Ferrari squad lodges first 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour entry

Maranello Motorsport is the first team to lodge an entry for the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour, after confirming Tony Vilander will tackle Mount Panorama in the team’s new Ferrari 488 GT3.

Ferrari squad lodges first 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour entry
#88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3: Peter Edwards, Tony D'Alberto
#88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3: Peter Edwards, John Bowe
Toni Vilander, Risi Competizione
#88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3: Mika Salo, Toni Vilander, Tony D'Alberto, Grant Denyer
#88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3: Mika Salo, Toni Vilander, Tony D'Alberto, Grant Denyer

The Melbourne-based team has already snapped up Ferrari factory GT ace Vilander to spearhead its driving line-up, although it hasn’t been confirmed who will join the Finn in the car.

What is for certain is that it’ll be the 488’s debut at Mount Panorama, with Maranello having fielded its older 458 GT3 up to and including this year’s running of the event.

“We think the 488 will be a beast on the Mountain and we can’t wait to come back and challenge for another win,” said Maranello Motorsport team owner Mark Coffey.

“The car has proven already to be extremely fast and by the time we get to Bathurst next February we’re confident it will be a contender.

“We’re pleased to welcome McDonald’s back [as the main sponsor] and also confirm Toni will be back to form part of our driving squad. He is an incredible talent and comes with the support of the factory in Italy so he is a valuable addition to our team.

“We have been proud to be part of the growth of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and it’s great to be the first to put our entry from in and commit our first car to the 2017 race.”

The squad is no stranger to success at the 12 Hour, having won it in 2014 with John Bowe, Peter Edwards, Craig Lowndes, and Mika Salo behind the wheel of its 458.

The last two years haven’t gone to plan for Maranello, though; in 2015 the #88 entry didn’t make the start after being badly crashed in practice. Earlier this year the car did make it to the start, but missed almost the entire first half-hour of the race after Salo was caught up in a first-lap clash with Nick Percat’s Lamborghini.

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