After exactly ten years, Andrea Piccini returns to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours race. Last experience was in 2009 with the Lola-Judd LMP2 and, before that, the italian driver joined the podium with the Aston Martin DBR9 in 2006; this year, he will drive the Kessel Racing’s Ferrari 488 GTE in GTE-Am class, together with regular ELMS team mates, Sergio Pianezzola and Claudio Schiavoni.
“I did not think that I would have had the opportunity to participate again in the most important worldwide motorsport race – commented the 40-year-old driver from Sansepolcro – but it is indeed true that life often reserves special surprises“. The exciting challenge on the 13 kilometers and 626 meters of the “Circuit de la Sarthe” is scheduled for Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June, but next weekend – on Sunday 2 June – will see Piccini, Pianezzola and Schiavoni involved in the official testing session, that at Le Mans is mandatory for all entrants, who must complete at least 10 laps each. “It will be an opportunity for all of us to become familiar with the track and work better on the car set-up, given that it is the only day of the year reserved for testing here. Not being a permanent track, the track will initially be slippery and not very rubberized and it will take at least half a day to have track conditions similar to those of the race weekend“. How does the battle look in the Am category? “There are a total of 17 cars, with eight Ferrari 488, 6 Porsche 911, 2 Aston Martin Vantage and one Ford GT; it will be a good battle! For Sergio Pianezzola and Claudio Schiavoni this is the first ever 24 Hours: their experience is based now on two 12 Hours races in Abu Dhabi, which in 2017 we won together. But Claudio and Sergio know the track well, since both have raced in the ‘Road to Le Mans’ several times with the Ferrari 488 GT3. Traffic management, the speed difference with LMP cars and the night will be the most difficult aspects with which we will all have to confront and for them it will be even harder, being the first time. The regulation states that all three drivers must drive for at least 6 hours each, so it will be important to find a shared setup that allows everyone to express themselves at their best“. Target? “The main one is to complete the race without making mistakes, hoping to get the podium“. The tests on Sunday 2 June are scheduled in two sessions: in the morning from 9 to 13 and in the afternoon from 14 to 18. The race will start on Saturday 15 June at 15.00.