Ferrari sealed the World Constructors’ Championship in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on Sunday. The decisive points came in the 6 Hours of Shanghai where the two GTE 488s of AF Corse team respectively finished third with Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado and sixth with Davide Rigon and Sam Bird. This is Ferrari’s fifth WEC constructors’ title (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) and the 24th overall among the manufacturers’ championships sanctioned by the FIA. Sunday’s trophy goes in the cabinet along with the seven in the World Manufacturers’ for Makes won between 1953 and 1961, three editions of the International GT Championship (1962, 1963, 1964), four Prototypes titles between 1963 and 1972, three FIA GT Manufacturers’ championships (2006, 2007 and 2010) and two editions of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (2010 and 2011).
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the race was difficult for both cars. James Calado had to give way early on to the Ford no. 66 of Olivier Pla, extremely fast on the straight, while Davide Rigon dropped two places, also in troubles because of the 488 GTE’s limited top speed. The first half of the race was a sacrifice one for car no. 51, which started with old tyres so as to have fresh ones for the final stages. Just two tyres were changed at the first two pit stops and only 3 hours from the end the 488 GTE 488 had the chance to lap with four new tyres. The tactics for car no. 71 were more gradual but broadly similar. In the second half of the race both GTE 488 cars began to climb the standings with no. 51 rising to fourth and no. 71 to sixth. Near the end one of the two Fords suffered a tyre crisis, which let Pier Guidi take third while Rigon finished in sixth behind the Aston Martin of Marco Sorensen. Victory went to Henry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx in Ford no. 67 but the celebrations were in the AF Corse Ferrari garage.
GTE-Am. The two Ferrari cars competing in the GTE-Am class suffered a bitterly disappointing day. At 1 hour and 20 minutes, after Spirit of Race no. 54 had also been in the lead with Francesco Castellacci, the two GTE 488s were very close. At this point a prototype pulled close to lap Thomas Flohr and Weng Sun Mok, respectively, at the wheel of the Spirit of Race and Clearwater Racing cars. However, he misjudged the manoeuvre hitting car no. 61 and pushing it into no. 54. Mok resumed after a six-lap repair, to at least secure fourth place along with crewmates Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin. However, there was no second chance for the car of Flohr, Castellacci and Miguel Molina (who didn’t even get to drive), which remained in the pits. The class victory went to the Aston Martin of Dalla Lana-Lamy-Lauda, while the Toyota of Nakajima-Buemi-Davidson was the overall winner.
Drivers’ championship. While result of the 6 Hours of Shanghai closed the Constructors’ title the Drivers’ championship is still open and will be decided in Bahrain on 17 and 18 November. James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi hold a two-point advantage over Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz of Porsche and 7.5 on Priaulx and Tincknell. The other Ferrari driver Davide Rigon is still in the running, 17.5 points behind.