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R.Ferri Confirms Return; Vilander for PWC Season

R.Ferri Motorsport has announced a full-season entry for Ferrari ace Toni Vilander…

Photo: PWC

R.Ferri Motorsport has announced that it will return to Pirelli World Challenge with a full-season Ferrari 488 GT3 entry for Toni Vilander.

Vilander, a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner, will pilot the team’s entry in the series beginning with next month’s season-opener at St. Pete.

The Finn’s co-driver for the SprintX rounds will be announced soon.

It will mark the fourth season in the sprint category for the team which has past experience in Grand-Am, IMSA, and Ferrari Challenge.

R.Ferri contested the opening six races of the season with Alex Riberas behind the wheel before a major crash in qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park curtailed the team’s strong start to the season.

The Canadian squad returned to the track with SprintX driver Kyle Marcelli replacing Riberas in the Sprint rounds at Mid-Ohio but that proved to be the final outing of the year.

After a trying 2017 campaign, Ferri said he is excited to have his team back on the grid.

“We are excited to be back again this year in the Pirelli World Challenge with a driver that has had a lot of success with the Ferrari,” said team principal Remo Ferri.

“With the support from the factory coupled with the experience we gained from previous years, I feel confident that we can be a very strong team and compete for the championship.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.



  1. cbbrit

    February 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Excellent news! PWC is shaping up to have another mega year! Perhaps Montaplast by Land Motorsport will consider switching to PWC after all the shenanigans at Daytona!(Wishful hoping!)

    • Bob Jones

      February 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Less than zero chance a pro endurance team would switch to a backwater local, can’t find it if you’re looking for it coverage, GT series with some of the worst driving standards on Earth. Touring car guys take up their anger less that PWC, it’s a JOKE

  2. JoeySmyers

    February 5, 2018 at 11:33 am

    This is incredible news. Glad to see Remo and his team back in competition. Kind of off topic but does anybody know what happened to Anthony Lazzaro? He drove the R.Ferri in 2014 and I have not seen him in competition since the 2015 Petit LeMans with CORE Autosport.

    • alric8

      February 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

      May be a question for double stint

    • daedalus

      February 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

      I think Lazzaro has retired, he is 54 and has not raced professionally since 2015.

      Vilander will be a strong contender for the title along with parente and Baptista in the bentely, cooper in the corvette, dalziel in the audi, and Christensen in the porsche.

      Watching them at portland and watkins glen will be fab. Could be one of the best seasons yet!

  3. Change it up

    February 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Can someone update me on how many races the #62 Risi GTLM car has left in IMSA? Are they just doing the NAEC? Or did they finish after Daytona?

    • Kyle

      February 5, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      I think they want to do the NAEC + VIR and maybe Long Beach.

    • Mike S

      February 5, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Yeah would say NAEC for Risi but I don’t want to be disappointed like last year after what was a trying year and LeMans outing that just put bowtie on some poor luck. Hope they can do more but I hope they don’t pull plug but GTE/GTLM isn’t worth the costs especially when the support from Ferrari should be more and seems varied how can you blame Risi for staying.

  4. Kyle

    February 5, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    2018 looked like it was going to be a down year, but this is a very compelling grid shaping up. Awesome.

  5. Antonio Desmond Miles

    February 5, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I’m excited for the PWC but only for the variety of cars. But MTOD went completely mental & removed the 2017 archives? If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be telling everyone to go there to watch them. They’re sort of removed. Google search them & you’ll find some of them but still why did they PWC from MTOD?! I still wanna see last year’s races.

    • tracer

      February 6, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Can anyone else confirm that Motor Trend On Demand has actually removed the 2017 PWC races from their archives? If this is actually the case, my mind is absolutely blown.

  6. David Chaste

    February 5, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Booooo Ferrari. What your biggest market doesn’t deserve a flagship program with your highest caliber GT machine?

    Pwc doesnt get the exposure of Imsa.

    They seem to be paying up for programs for Ferrari challenge and GT3 car.

  7. juneracer

    February 6, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Ferri is likely footing the bill for PWC which is a lot cheaper to run then IMSA. PWC is less miles per event, less staff required as there’s no pit stop or pits to setup etc. although recently the crash damage in PWC likely trumps the savings.

  8. jason

    February 6, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Vilander will win a lot in PWC this year I think. But Callaway and KPax Bentley will get in there too I’m sure.

    I hope Risi can at least pull off the NAEC and all GT races myself for IMSA this year. If they can get a good 3rd silver rated driver for Le mans to join Bleekomolen and Keating they will be favorites to win GTE AM.

  9. tracer

    February 6, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Really interested to see how Vilander gets on in a sprint series like PWC. It goes without saying that he knows the tracks and the equipment, so this should be a championship-contending addition to the grid.

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