16 settembre 2016
Austin, 16 September 2016 – The World Endurance Championship (WEC) is back on the track two weeks after the race in Mexico City; the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), fourth-to-last event of the championship, will be held on Saturday.
GTE-Pro. In GTE-Pro class, the crews of the two 488 GTE are once again ready to pursue victory. This season, Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni and James Calado, on car number 51, have won the Nürburgring race and have are back in contention after a difficult start of the season. On the other hand, Sam Bird and Davide Rigon, on car 71, won the first two races of the season, but had a hard time in Mexico. The track, with the numerous wide and fast turns that distinguish it, should favour the characteristics of the 488 GTE, although the long straightway in the middle of the lap will not help the Italian cars. However, the requirements to try to beat the Aston Martins, untouchable in Mexico, seem to have been met.
GET-Am. In GTE-Am class, the drivers of the 458 Italia GTE of AF Corse, François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard, must start to husband their lead in the standings. Their nearest rivals are David Heinemeier-Hansson and Khaled Al Qubaisi, on Porsche, and the objective of the boys of the Ferrari number 83 could be simply to finish on the podium in each of the remaining races.
Precedents and parallel events. On the weekend Austin will also host the Imsa SportsCar Championship, a series in which two other 488 will compete: the GTE of the Risi Competizione team driven by Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella will be in the field in GT-Le Mans class, while Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan will compete in GT-Daytona class at the wheel of the GT3 of the Scuderia Corsa team. Ferrari has won four times in Austin, always with the 458 Italia. The first win came last year in the Pirelli World Challenge championship, thanks to Olivier Beretta of the R. Ferri Motorsport team, while the latest two wins were earned in the same championship by the Mexican driver Martin Fuentes on the car of Scuderia Corsa. Last year the SMP Racing team won in the WEC with Aleksey Basov, Victor Shaytar, and Andrea Bertolini at the controls. The qualifications are scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on Friday (0:45 a.m. CET), while the 6 Hours will start on Saturday at 5 p.m. local time (0:00 a.m. CET).