mardi 11 avril 2017
6 Hours of Silverstone GTE-Am Preview
The 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship will kick off at Silverstone this upcoming weekend. Twenty-eight cars will be entering the six-hour event at the "Home of British Motorsport", five of which are GTE-Am entries.
Compared to 2016, the GTE-Am field has lost the Corvette brand, four teams (AF Corse, Larbre Competition, Abu Dhabi Proton Racing and KCMG) and all three drivers' champions François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard (who have switched to LMP2) and Rui Aguas.
However the class will be featuring some solid entries and very talented drivers. The five cars in class are representing three different brands, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche.
GTE-Am will be welcoming the Ferrari 488 GTE, with two cars, after many years with the all-conquering Ferrari 458 Italia. The two Ferraris will be using Michelin rubbers this year in WEC.
The first Ferrari is from Spirit of Race. The AF Corse-run #54 488 GTE will be driven by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, who competed together last year in Michelin Le Mans Cup, and new Ferrari works driver Miguel Molina.
Clearwater Racing, a very successful Asian GT team in Asian Le Mans Series and GT Asia Series, is a new comer to FIA WEC. Their #61 Ferrari 488 GTE shared by Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Ferrari specialist Matt Griffin.
The Porsche camp will be represented by two teams using the last-gen Porsche 911 RSR and Dunlop tires.
Dempsey Proton Racing is returning to GTE-Am after a single season in GTE-Pro. The #77 Porsche 911 RSR will be in the hands of team-manager Christian Ried, Marvin Dienst and Porsche workd driver Matteo Cairoli.
Gulf Racing UK will be competing in WEC for the second straight year with the #86 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Wainwright, Ben Barker and Nick Foster.
Last but not least, Aston Martin Racing. The only full factory team in the GTE-Am class will be fielding a single Vantage GTE, using Dunlops, for a very experienced trio of drivers.
Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda are a big challengers for the overall championship title. In 2016 they were already strong but faced a lot of bad luck as well.
Photos: FIA WEC