AF Corse "proved it was the best" in GTE Am, says Perrodo

Francois Perrodo says the #83 AF Corse crew proved beyond doubt that it is the best team in GTE Am following its convincing run to the title in the FIA World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain.

AF Corse "proved it was the best" in GTE Am, says Perrodo

AF Corse won four of the six races in the recently-concluded WEC season, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, scoring nearly 60 more points more than its nearest competitor TF Sport in the standings.

It marked the second GTE Am title in a row for Perrodo and Nicklas Nielsen, who were joined in the #83 Ferrari 488 GTE this season by up-and-coming Italian racer Alessio Rovera.

Last year, Perrodo, Nielsen and Emmanuel Collard were able to overcome an eight-point deficit to TF Sport Aston Martin trio Charlie Eastwood, Jonathan Adam and Salih Yoluc after all Vantage runners had to undergo a brake change in Bahrain.

But Perrodo says the #83 AF Corse crew didn’t need misfortune to strike its main competitors this year, saying the team showed it can win the title on raw pace alone.

“Last year obviously was an amazing season to clinch the title but to be honest we had a little bit of luck in the last race and we finished P3 at Le Mans,” he said.

“And this year with Nicklas again and Alessio, who is a fantastic driver, we won Le Mans, won four out of six races and won the title. 

“So I think we wanted to confirm that we had the potential to really be the best and we proved and I couldn't be prouder than today with Nicklas, Alessio, the whole team, the engineers, Amato [Ferrari, AF Corse founder], who trusted me, so it's fantastic. I’m really over the moon.”

Podium GTE AM: Race winner #83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: François Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen, Alessio Rovera, second place #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Christian Ried, Jaxon Evans, Matt Campbell, third place #56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Egidio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli, Riccardo Pera

Podium GTE AM: Race winner #83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo: François Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen, Alessio Rovera, second place #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Christian Ried, Jaxon Evans, Matt Campbell, third place #56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Egidio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli, Riccardo Pera

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The drivers in the #83 AF Corse headed into the Bahrain race with one hand on the championship trophy, having built a 21.5-point lead over Ben Keating, Felipe Fraga and Dylan Pereira in the #83 TF Sport Aston.

TF's already slim title hopes were dealt a fatal blow when Keating was involved in an opening lap collision with Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 Aston Martin, before a separate incident with the other AF Corse Ferrari forced the car into retirement.

Ultimately, this would not have any impact on the title fight, as Perrodo, Nielsen and Rovera were untouchable out front, lapping the entire GTE Am field en route to victory.

“I took the car in a leading position and I basically had to bring the car home,” said Nielsen. “The car has been amazing the whole season, not only this race but even last weekend [in Bahrain 6 Hours] despite the 45kg [of extra weight due to Balance of Performance], we did a fantastic job. 

“Obviously, this week with a bit less kilos on the car and cooler weather we managed to put everything together. 

“We can be really proud of this achievement and as a team as well and the mechanics and the engineers have done a fantastic job to prepare for this race and make us fight for the championship and the win.”

Perrodo and AF Corse will move up to the LMP2 class next year with an Oreca 07, along with Nielsen and Rovera.

AF Corse will also partner Ferrari on its return to Le Mans’ top category with a Le Mans Hypercar in 2023.

shares
comments

Related video

WRT 'widened the eyes' of its rivals with LMP2 title success
Previous article

WRT 'widened the eyes' of its rivals with LMP2 title success

Next article

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
3 h
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021