Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Ferrari clinched their second consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship title. The result came at the end of the 8 Hours of Bahrain, won by teammates Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco at the wheel of the number 52 Ferrari of AF Corse. The Prancing Horse thus ended the final World Endurance Championship season for the LMGTE Pro class cars on a high note. The Maranello company won four constructors’ titles (2016, 2017, 2021 and 2022) with the 488 GTE. James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi also drove it to three drivers’ titles (2017, 2021 and 2022). This is Ferrari’s sixteenth World Endurance Championship title. It was sealed in the 488 GTE’s last race in the premier class for production-derived GTs.
LMGTE Pro. The 488 GTE of Fuoco and Molina moved into the lead with two hours to go, overtaking Calado’s car when it developed a gearbox problem. The Corvette of Tandy-Milner was second at the chequered flag, 50 seconds behind, while the number 51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado finished fifth. The Italian driver took the wheel in the last stint, tasked with managing the car as best he could. He knew that only a top-five finish and a concurrent win for his teammates would yield the world title.
Fifth place gave the Italo-British duo the world drivers’ championship after a race that showcased the team’s work in a season finale that will go down in history. Pier Guidi and Calado secured their third World Endurance Championship title, while Fuoco and Molina’s first-ever victory in the WEC gave them third place in the drivers’ championship.
LMGTE Am. In the class for crews also including gentlemen drivers, the Iron Dames’ number 85 Ferrari 488 GTE finished third, crewed by Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy. This was their third podium finish of the season after second places at Fuji and Spa-Francorchamps, crossing the line 18.839 seconds behind the number 46 Porsche. The top ten also included the 488 GTE number 54 of AF Corse with Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Nick Cassidy, seventh at the finish line, and the number 60 Iron Lynx crewed by Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni and Giancarlo Fisichella, in ninth. AF Corse’s 488 GTE number 21 came eleventh with Simon Mann, Christoph Ulrich and Toni Vilander, while Spirit of Race’s car with Franck Dezoteux, Pierre Ragues and Gabriel Aubry was thirteenth.
Farewell to the 488 GTE. Round six of the FIA WEC 2022 marked the 488 GTE’s final appearance in the main class for production-derived cars, the LMGTE Pro, in which the Maranello manufacturer’s official crews compete.
The car made its debut in January 2016 at the 24 Hours of Daytona (Imsa series). Over seven seasons, the 488 GTE racked up 12 championships and 50 class victories. Its thirty-plus wins in the FIA WEC stand out in this list. They include three constructors’ titles (2016, 2017 and 2021) with AF Corse and three drivers’ titles with Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado (2017, 2021 and 2022). At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most famous World Endurance Championship race, the Prancing Horse car scooped first place in the LMGTE Pro in 2019 and victories in the same class and the LMGTE Am in 2021.
Antonello Coletta: “We are really delighted with another great victory, with two world titles that will add to our already extensive trophy cabinet at Maranello. It was the best possible conclusion to the LMGTE Pro series, a category in which we have been leading players with the most wins and great performances from our drivers and cars. Again today, apart from the technical problem we had with the 51, we also dominated this race. It was a great team victory, as always. Molina and Fuoco’s first FIA WEC win is a fitting reward for a crew that had a fantastic season, just missing out on second place in the championship standings and performing at the highest level. Pier Guidi and Calado’s third title is a testament to their talent. We are privileged to have crews that work well together, and the results prove it”.
James Calado: “It was a race packed with conflicting emotions. When I returned to the pits, aware of the gearbox problem, I was distraught. Then when Alessandro stepped onboard and drove an hour and a half in fifth gear, time seemed to stand still. It’s fantastic to have won our third world title and to retain the constructors’ title, an honour for the entire team. I am overjoyed for everyone because of our great work at Maranello and on the track”.
Alessandro Pier Guidi: “I don’t know how to describe my feelings during this race. When I climbed into the car for the last stint, I didn’t know if I’d make it to the end. I wanted to get the car to the finish. When I finally saw the chequered flag, it was like glimpsing an oasis in the desert. I think the key to winning this year was our ability to optimise each race without leaving a single point behind on the table, and this determination was the basis of this victory. We thank the entire Ferrari team”.
Antonio Fuoco: “I am delighted with the result, our first victory in the World Endurance Championship, and for the whole team, whom I want to congratulate because they did a tremendous job throughout the season”.
Miguel Molina: “We ran a great race displaying good pace and managing the tyres well, unquestionably a strong point of our 488 GTE. I am happy not only to have climbed the top step of the podium for the first time in the WEC but, above all, to have contributed to a second straight constructors’ title. We did a great job”.