14 febbraio 2016
Maranello, 13 February 2016 - The awards ceremony for the drivers and representatives of the teams that won in GT racing at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia in its different versions took place during a gala evening at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello on Saturday. More than 50 drivers secured national and international titles for Ferrari along with many race wins on four continents. Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa and Senior Vice President for Commercial and Marketing Enrico Galliera welcomed guests and thanked them for the 2015 season. The gala evening was also attended by five of the eight drivers of Ferrari's Ente Competizioni GT led by Antonello Coletta: Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni, Davide Rigon, Andrea Bertolini, James Calado and newcomer Sam Bird.
Special guest. And speaking of special guests there was also the new 488, the GTE version of which debuted in late January at Daytona and is soon to make its appearance in its GT3 configuration. This car, destined to take the place of the 458 Italia that will however continue to compete this season, was displayed at the Ferrari Museum. It naturally attracted the attention of many drivers and team managers who studied it in detail and soon will be able to experience its performance on track. The prizewinning teams included the US Scuderia Corsa, winner of the IMSA championship in 2015 in the GT Daytona class, and AF Corse, the historical partner of Ferrari that won the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the Blancpain Endurance Series championship as well as the International GT Open, in the Am class, with Claudio Sdanewitsch. AF Corse will race two 488s in the 2016 WEC in the GTE-Pro class ("Gimmi" Bruni and James Calado will be in no. 51, Sam Bird and Davide Rigon in no. 71) and will also field a 458 Italia in the GTE-Am class, crewed by François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas.
The prize-winners. There were 40 prizewinning drivers, including three official ones. "Gimmi" Bruni, runner-up in the 2015 WEC world championship with Toni Vilander and winner of the races at Silverstone and Fuji, was celebrated for his success in the 24 Hours of Spa with Pasin Lathouras, Stephane Lemeret and Alessandro Pier Guidi, while Davide Rigon received a prize for his triumph in the Gulf 12 Hours along with Michal Broniszewski and Michael Lyons. Andrea Bertolini was the third driver to receive a prize. The Sassuolo boy lifted two awards for his fantastic 2015 season in which he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the WEC in GTE-Am class together with the Russians of SMP Racing, Viktor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov.