Pier Guidi and Calado World Champions

Sakhir – Thirty-three year-old  Italian Alessandro  Pier Guidi and  his 28  year-old  British crewmate  James  Calado  are  the first winners  of the GT FIA World Endurance   Drivers’   Championship   title   as   part   of   the   FIA  World    Endurance Championship (WEC). The pair won in the best possible  way, dominating the final race of the season, the 6 Hours  of Bahrain,  along  with their AF Corse teammates, Sam Bird and  Davide Rigon.

The drivers of the Ferrari 488  GTEs finished  in parade, with car no. 71,  starting from  pole  and  key to the season’s triumphs, first over the line. Third  and fourth place  went to the nearest rivals of the 51 crew, the Ford  No.  67 of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell and Porsche no. 91 of Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.

GTE-Pro. Pier Guidi and  Calado and  the whole Ferrari AF Corse team handled the race tactics to perfection. After a cautious start car  no.  51  climbed  the rankings  and  went ahead near  the halfway  mark,  taking advantage  of  a  Full Course  Yellow  phase   that penalised car  no.  71  that had  pitted  with the green  flag.  From  then on  James  and Alessandro  managed their speed carefully so as to protect the tyres, but still successfully held onto their lead over their rivals in the final stage.

However,  Sam Bird in car no.  71 was  faster towards the end  so  it was  decided that no.  51  would  stage a  spectacular parade finish with Bird and  Rigon who fully deserved the victory and  for this reason  were first on the finish line. This is Alessandro  Pier Guidi’s first year as an official Ferrari driver, while James Calado is in his  fourth season  with the Maranello brand,  having  started racing in car no.  71 as David Rigon’s teammate in 2014. The world champions secured the title at the end of an almost perfect season  that, after a bad  result in the Le Mans 24 Hours,  saw them climb up the standings with wins, first at the Nurburgring and  then at Austin and  at Fuji. This is Ferrari’s 22nd  victory in the WEC, the 27th  including  those obtained in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2010  and 2011.

GTE-Am. Two 488 GTEs were on the podium in the GTE-Am class. After a long struggle with  the  Aston  Martin  title  winner   driven  by  Dalla   Lana-Lamy-Lauda,  no.   61   of Clearwater Racing  came  second   with  Keita Sawa,  Matt Griffin and  Weng  Sun  Mok, ahead of  car  no.  54  of  Spirit of  Race  with Francesco  Castellacci, Thomas  Flohr  and Miguel Molina.  The overall victory went to Buemi-Nakajima-Davidson of Toyota.