The road to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari #71 of AF Corse

13 June 2016

The road to Le Mans 24 Hours – Discovering the Ferrari #71 of AF Corse

Maranello, 13 June 2016 – Ferrari.com brings you to discover the Ferrari crews entered in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Here, we talk about the the 488 GTE #71 by AF Corse driven by the Davide Rigon and Sam Bird that is dominating the 2016 WEC championship having won the first two races of the season. In this occasion Davide and Sam will be joined by a veteran of the racetracks: Andrea Bertolini winner of the 24 Hours last year in the GTE-Am class.

 

The team. AF Corse has been one of Ferrari’s main clients’ teams for a number of years. The cooperation between Ferrari and AF Corse generated many of the GT successes during the past few years and all those obtained in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since its inception in 2012. The first year brought the success among teams and constructors, as well as the win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans; in 2013, there was the triple title for drivers, teams, and constructors, e feat repeated in 2014 enriched by the success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to car No. 51 driven by “Gimmi” Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

 

Rigon. Born in Thiene (Vicenza) on 26 August 1986, Davide Rigon debuted in open wheel racing and entered the Ferrari orbit in 2008, when he started competing in GT racing with Prancing Horse cars winning the 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps for BMS Scuderia Italia. In 2013 he contributed to the success of the 8 Stars Motorsport team in the GTE Am category of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and in 2014 and 2015 he raced in the GTE-Pro class in car no. 71 AF Corse, paired with Britain’s James Calado. The duo took five podiums in 2014, making a decisive contribution to Ferrari winning the manufacturers’ title. In 2015 he came second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans while this year he won the first two races of the season.

 

Bird. Sam Bird was born on 9 January 1987 in Roehampton, near London. He started out in open wheel racing and debuted at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2014 driving a Ferrari 458 AF Corse at Silverstone, finishing on the podium. He then competed with the same car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning pole position in the GTE-Am class. In 2015 Bird won the WEC title in the LMP2 class with four victories, three podiums and four pole positions. In 2016 he became an official Ferrari driver for GT racing, pairing up with Davide Rigon on the 488 GTE no. 71 AF Corse. The two were victorious at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps and currently top the championship standings.

 

Bertolini. The Sassuolo driver was born on December 1 1973 and is one of the top GT drivers on the Italian scene today. His name will forever be linked to the Maserati MC12, the car built under the aegis of Ferrari that garnered FIA GT1 titles in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2011, Bertolini won the Superstars title with the Swiss Team and two years later, triumphed in the GTC class of the Asian Le Mans Series in an AF Corse 458 Italia with Michele Rugolo and Australian Steve Wyatt. He then went on to win the European Le Mans Series in 2014. Andrea is a Scuderia Ferrari driver and has test-driven almost 400 Formula 1 cars. His favourite 24-hour race is Spa-Francorchamps, which he has won on several different occasions. He has also competed at Le Mans four times, winning the race last year in the GTE-Am class sharing the 458 Italia of SMP Racing with Russian drivers Viktor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov.