The opening race of the FIA WEC 2023 concluded with Kessel Racing’s Ferrari 488 GTE third after 219 laps at the 1000 Miles of Sebring. The two AF Corse cars finished fourth and fifth at the chequered flag in the LMGTE Am class, while the Ferrari of Richard Mille AF Corse had to retire following an accident in the early stages.
The crew of Takeshi Kimura, Scott Huffaker, and Ferrari official driver Daniel Serra stood out in the professional and gentlemen drivers category, featuring in the top five for most of the race. Having completed 66 of the team’s 219 laps, Serra finished the race on the podium but saw an apparently certain second place slip away due to a quick refuel. He finished third, two laps behind the winner, the number 33 Corvette.
Ulysse de Pauw secured fourth place at the chequered flag for AF Corse’s Ferrari number 21. The Belgian driver, competing in the Florida event alongside Stefano Costantini and Simon Mann, posted his team’s best time of 1’59’’625. The 488 GTE number 54, with the official driver Davide Rigon, took fifth place. With less than two hours to go, when Francesco Castellacci was at the wheel, the car collided with the Hypercar 499P of Alessandro Pier Guidi. This did not prevent the car he shared with Thomas Flohr from finishing in the Top-5.
The endurance race of Richard Mille AF Corse’s 488 GTE ended prematurely after Luís Pérez Companc crashed on Turn 1 ten minutes after the green flag. The driver was unhurt, but the crew, including Lilou Wadoux and Alessio Rovera, had to retire.