FIA World Endurance Championship champions, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, appeared on stage at the Birmingham International where they reviewed their extraordinary 2017 and talked about their expectations for a 2018 season that is shaping up to be intense and special and will see the two together again on the 51 Ferrari 488GTE with Sam Bird and Davide Rigon confirmed on the 71 sister car.
Perfect reaction. James and Alessandro won the title in their first season as teammates, achieving great results right from the off. However, their sprint to the title began after the disappointment of Le Mans. “We were very unlucky in France because we were involved in an accident in the morning while we were in the leading group,” said James Calado. “That disappointment rather than discourage gave us a chance to react. We started right from the following race at the Nürburgring, and we didn’t stop.” Alessandro Pier Guidi is very clear about the turning point: “I think it was in Austin, when bad luck seemed to be dogging us again. Near the end of the race, when we were comfortably ahead, we had a puncture but managed to react and secure the win. At that moment we realised that we could do it.” James remembers the relief and joy at crossing the finish line: “For 15 seconds I screamed about everything down the radio… I was over the moon.”
Daytona and Super Season. The 2018 season is already about to begin for the two world champions: “Alessandro and I will be at Daytona at the end of the month and along with Toni Vilander will try to win one of the world’s most important endurance races,” said James. “Risi Competizione finished third in 2017. We want to try to do even better.” Then there will be the WEC Super Season: “It will be a special one spread over two years and comprising two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” explained Pier Guidi. “Our aim, of course, is to retain the title, but also we would like at least one podium finish in the two races to be held in France.”