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24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:14

Montezemolo: “A victory important in three way at Le Mans”

Maranello, 17 June – President Luca di Montezemolo was keen to underline the fact that this win for the 458 Italia in the Le Mans 24 Hours is important for Ferrari on three fronts. He was happy with the efforts of the AF Corse team that took victory in the GTE-PRO class of the most prestigious endurance race in the world.

“It is an important victory, in an important race which has always been important in the history of Ferrari,” Montezemolo told www.ferrari.com. “It further pleases me that two Italians, Giancarlo Fisichella and Gimmi Bruni stood on the top step of the podium, along with Toni Vilander. This one-two at Le Mans proves that the amazing 458 is truly competitive. My congratulations and those of everyone at Ferrari go to the AF Corse team, its engineers, mechanics and naturally, its drivers.”

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:10

Le Mans 24 Hours: Ferrari takes an extraordinary one-two

Le Mans, 17 June – The curtain has come down on the eightieth Le Mans 24 Hours, the classic endurance race held at La Sarthe, which was also the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The AF Corse Ferrari has added its name to the list of Le Mans winners, thanks to a victory for Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander, at the end of a perfectly managed race that had started on the back foot, after the car was badly damaged in an accident in free practice on Wednesday.

AF Corse was the only Italian team entered in the most important endurance race in the world and its Ferrari took the lead in the tenth hour, staying there to the chequered flag. Their dominance was such that the drivers were able to manage their lead in the final hours, thus running calmly to the end to stand on the topmost step of the podium, to the great satisfaction of Ferrari and the team, the latter thus getting their name on the winners’ roll of honour for the first time at La Sarthe.

Runner-up was another Maranello machine, run by Luxury Racing in the hands of a crew made up of Frederic Makowiecki, Dominik Farnbacher and Jaime Melo, thus confirming the excellent performance of our cars. Fourth in class was the other AF Corse Ferrari 458 GT2, No. 71, driven by Marco Cioci, Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta.

In the GTE AM category, the best of the Ferraris entered was the Krohn Racing teama car (Niclas Jonsson, Michele Rugolo and Tracy Krohn) which finished on the podium in third, while a sixth place went to crew made up of Robert Kauffman, Rui Aguas and Brian Vickers, entered by AF Corse-Waltrip. Unfortunately, the AF Corse Ferrari No. 81 (Piergiuseppe Perazzini, Niki Cadei and Matt Griffin) did not make it the finish, retiring after an accident.

The next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship takes place at Silverstone over the weekend of 26 August.

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:09

Fisichella, Bruni and Vilander: “Winning the Le Mans 24 Hours is a team effort”

Le Mans, 17 June - The excitement following this amazing win just achieved at Le Mans and the awareness that it’s a truly important result, down to the work of the team, has united the comments of the drivers who delivered this great result.

It was a case of joy and satisfaction for Giancarlo Fisichella, who had this to say after crossing the line: “This is the most important race of the year and at the end of it, we achieved our objective. The win was especially down to the incredible efforts of the AF Corse guys who had to change the chassis after the accident on Wednesday, delivering a car that was better than anyone could have expected. I did not think I would be make it out on track for the final twenty minutes of qualifying, however thanks to their efforts, the miracle happened. Thanks guys, thank you to Amato and to Ferrari…and to everyone who contributed to this win.”

The 24 Hours is the most sought after prize in the career of a driver, even for a race veteran like Toni Vilander. “Today, we have taken the most important win in the GT class. Ferrari and AF Corse did a great job of preparing for it and they were incredible when it came to repairing the car in practice. We all believed, from start to finish and this is the result.”

One of those who believed in it the most was definitely Gimmi Bruni, who inevitably thought back to the disappointment of 2011, citing it as a something that spurred him on this tme. “After what happened last year, when we lost the race in the final hour, this year was a nice revenge. The win came thanks to a long period of preparation and testing which kept us busy all year. The mechanics were fantastic and my team-mates were perfect. That’s the only way to win a 24 hour race, all working together. Also after the accident, the team did not get demoralized and out on track, we did our bit to pay them back for their efforts.”

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:08

Antonello Coletta: “Le Mans win a team effort”

La Mans, 17 June - The head of Corse Clienti, Antonello Coletta was justifiably proud of the amazing win secured by the AF Corse team at Le Mans this weekend. “This victory was down to the company and the excellent performance demonstrated by our cars in such a demanding race. It was even more special, as it came thanks to the efforts of the AF Corse team that showed great professionalism in rebuilding a car from scratch and ensuring it was competitive, after the major accident in free practice and finally the win is also a success for the Corse Clienti department which for the third time in its history has won this prestigious race (in 2008 and 2009 with Risi Competizione and now this year with AF Corse.)

“Italy has returned to winning ways at La Sarthe with a victory that came from an Italian team, thanks to the talents of a predominantly Italian driver line-up. I am proud therefore that Ferrari has contributed to delivering this really important result.”

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:07

Fantastic Ferrari victory at Le Mans

Amato Ferrari: “It’s been an exceptional weekend”



Le Mans, 17 June 2012 – Ferrari has secured an amazing result, thanks to the AF Corse team winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, the oldest and most famous endurance race in the world. First past the chequered flag was car No. 51, driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander. It was an incredible fight back, after the car had been seriously damaged in Wednesday’s free practice.

Commenting on this truly memorable result, the AF Corse team boss, Amato Ferrari said: “ It has been an exceptional weekend. Winning at Le Mans with Ferrari is very satisfying because this is the most important endurance race in the world. It was a struggle at first, but the team reacted in the right way, managing to take my three drivers to the win.”

Amato Ferrari also wanted to comment on the fourth place secured by Andrea Bertolini, Marco Cioci and Olivier Beretta in his second car in the LMGTE PRO class. “I also thank the drivers of car 71 for their great showing who, but for a few little problems, could have helped us to the one-two finish that was within our grasp. Really, a great day.”

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:05

Ferrari takes the win in Le Mans 24 Hours

Head of Engines, Jean-Jacques His sends his congratulations



Le Mans, 17 June – The AF Corse Ferrari 458 GT2 has won the eightieth Le Mans 24 Hours race, which this year counts towards the new FIA World Endurance Championship, with its crew of Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander. Congratulations for the team run by Amato Ferrari came from Jean-Jacques His, Ferrari’s head of Engines, just days after the company’s V8 had been awarded the “Best Performance Engine” prize, for the second year running at the “International Engine of the Year Awards.” “I am particularly pleased with this amazing result,” commented His. “And I want to congratulate the entire team and the drivers for their performance in this important race. I am very happy that, in such a demanding race, we have demonstrated the quality of our engine, in terms of efficiency and performance. A further confirmation of that came from the fact a Ferrari entered by Luxury Racing took second place and, just like the Italian team, also had an excellent race.”

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 18:00

FIA World Endurance Championship – 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2012

All the emotions of the race weekend, told by the most significant images.

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 12:15

Crowd in the garage,-45 minutes

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24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 10:33

Le Mans 24 Hours – Three hours to go

Le Mans, 17 June – With three hours still remaining in the Le Mans 24 Hours, it’s currently hard to make any predictions. The top places in the LMGTE PRO class have remained unchanged, with Gianmaria Bruni handling the task of managing the lead of the AF Corse No. 51 car over the other Luxury Racing 458 (Makowiecki-Melo-Farnbacher), which at the moment is three laps down. Further back by an additional lap is the Aston Martin No. 97.

It’s looking very open in the LM GTE-AM class, wehere the IMSA Performance Porsche of Pons-Narac-Armindo has now moved into the lead, followed by the Canal-Lamy-Bornhauser Corvette. Third is the Krohn Racing Ferrari, which puts it second in the WEC classification.

 

24 Hours of Le Mans - Sunday, June 17, 2012, 8:02

Le Mans 24 Hours – The new dawn

 

Le Mans, 17 June – The paddock is coming back to life as people awake after a long night to find that, out on track, the No. 51 Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella-Gianmaria Bruni-Toni Vilander has moved into the lead of the LMGTE PRO class. The formidable trio is lying eighteenth overall, followed by the similar No. 59 car of Luxury Racing, although it is currently two laps down. Of the forty cars still in the race, the second AF Corse Ferrari, No. 71, is fourth with Bertolini at the wheel.

There were some worrying moments in the AF Corse-Waltrip garage during the night when the Ferrari No. 61, crewed by Robert Kauffman, Rui Aguas and Brian Vickers, having had a puncture, then caught fire and had to pit, with marshals having to deal with the situation even before it got back to its garage. The car was repaired and restarted and it is currently lying seventh in LMGTE AM.