Single-seater racer Luca Ghiotto believes the FIA World Endurance Championship could present a “more achievable”, but equally satisfying, career path than Formula 1.
The Italian, who is currently third in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and has been active in the series since 2016, is making his first-ever sports car race appearance in this weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji.
Ghiotto told Sportscar365 that his outing in Team LNT’s No. 5 Ginetta G60-L6-P1 AER has come at a time when he is starting to look at opportunities beyond the F1 grid.
“I’ve been in Formula 2 for four years, so this something new that I want to try for the future,” he said.
“I don’t know how many WEC races I will do in this season, but I don’t think this will be the only one. We will keep talking more [with Ginetta].
“I have always liked WEC and endurance racing. It’s something that I’m really looking towards for my future as a professional racing driver. It’s one of the roads that I may decide to take.”
Ghiotto admitted that while F1 is still an ambition, he’s struggled to find renewed interest from the paddock this year despite having his best F2 season to date.
When asked if any opportunities have come up, he said, “not yet”.
“There are quite a lot of movements there with the drivers, especially in the smaller teams. I just need to have a nice final race of the year in Abu Dhabi and maybe hope for a miracle [to get 2nd in the standings] otherwise there’s no chance I will get an F1 drive.
“Unfortunately there are only 20 cars with 20 seats available, so it’s really tough to get in there. I tried to, that would be the dream, but I’m more looking forward to this [WEC] now.
“I feel like this is more achievable, and it’s a really high-level championship anyway. It’s basically like racing in F1 to me. Even if I have a career here [and not F1] I will be more than happy.”
Ghiotto, who has previously driven the Ginetta, said he’s “interested” in endurance racing “overall” but wanted his first experience of the discipline to be in a prototype because of its similarities to F2 machinery.
“Of course, LMP1 is the fastest, the most extreme class, so coming from F2 it’s the easiest one to adapt to,” he explained.
“I know many drivers who have gone to GTs after doing F2 and they’ve said that it’s much slower and tough to be one of the top drivers because it’s a very different type of driving.
“In prototypes, it’s very much the same. I’ve never driven Fuji before, but I already have in my mind what I would do, whereas if I was here in a GT I would have a less clear approach.
“It also helps me that I’m racing F2 still, so I still have all the important things in my mind.”
Pressure-Free Learning Weekend a Welcome Break
The 24-year-old added that the reduced pressure of his WEC debut has come as a welcome break from his usual battles at the top of the F2 championship.
Ghiotto said his biggest learning points at Fuji will be the different race procedures and the longer time spent in the car, while it will also mark his first time racing in Japan.
“It’s one of those weekends that I’m happy to be in because it’s my first time. I don’t think people are expecting too much from me because I’m learning everything,” he said.
“It’s nice to have a weekend with no pressure. I am always used to having to deliver ‘now’, so this is a good thing. I will enjoy it a lot.”