Home Sport Neubauer signs Ferrari factory sportscar contract

Neubauer signs Ferrari factory sportscar contract

by News7

The 24-year-old joins the Italian manufacturer’s roster of so-called Competizioni GT drivers on the back of successes in its one-make challenge series and GT World Challenge Europe.

Neubauer took the overall title in the Ferrari Challenge world finals at Imola in 2022 and last year won the support race for the 488 Challenge Evo at the Le Mans 24 Hours, a round of the European series.

He was Silver Cup champion in the 2019 GTWCE Sprint Cup driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the Auto Sport Promotion team and won the same class in the Endurance Cup leg of the series at the wheel of a WRT-run Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II in 2022.

Ferrari sportscar racing boss Antonello Coletta said: “We are pleased to welcome Thomas to our family, a driver who has had the opportunity to claim some important triumphs and achievements both in the Ferrari Challenge and in endurance racing — he has proved to be a talent with great potential in this field as well.

“We are confident that Thomas, as he becomes part of the group of official drivers, will make a significant contribution to achieving our ambitious goals.”

Neubauer described joining Ferrari as “an honour and a responsibility”.

“Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to get to know the Ferrari universe from the inside by participating in the single-marque championship,” he said.

“Many of my best memories from the last few seasons are linked to the Ferrari Challenge and the Finali Mondiali in Imola in 2022 when I won the title in the Trofeo Pirelli.

“Reaching that goal in Italy, in front of such a passionate motorsport crowd was a thrill I will never forget.”

Photo by: SRO

Podium: Race winner #46 Team WRT, BMW M4 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin, second place #11 Comtoyou Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II : Lucas Legeret, Christopher Haase, third place #31 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3: Jean Baptiste Simmenauer, Thomas Neubauer

Neubauer’s programme with Ferrari for 2024 will be announced at a later date.

He started his career racing a Formula Renault chassis in the VdeV Challenge Monoplace series in 2016 and also contested a single round of the FRenault 2.0 Northern Europe Cup.

Two seasons of FRenault Eurocup followed in 2017-18 with Tech 1 Racing, which yielded only two points finishes and a best result of sixth place.

Neubauer competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2021 and ’23, both times racing a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo for the British JMW team. 

A switch to sportscar racing followed in 2019 with a twin programme in the GTWCE Sprint Cup and Ferrari Challenge Europe.

Neubauer follows Yifei Ye in signing as a factory Ferrari driver: he joined in December after his departure from Porsche, where he was contracted to its Asian-Pacific arm.

Ferrari now has 12 front-line factory drivers: James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi, Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen, Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon, Daniel Serra, Alessio Rovera, Lilou Wadoux, Ye and Neubauer.

Veteran Andrea Bertolini is also contracted in a broader capacity that involves testing of both contemporary and historic cars, while Giancarlo Fisichella, Olivier Beretta and Toni Vilander carry out ambassadorial duties in their roles as Competizioni GT drivers.

Ferrari announced on Wednesday that its contract with Pier Guidi, who was part of last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours-winning line-up, has been extended.

Source : Motorsport.com

You may also like