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    Coletta: “An unforgettable 2022 thanks to the Ferrari GT laurels”

    Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, draws together the threads of a thrilling 2022. It was a victorious season for the Competizioni GT department, culminating with the double world championship title at Bahrain in the last round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

    Maranello 20 dicembre 2022

    Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, draws together the threads of a thrilling 2022. It was a victorious season for the Competizioni GT department, culminating with the double world championship title at Bahrain in the last round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The Maranello company retained its manufacturers’ title and the LMGTE Pro class drivers’ championship with Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado. 

    Antonello, what does the double-win in the WEC with the Ferrari 488 GTE, for the second year running, mean to you? 

    “The 2022 season was very challenging for all the Competizioni GT staff. Firstly, in addition to the races in which we competed, basically the same as previous years, we had to follow the development of two new cars in parallel: the 499P, with which we will return to the top class of the WEC from 2023, and the 296 GT3. That’s why it was a great achievement to come away with another manufacturers’ laurel after 2021”. 

    A journey that began uphill... 

    “True, let’s not forget it seemed impossible to imagine such an outcome at the start of the season. We were very demoralised following the WEC debut at Sebring. Then, the Spa event put a smile on our faces, partly courtesy of weather conditions that favoured us. Then again, we weren’t very competitive at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but we could counterbalance that by securing a crucial podium. The turning point came at Monza, at the 6 Hours, a home race for Italians, when we started to battle, trying not to let any opportunity slip through our fingers. Then we won big in Japan, taking a double-win, and in the final event in Bahrain”. 

    A season finale that will remain in the memory of many Prancing Horse fans...

    “The 8 Hours of Bahrain was a tough race, in which we took first place with Fuoco and Molina in the number 52 car. We secured the result, the world title, with the 51 car driven by Pier Guidi and Calado, even though the latter suffered a mechanical transmission failure, perhaps the only major failure we have had in recent years. All this in a special round, the 488 GTE’s last appearance in the LMGTE Pro class. On its final outing in this class, it almost seemed as if the car wanted first to give us the heebie-jeebies and then deliver another big, huge reward. How can I sum it up? It was a very demanding championship, and retaining the world title was doubly satisfying because we know how much effort, sacrifice and difficulty we had to overcome”. 

    What would you emphasise if you were to assess Ferrari’s performance in the LMGTE Pro class of the WEC?

    “It would be a very positive assessment. From 2012, the year of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s inception, to date, we have won seven manufacturers’ titles, five drivers’ titles, over four editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and celebrated victory in more races than anyone else in the same manufacturers’ class. A lot of joy, satisfaction, and victories repaid the efforts of our entire staff, teams and drivers. It won’t be easy to repeat a period like this, but in the meantime, let’s enjoy our achievements, which are part of our history. We can put these trophies in our trophy cabinet and see them every day”. 

    Among other new developments, the 2023 season will debut the new 296 GT3. How important is this car, also strategically?  

    “It will be difficult to repeat the winning cycle of the previous model, the 488 GT3, which triumphed in over 510 races and 110 championships internationally, a journey for which we thank everyone, teams and customers above all. However, our philosophy is always to look to the future. We do so with a new project linked to the 296 GT3, which started completely from scratch. It is a very ambitious challenge, which will see us look for reliability and competitiveness in the first months of 2023. We are confident: the car had a good start, and whoever acquires one for racing will be very happy”. 

    This year will also be remembered for unveiling the 499P, the hypercar that will herald Ferrari’s return to the top endurance class. What does it mean to you personally? 

    “It’s a huge source of pride. I pursued this dream for many years, not knowing whether it would come to fruition. Seeing the car leave the pit was a fantastic moment. By nature, I tend to look to the future. Now that the programme has started with testing, we know our role. We will have to be leaders to achieve the results that we, first and foremost, but also our fans and partners, expect. I repeat, there is a lot of personal satisfaction, like the pride of everyone who has been part of this journey. There are the staff who designed the car, are developing it, and will race it. And there are drivers who, in the past, never believed they would one day have the chance to drive a Ferrari prototype. The big Competizioni GT family consists of people who put passion and self-sacrifice into their work. And I can say that these aspects make up the first tenth of a second advantage over our competitors when we hit the track”.

    In 2022, there were also some changes for the Club Competizioni GT, with a calendar enriched by regional events...

    “Finally, the Club, founded during a pandemic at an unfortunate time, is developing as we had imagined. As well as intercontinental events, other official regional programmes began. Although it’s still a tough time, they have enabled us to organise events in Japan, for example, with more than 25 cars. The Club’s year got off to a good start in America. Then, in Europe in the second half of the year, the number of cars grew considerably, culminating in the great result of the Finali Mondiali at Imola. We are also delivering a fair number of the 488 GT Modificatas, a car created in the wake of the Club Competizioni GT, given that it uses technology and experience acquired with the GTE and GT3, but free from regulatory constrictions”.