After the Prologue in Barcelona last July, the eagerly awaited Season 8 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) goes live with the 4 Hours of Silverstone. The new season begins a few months after the 2018-19 Super Season closed with a splendid victory for the 488 GTE of AF Corse crewed by James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Six Ferraris, two in the LMGTE Pro class and four in the LMGTE Am class, will compete in the opening race, this year cut from six to four hours.
LMGTE Pro. The Italo-British crew of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado will drive the 488 GTE of AF Corse for the third consecutive season. In the FIA WEC, the duo have recorded five wins, including one 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking the title in 2017 and finishing second in the 2018-19 Super Season. The pair won last season's 6 Hours of Silverstone. However, a new duo will take the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 72 of AF Corse, even though Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina have already driven this car in FIA WEC races along with a third driver.
LMGTE-Am. With some old hands and some new drivers, the Ferraris in this class will try to make up for last season’s results. AF Corse will line up two cars, no. 54, driven by the experienced Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Giancarlo Fisichella, and no. 83, with François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen,making their series debut. MR Racing will also field a new driver, with Kei Cozzolino joining Motoaki Ishikawa and Olivier Beretta inthe Ferrari cockpit. The fourth and final Prancing Horse car to start is the 488 GTE of the rookie team Red River Sport with Bonamy Grimes, Johnny Mowlem and Charles Hollings.
Silverstone. The historic 5890-metre-long British track hosts the first event on the calendar. The circuit is still medium-fast after the new configuration introduced in 2010, with some distinctive features such as Copse, Maggotts, Becketts and Stowe that make it a drivers’ favourite. This track involves compromises in terms of set-up, handling and downforce, as well as a constant risk of rain.
Schedule. The programme kicks off on Friday with two 90-minute free practice sessions at 11:40 am and 4:30 pm local time, while on Saturday morning, the third and final hour of untimed practice begins at 9 am. The cars will then be prepared for the 20-minute qualifying session that starts at 11:50 am. On Sunday, at 12 pm, the light goes off for the start of the race and a new season.