Close-ups: drivers of the 488 GTE no. 54
E-Sports

Close-ups: drivers of the 488 GTE no. 54

Maranello | 11 June 2020

The 488 GTE of the Strong Together team named after the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation is among the cars entered in the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Ferrari no. 54 will be crewed by official Competizioni GT driver, Giancarlo Fisichella, his usual FIA WEC partner Francesco Castellacci, the former Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and the French sim racer Tony Mella. Three of the four, the Brazilian being the exception, will compete in the race at the Automobile Club of Monaco using this showcase to bring the Foundation’s message to the world, along with the colours of the Principality.

Fisichella. Giancarlo Fisichella was born on 14 January 1973, in Italy. In 1994, he won Italian Formula 3 championship. Then, after a spell in the DTM/ITC Championship with the Alfa Romeo 155, Giancarlo joined Formula 1 at the age of 23, when Minardi hired him for the 1996 season. In the following years, he raced for Jordan (1997), Benetton (from 1998 to 2001) and then Jordan again (2002 and 2003, when he secured his first career win in Brazil). He then moved to Sauber (2004), Renault (2005-2007) and Force India (2008 and part of 2009). In 2009, following Felipe Massa’s accident in Hungary, Fisichella was drafted into Scuderia Ferrari from the Italian Grand Prix to the end of the season, driving the F60. In 2010, he took part in the Le Mans Series in an F430 of AF Corse. Since 2011, he has been involved in GT racing in the Ferrari 458 Italia of AF Corse. In 2012, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander, a feat he repeated in 2014. In the GT world, he continued to record victories over the following years, both in America and Europe, not forgetting his participation in the Italian GT Endurance Championship with Scuderia Baldini.

Massa. Felipe Massa was born on 25 April 1981 in Brazil. After his kart debut in his homeland, Felipe moved to Europe where he won the Formula Renault and dominated the Formula 3000 Euro-Series. Hired by Sauber for his Formula 1 debut in 2002, he has represented Scuderia Ferrari since 2003, first as a test driver and then as an official driver alongside Michael Schumacher. After nearly winning the world title in 2008, Massa stayed with the Prancing Horse until 2014 when he was hired by Williams. He raced in the British team’s colours until 2017 before meeting the new challenge of Formula E with Venturi Grand Prix. He has notched up 11 victories, 16 pole positions and 41 podium finishes, scoring over 1000 points.

Castellacci. Francesco Castellacci was born on 4 April 1987 in Italy. After competing for seven seasons in various single-seater championships, he made his GT debut in 2010. In 2011, he won the FIA GT3 European Championship alongside his compatriot Federico Leo at the wheel of the 458 Italia of AF Corse. In 2014, he made a decisive contribution to Andrea Rizzoli and Stefano Gai’s victory in the Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am title in the 458 Italia GT3 of Scuderia Villorba Corse. Since 2017, he has been competing in the FIA WEC with car no. 54 of Spirit of Race, which he shares with Thomas Flohr and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Mella. Tony Mella was born in France, 25 years ago. His triumphed on his debut in the world of eSports, in the Virtual Le Mans Series. In the 2018-19 season, he won Division 1 of the LMP3 class in the Virtual Endurance Championship, courtesy of victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and four podiums. In 2019-20, Tony frequently finished on the podium in the various championships in which he competed, such as the SRC Virtual Le Mans Cup or the GT Challenge Series.


Drivers