In the final round of the World Endurance Championship, the Sao Paulo 6 Hours at Interlagos, Ferrari made a clean sweep of it to take the Constructors’ title in the GT class. The win came after a thrilling race which finished behind the Safety Car. 25 minutes before the chequered flag and accident involving Mark Webber’s Porsche prototype and the 90 Ferrari driven by Matteo Cressoni at the time, meant the race was pretty much over. Fortunately neither driver had any serious injuries.
Today’s is Ferrari 17th endurance world title, the third in a row since the WEC championship started. The first win for the Maranello marque came in 1953, the first year of the series, thanks to amazing drivers like Giuseppe Farina, Alberto Ascari, along with Mike Hawthorn and Giannino Marzotto.
The constructors’ title means that Ferrari and the Italian AF Corse team have enjoyed a very successful season. In June it won the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, beating prestigious marques such as Porsche, Chevrolet and Aston Martin. In the penultimate round in Bahrain, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander took the title in the LMGTE-Pro class of the World Endurance Championship, while the Amato Ferrari-run AF Corse squad took the team’s title for a third consecutive year.
“It’s a fantastic result,” commented Antonello Coletta immediately after the race, having come to Brazil to support the team in this decisive round. “It’s the third world title in a row for Ferrari in the WEC. Reliability, a great effort from the drivers along with great teamwork came together as the key to this umpteenth success, which demonstrates that Ferrari is at the very top in the GT class. Today, we raced in difficult situations, we had a puncture and there were also a few strategy problems for the 51 car. But in the end we got the points we needed to take the title. It’s a job well done, taking all three titles. For now we can enjoy this splendid victory and as from tomorrow, we can start looking to next season.”
In the Pro category, the best placed Ferrari was the 71 458 Italia, driven by Davide Rigon and James Calado, flying the AF Corse colours, which finished third, ahead of team-mates Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander. The class was won by the 97 Aston Martin of Turner and Mucke.
In the LMGTE-Am class, the 81 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Wyatt, Rugolo and Bertolin ended the Sao Paulo 6 Hours in third place. Emerson Fittipaldi had a difficult race on the way to sixth place. When the multiple champion was at the wheel, two and a half hours into the race, he had to pit with a gearbox problem, which took time to fix. The AF Corse mechanics managed to get the car going again in not too long a time. Fittipaldi opted to race in the final round of the WEC in Brazil with the 61 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia for his return to racing, having been absent from the cockpit since he last raced in the Brazilian GT back in 2008. It was Emmo’s first time behind the wheel of a Prancing Horse car.
This coming Friday, 5 December, the Ferrari World Endurance Champions will be in Doha for the FIA Prize Giving ceremony and then on Saturday, they will be in Abu Dhabi for the great on-track event at the Finali Mondiali Ferrari.