19 giugno 2016
June 19, 2016 (Le Mans, France) – The U.S.-based teams of Scuderia Corsa and Risi Competizione raced with Ferrari this weekend in the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driving the newest Ferrari 488 GTE in its Le Mans debut and the Ferrari 458 Italia GTE, the American teams captured top honors in the French endurance classic.
The all-American troupe of Jeff Segal, Townsend Bell, and Bill Sweedler, returned to tackle the 8.5-mile circuit after a podium finish last year in their rookie appearance to Le Mans. The trio steered the no. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia GTE for Scuderia Corsa through a challenging twice around the clock race that featured multiple caution periods and tight passes among the 60-car field.
Bell, who began the race under imminent rain storms, set a competitive pace for the team within the early hours when the track was cleared of precipitation. From the hands of Sweedler to Segal, the team maintained the lead in their class from the eleventh hour to the checkered flag. They finished first in the GTE-Am class.
The no. 82 Ferrari 488 GTE of Risi Competizione and drivers Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, and Matteo Malucelli, started the legendary competition in eighth position in the GTE-Pro class. Together, the drivers have a combined 21 starts on Circuit de la Sarthe, and their talent was surely impeccable during the race. Under Fisichella’s direct attack, the team jumped to the lead within the third hour and led for an additional six. Coming in second, the team scored its seventh podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We are very proud to have two American-based Ferrari teams competing at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans this year with the 488 GTE and 458 GTE,” said Edwin Fenech, President and CEO of Ferrari North America. "In the capable hands of the Risi Competizione and Scuderia Corsa teams and drivers, the cars have demonstrated remarkable performance, speed, and reliability. When you consider the high level of competition that we had this weekend, the performance and results that we have enjoyed are even more remarkable. It is fantastic to have written another chapter in Ferrari's racing history this weekend at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans."
The two additional Ferrari 488 GTEs in the GTE-Pro class from AF Corse, the no. 51 and no71, retired by the fifteenth hour after challenging for the lead throughout the race.
Other teams competing in the GTE-Am class with the Ferrari 458 Italia GTEs this weekend were the no. 83 of AF Corse, no. 61 of Clearwater Racing, no. 60 of Formula Racing, and no. 55 of AF Corse. Each teach finished in second, fourth, sixth, and eleventh respectively.
Risi Competizione and Scuderia Corsa return to the United States for the sixth round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at the Six Hours of the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York, June 30-July 3.