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Calado: Pier Guidi Needed “A Break” After Busy 2021 Season

James Calado explains Italian star’s absence from Ferrari GT3 lineup in Endurance Cup…

Photo: MPS Agency

James Calado says Alessandro Pier Guidi’s absence from Ferrari’s works lineup in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup is to allow the Italian to take a lighter schedule after a “flat out” 2021 amidst the Prancing Horse’s ongoing development of two new racing platforms.

Pier Guidi’s name was notably absent when Ferrari announced its full roster of drivers that will drive for Iron Lynx in GTWC Europe, despite a starring drive in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa and ended up winning the Endurance Cup title for the second consecutive year.

Those were just two of the Italian’s numerous accolades during a very successful year that also included a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a double world title in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Pro class and Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli drivers’ title.

According to teammate Calado, who will once again partner up with Pier Guidi for the WEC season, he was taken off the roster to allow for some “breathing space” in a year that already features the full WEC campaign as well as development and simulator duties for the Le Mans Hypercar program and new GT3 platform.

“He was flat out last year with WEC, GT World Challenge, Intercontinental GT Challenge and a lot of simulator work,” Calado told Sportscar365.

“Because he’s Italian he is always asked to go on the simulator. It just gives him a bit of a break. We’ve got two new cars on the horizon, which we’re all involved with.”

Calado will combine his usual GTE-Pro duties with a full-season effort in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup, a combination he has not done since 2017.

“It’s my turn to do it this time, and that gives him a bit of breathing space,” the Briton continued.

“I haven’t done GT World Challenge for two years, purely because I’m not really a big fan of it. It’s not my favorite championship to be in, if I’m honest, but it gives Ale a bit of a break.

“We did a test in Paul Ricard [in March]. It’s a lot different than the GTE car, that’s for sure. It was completely different. I’m looking forward to both championships, but more so the WEC, if I’m honest.

“I still have to do a good job and do the best I can for Ferrari.

“It’s not so much the championship I dislike, it’s more that the performance of the cars is so different to what I’m used to. But I can’t moan, really. It is the same for everyone and it is the way it is.

“It’s good to be in a different team with different colors. It makes a change to the red 51. So we’ll see how we go. The first race is in a few weeks in Imola.”

Corvette Arrival ‘Good for the Championship’

The car count in the WEC’s GTE-Pro class has been slightly increased this year thanks to the arrival of Corvette Racing.

The American manufacturer will be running the full world championship campaign for the first time after previously contesting a pair of one-off rounds at COTA, Shanghai and Spa-Francorchamps in addition to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Calado said he welcomes the arrival of his new opponents, especially after a 2021 season that saw four full-season entries fighting for class honors.

“It’s nice that they’ve joined,'” he said. “Because honestly, just four cars last year wasn’t a good feeling. I remember in 2019 at Le Mans we had 17 Pro entries, so I miss that. It is good that they’re here.

“Obviously, they’ll be really strong. They were the ones pushing us the most in Le Mans. So we know they’re very, very competitive. We know how strong they are.

“But it’s nice, good for the championship. Hopefully we have a good battle between us, them and Porsche.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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