.
Double date for Bird. The weekend also saw the announcement of Sam Bird’s return to the wheel of the 488 GTE of AF Corse in the FIA WEC. He will join Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina in the car no. 71 car at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.