16 ottobre 2016
Oyama, 16 October 2016 – The Ferrari 488 GTEs of AF Corse secured third and fourth place in the 6 Hours of Fuji, the third last round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). The 27 points won take Maranello back to the top of the Constructors' standings, while in the GTE-Am class second place for the 458 Italia no. 83 of AF Corse edged François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas even closer to the class title, which could be wrapped up as early as at the next round in Shanghai on 6 November.
GTE-Pro. The race was very tactical and held no surprises, without even an appearance of the Safety Car. At the start Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni overtook teammate Sam Bird who began behind the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 71. From then there began an impossible attempt to catch the two Fords that had established a lead from the start with their extraordinary speed on the straights. The AF Corse team even tried to split the strategies of their two cars in an attempt to get between no. 67 and 66. Bruni was stopped early to try an undercut that only served to consolidate third place and to maintain a reassuring lead over the Aston Martins. However, car no. 71 followed the plan agreed before the start but the final result was similar as the two cars, driven impeccably also by James Calado and Davide Rigon, arrived at the finish line with just a few seconds between them. The 27 points, against 18 for Aston Martin, put Ferrari ahead of the British manufacturer in the Constructors' championship. Victory went to the Ford no. 67 of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.
GTE-Am. François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas offered yet another demonstration of maturity in the GTE-Am class with a second place that could be vital for the title. The three spent the whole race close behind the Aston Martin of Lamy-Lauda-Dalla Lana but kept ahead of the other opponents. So, even after a 35-second stop&go penalty for speeding in the pit lane, Rui Aguas managed to regain second. Thanks to the Fuji result the Ferrari crew has now a 33-point lead over its Aston Martin rivals and with a little luck could seal the title in the penultimate round in Shanghai on 6 November.