Published on October 14th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
FIA WEC – A Ferrari One-Two @ Fuji
The fifth round of the World Endurance Championship has taken place at the Fuji circuit, in front of a crowd of over 50,000 spectators. After yesterday’s difficult qualifying session around the 4.549km-long Japanese circuit, the Ferraris which are involved in the championship battle pulled off an outstanding one-two. In the LMGTE Pro category the win was a team affair; the title leaders from the AF Corse team “Gimmi” Bruni and Toni Vilander plus their team-mates Davide Rigon and James Calado ended their race in first and second places respectively, ahead of the Aston Martin of the trio made up of Macdowall, O’Young and Ress.
A few minutes after the start the Roman driver “Gimmi” Bruni, at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 GTE, took advantage of the fight between the number 97 Aston Martin and the number 92 Porsche to make up as many as four positions and put himself into the lead. It is the third win for the drivers of the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia in the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season and further extends their lead at the head of the championship for GT Drivers. The result came despite Bruni having to serve a drive-through penalty for exceeding the limits of the track.
Gimmi Bruni “This is a deserved victory that we would like to dedicate to Jules; it was a very hard race, we took some risks at the start and despite a 30-second penalty we managed to make it back up to the front of the pack and stay there.”
Toni Vilander “That was a hard race, especially in practice. Over the weekend we tried a lot of different set-ups and in the end, thanks to some great work from the team, we managed to win and extend our championship lead.”
Davide Rigon “That was a very tight race from the start, our team did an excellent job and we want to dedicate this one-two 100% to Jules Bianchi, wishing him a swift return to racing.”
James Calado “I’m very happy with this result, especially for the team. Here on the Fuji track I immediately found a good driving feeling, I’m very happy with how we performed in this race right up to the flag.”
In the LMGTE Am category the best result for Ferrari was the fifth place by the AF Corse-run 458 GTE of Curtis, Bleekemolen and Skeen. By contrast it was an unlucky race for the car number 81 driven by Bertolini, Rugolo and Wyatt and the 8 Star Motorsport-run car of Roda, Ruberti and Segal, which were forced to retire with technical problems. Following the Fuji race Ferrari, with the AF Corse team, has maintained its leadership of the championships for Constructors, Teams and Drivers. The overall race win went to the Toyota number 8 driven by Davidson and Buemi. The next round of the FIA WEC championship is the 6 Hours of Shanghai, scheduled for November 2 in China.