24 luglio 2016
Nürburg, 24 July 2016 – At the Nürburgring, Round 4 of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Ferrari 488 GTE and the AF Corse team erased the disappointment of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The 488 GTE took the two top spots and, finally, James Calado broke the spell with a win in WEC. The British driver, teaming up with “Gimmi” Bruni (with his first win on the 488 GTE), succeeded also thanks to the strategy of the team and gave proof of his universally acknowledged high standards. Davide Rigon and Sam Bird finished in second place on car No. 71 culminating a great comeback race that saw them start in the third to last place on the grid.
GTE-Pro. In GTE-Pro class, Bruni was able to keep his fourth place at the start, while Davide Rigon started out in full attack mode, overtaking immediately all cars of the GTE-Am class and tailing the Porsche that brought the rear of the GTE-Pro group. Shortly after, the Italian driver managed to overtake Christensen too and began chasing the No. 66 Ford. The No. 95 Aston Martin in the lead kept gaining ground, while Bruni lacked the speed in the straight to challenge the No. 67 Ford. At this point, the AF Corse team chose to operate an undercut, stopping the 51 car slightly ahead of plan. James Calado took the wheel and climbed to second place, taking advantage of the troubles of the 67 Ford and of the great work of the mechanics. The two following pit stops took place in full course yellow mode, with the cars forced to travel at 80 km/h: Bruni completed a double stint during which he did a masterpiece overtake of the Aston Martin No. 95 to take first place, while car No. 71 went up to third place. Then, at the start of the last hour, Bird and Rigon took advantage of yet another full course yellow period to leapfrog the Aston Martin, which had stopped under green flag. This completed a great comeback that places them two points away from the top of the standings.
GTE-Am. In GTE-Am class, the 458 Italia GTE of AF Corse team driven by Emmanuel Collard, François Perrodo and Rui Aguas (the only Ferrari in this class) had quite a complicated race. After starting in fourth place with Collard at the wheel, it found itself vying for first place two hours into the race with Perrodo at the wheel. However, at that very moment, the French driver ended in the sand at the Schumacher chicane and lost precious time. To make it even worse, there was a drive-through for speeding during a full course yellow period. However, late in the race, thanks to a great stint by Rui Aguas and yet another yellow flag, Collard, Perrodo, and Aguas were able to climb back to third place in the race won by the Aston Martin of Lamy-Lauda-Dalla Lana, thus confirming themselves solidly in the lead of the championship standings.