President Luca di Montezemolo was keen to underline the fact that this win for the 458 Italia in the Le Mans 24 Hours is very important for Ferrari. 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.”
The AF Corse Ferrari #51 – driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander – was protagonist of a perfect race. The car took the lead at the tenth hour, keeping the lead for the remaining fourteen. The victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours is a very important success for the AF Corse team. The only Italian team to take part in the world’s most important endurance race won for the first time the La Sarthe’s race.
Amato Ferrari, AF Corse team principal: “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.”
Gianmaria Bruni: “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”
Giancarlo Fisichella: “Le Mans 24 Hours 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.”
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.” Le Mans 24 Hours was the third round of the Fia World Endurance Championship. Ferrari is in the first position among the Manufactures with 154 points, the double of the second in the classification. AF Corse is leading the Team standing thanks to 93 points (the second has 40).