Maranello, 30 December 2017 – Ferrari.com offers you the second part of the World Endurance Championsip 2017 season review. In case you missed part 1 just click here.
Pier Guidi-Calado began their comeback in July at the Nürburgring. The pair won thanks to a blend of skill and a perfect strategy developed in the Amato Ferrari team pitwall. After the summer, the championship resumed in Mexico where Rigon and Bird were second, while Pier Guidi and Calado could only manage sixth. However, car no. 51 came first at Austin, a perennially tricky track for Ferrari, in what was one of the most exciting races of the season, with Pier Guidi showing all his qualities in the final stages. Noticing a flat tyre on Turn 2, the Italian completed the lap at a frantic pace so as not to lose time and managed to leave the pits after the tyre change still ahead of the Porsche of Christensen-Estre. The pair also triumphed at Fuji with Calado pulling out all the stops to overtake the Porsche of Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki just a few laps before the race ended early due to bad weather. On that occasion Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Ferrari driver Miguel Molina drove the 488 GTE of Spirit of Race to the first victory in the GTE-Am class.
The Japanese race was the key to the season for crew no. 51, who for the first time took the lead in the championship. Two weeks later, the WEC moved to Shanghai in China, a tricky track because of its long straights. Ferrari and AF Corse decided to go for a strategy of preserving the tyres at the start to build up to a crescendo at the finish. Victory again went to the Ford of Priaulx-Tincknell ahead of the Porsche of Makowiecki-Lietz, but what should have been a defensive race turned out to be a celebration with a third place for Pier Guidi-Calado plus the sixth of Rigon-Bird delivering the manufacturers’ world title to Ferrari with a race to spare.
In Bahrain, it was time to wrap things up in the drivers’ and teams’ standings and Ferrari did that brilliantly. At Sakhir, Pier Guidi and Calado, who began two points ahead of Makowiecki-Lietz and 7.5 in front of Priaulx-Tincknell, were the authors of a magnificent race, which they led for a long time, before finally handing victory to Bird-Rigon in a parade finish. It was a triumph for Ferrari, its drivers and champion team AF Corse. It was a first world title for James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, while for Ferrari it was a fifth constructors’ championship out of six seasons of the WEC and the 24th among the championships sanctioned by the FIA.