Le Castellet, France – 8Star Motorsports kicked off its new FIA World Endurance Championship campaign by topping the time sheets in this weekend's official pre-season test at Paul Ricard.
Debuting its orange-colored Ferrari 458 Italia, the Florida-based organization, in partnership with AF Corse, showed to be one of the early teams to beat in the competitive LM GTE-AM division.
While having shown encouraging pace all weekend, Peter’s 1:59.455 lap time set in the fifth and final test session put the No. 81 Ferrari quickest of the day on Saturday.
And despite less than favorable weather conditions each morning, the car completed a total of 235 trouble-free laps over the two days of productive testing.
“For us, the test was quite positive,” said Potolicchio. “We managed to do some extensive running with the Michelin tires and try different compounds and collect data.
These were my first laps at Le Castellet and also in the Ferrari GTE car, so there was a lot to learn. But we kept fine tuning and ended up with the fastest time on Saturday.
I think we all did a good job. I’m really happy to be back in the WEC and also pleased with the progress we made."
This weekend’s test also confirmed 8Star’s driver lineups for the first three races of the FIA WEC season. For the 6 Hours of Silverstone (April 14) and 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (May 4), the car will be driven by Potolicchio, Aguas and Peter.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 22-23) will see Potolicchio and Aguas joined by Australian native Bright, who will make his debut in the endurance racing classic.
“We’re very happy with the lineup we have for Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans,” Potolicchio added. “It will be great working with Rui for the season. He’s certainly one of the best ‘Silver’ drivers out there and brings a lot of experience from AF Corse.
Philipp is our ‘Pro’ and he’s already proven his pace. I’m also excited to have Jason for Le Mans, as I know he’ll be one of the top drivers there, even if it will be his first time in the race. I think our average, as drivers, will be the winning package to fight for the championship."
With a successful pre-season test in the books, the focus for 8Star's WEC program turns to the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 12-14, which will mark the start of the eight-race championship that will spread across the U.K., Belgium, France, Brazil, United States, Japan and China before ending in Bahrain in late November.