Vilander gets Bird's Ferrari seat for Nurburgring

Toni Vilander will step in for Formula E-bound Sam Bird in the Nurburgring 6 Hours, Ferrari has confirmed.

Vilander gets Bird's Ferrari seat for Nurburgring
Toni Vilander, Risi Competizione
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander
#71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: Davide Rigon, Sam Bird
#71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: Davide Rigon, Sam Bird, #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi
#71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: Davide Rigon, Sam Bird, #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi

Bird, who twins a Ferrari AF Corse works programme in the WEC with a campaign with DS Virgin in Formula E, is skipping Nurburgring to race in the New York FE double-header.

As such, his WEC teammate Davide Rigon will instead be partnered by 36-year-old Finn Vilander in the #71 Ferrari in the six-hour race at the German venue.

Vilander, a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in the GTE Pro class with Ferrari, represented the Italian manufacturer in WEC full-time between 2013 and 2015, taking the class title in 2014.

He has raced primarily in IMSA since 2016, for Ferrari team Rizi Competizione, and has also driven for the outfit at Le Mans for the past two years.

His crew finished second in class in the 24-hour race last year but didn't make the chequered flag in the 2017 race, after teammate Pierre Kaffer was taken out by an LMP2 car.

“I’m happy to be able to return to the FIA WEC with the 488 GTE of the AF Corse team,” Vilander stated, “This is my chance to cancel the disappointment of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as soon as possible.

“Car number 71 is in the top places of the championship standings, and I will give all I have to achieve the best possible result at Nurburgring, to help Ferrari in the manufacturers’ championship and Davide Rigon in the drivers’ ranking.”

Rigon and Bird are currently joint-third in the GT drivers' standings, while Ferrari is a close second to Ford in the manufacturers' race.

shares
comments
Derani set for Rebellion Nurburgring WEC seat

Previous article

Derani set for Rebellion Nurburgring WEC seat

Next article

WEC plug-in hybrid rule no gimmick, say Porsche and Toyota

WEC plug-in hybrid rule no gimmick, say Porsche and Toyota
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021