With the 6 Hours of São Paulo, Davide Rigon signed his first season in FIA WEC World Endurance Championship, at the wheel of Ferrari 458 GTE-Pro prepared by AF Corse team. A season final full of satisfaction. Along with the fifth podium of the season, there’s also Constructors’ Title for Ferrari, ahead of the direct opponents Porsche and Aston Martin, and the award as 2014 Revelation of the Year in FIA WEC. “An unexpected award, which made this moment even more beautiful, also because it takes into account the season of all drivers and not just those of category. I am pleased to have been noticed. Ending the first season in Top 7 is not bad“.
It’s been a tight season, a clear proof of how challenging is this championship. The second part was very good, as evidenced by the four consecutive podium finishes out of five in all. Getting on tracks already known, I could take advantage of the experience gained last year with the 458 GTE-AM. I worked very well with both the engineer and James, with whom I created a very good relationship right away. We worked as a team, preparing the car according to our needs, without looking too much to the #51. The results and the pace of our team-mates Gimmi and Toni, newly of World Champions’ title, were a great incentive. We have much to learn from them. In the final part, anyway, we were still among the drivers that scored the most points and this bodes well for the future.
Last season you drove the last four rounds with the 458 GTE-AM of 8 Stars. What differences did you find?
Last year we had car available with 2011 approval, therefore with less downforce and different tyres. This year, with the official car, the jump has been really important. 2014 regulation, instead, has involved the same approval for “Pro” for “AM” cars. Conversely, in 2015 the changes will be included only on Pro cars.
What is your biggest regret?
The 24 Hours of Le Mans. Unfortunately, we paid more than we actually had to with a mistake of my team-mate. Otherwise, even on that occasion we could have fought for an important position. Then in Austin we had to give up after five hours of racing, because of an electrical problem while we were occupying the third position, when there was only one hour to the checkered flag. But I am fully satisfied of all the rest. We ended the season improving. Even in São Paulo we have done a good job.
A great satisfaction, because the title have been won at the wheel of a Ferrari. Both from Gimmi and from Toni I can just learn. We speak of two drivers with a wealth of experience in GT racing. Championship has been amazing and it is as good as Formula 1, considering both cars and drivers. There are prestigious brands. Every minimal imperfection is paid heavily. Details make the difference, together with the experience, which means a lot.
You flew then to Abu Dhabi for Ferrari World Finals
It was a wonderful experience. They welcomed us warmly and everyone congratulated us. For Ferrari Constructors’ title was the main goal and, having reached it, it is a great pride.
It is something fantastic. It was like being in Maranello. All the details are flawless. I have a run on “Formula Rossa“, the fastest roller coaster in the world. From 0 to 240 km/ h in just a little more than 4 sec. Very impressive.
Last challenge: Gulf 12 Hours
This weekend I will fly again to Abu Dhabi, on Yas Marina circuit for Gulf 12 Hours with Ferrari 458 GT3 of AF Corse. It will be twelve hours really tight and very hot. Quite a challenge also for me. I could touch the track only once, during a free practice session at the wheel of GP2 car. We have a winning team. As regulation, we will share the car with a Gentleman.
Being back at the start in World Endurance Championship with Amato Ferrari’s team, to make the most of the experience gained this year. Now I know what to expect.