04 novembre 2016
Shanghai, 4 Nov 2016 - The World Endurance Championship is back on track this weekend, with a race that could be one of the defining moments of the season for the two teams engaged in the GTE-Pro class as well as the team leading the GTE-Am rankings.
GTE-Pro. As usual in the world's main GT class the four Ferrari drivers are taking to the track to win. Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, second in the drivers' standings with the 488 GTE no. 71, and Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni and James Calado in car no. 51, will try notch up a victory for Maranello that escaped it at the Nürburgring. Obviously it won't be an easy mission to accomplish. Primarily this is due to the quality of the opposition but also to the fact that the track has a very long straight which, like those of Fuji, Austin and Mexico City, has been something of an Achilles heel for the 488 GTE, hampered on the straight by Balance of Performance. Ferrari leads Aston Martin by three points in the Constructors' standings while Bird and Rigon are 10 points behind Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim of Aston Martin. Bruni and Calado are fourth 26 points in arrears.
GTE-Am. François Perrodo, Rui Aguas and Emmanuel Collard, the standard bearers of the 458 Italia of AF Corse, face a tricky first match point for the title in the GTE-Am. The three, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans among WEC competitors, also triumphing at Silverstone in the first race of the season, enjoy a margin of 33 points over the Aston Martin of Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana and Mathias Lauda. This means that the Ferrari trio, who won here last year, really need to finish ahead of their rivals who however, if they were to win would take the final battle to the last act in Bahrain.
History. Ferrari boasts five victories in Shanghai, the first in the GTE-Am class of the WEC obtained in 2013 by the 458 Italia of 8Star Motorsport of Rigon and Aguas with Enzo Potolicchio. The most recent triumph was in the GT Asia Series last August with the 488 GT3 of BBT team crewed by Davide Rizzo and Anthony Liu Xu. After the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday qualifying is at 1:30 pm local time (6:30 am CET). The race will start at 11 am (5 am CET) and will last for six hours.