Calado and Pier Guidi Take Heroic LMGTE Pro Title for Ferrari
AF Corse Ferrari and Team Project 1 star in GTE classes at BAPCO 8 Hours of Bahrain.....
Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado and Ferrari scooped the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ and Manufacturers titles in a nail-biting manner at Bahrain International Circuit today.
The pair were forced to nurse their Ferrari 488 GTE Evo car to the chequered flag after developing a gearbox problem in the seventh hour of the eight hour race.
While they celebrated the championship, Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina won the final ever GTE-Pro race, their first of 2022.
The No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Molina and Fuoco finished ahead of the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driven by Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner, with Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen rounding out the podium in the No. 92 Porsche Team GT Team run Porsche 911 RSR-19.
Estre initially took the No. 92 Porsche in to the LMGTE Pro class lead by overtaking his direct rivals at the start, before engaging in a ferocious battle with the No.52 Ferrari driven by Fuoco.
The first of three Full Course Yellows shook up the order in the second hour as Fuoco, Estre and the No. 91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni pitted before the FCY.
This was the opposite of the No. 51 Ferrari of Calado and Corvette’s Nick Tandy pitted under the caution period itself. This ensured that Calado and Tandy gained and the pair ran first and second.
At the midway phase of the race Ferrari took up a 1-2 formation with Molina allowed to pass Calado via a team order.
The race for the title then appeared to be turned on its head in the seventh hour when the gearbox problem struck for Calado.
But he and Pier Guidi adapted to the issue and made it to the chequered flag to savour their title success.
“The car was fine when I jumped in and then I heard a funny noise in fourth gear,” said Calado after the race.
“I was like this was really bad and then it seized and then we didn't have any gears, we were stuck in fifth.
“I thought it was over. That's why you saw the emotion but we never gave up and so we're three times world champions.”
Corvette Racing were delighted with their second place with Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy rounding out a fine debut season in the WEC for the U.S entered squad.
Rounding out the podium was the No.92 Porsche GT Team entered Porsche 911 RSR-19 driven by Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.
They took advantage of a late pit stop by Gimmi Bruni to vault their stablemates and finish third which was good enough for second in the standings.
TF Sport’s Title; Team Project 1’s Race
Ben Keating and Marco Sorensen completed an excellent season by winning the LMGTE am championship by finishing in fourth place, alongside teammate Henrique Chaves.
The Aston Martin trio finished fourth in the LMGTE Am class today, which was enough for the silverware, as their closest rivals, Paul Dalla Lana, David Pittard and Nicki Thiim in the NorthWest Aston Martin, finished just behind them in fifth position.
The No.46 Team Project 1 Porsche driven Matteo Cairoli, Niki Leutwiler and Mikkel Pedersen claimed their first win of the 2022 season, with Cairoli making a move on the No. 85 Iron Dames Ferrari driven by Rahel Frey with 70-minutes of the race remaining.
Frey, with Iron Dames teammates Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy, led for the majority of the race from their second pole position of the season.
But their chances of matching their runners-up positions in Monza and Fuji were lost when Ben Barnicoat in the No.56 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR-19 overtook Michelle Gatting for second in the final minutes of the race.
That move ensured that Barnicoat’s new teammates for the weekend, PJ Hyett and Gunnar Jeanette, helped complete a richly merited 1-2 finish for the German squad.