Silverstone, England (Apr. 10, 2013) – 8Star Motorsports begins a new and exciting chapter this weekend, as the rapidly growing organization makes its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Following successful starts to both its GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda programs, the Florida-based team steps up to the world’s stage in a bid for victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the end-of-year championship.
Sunday’s 6 Hours of Silverstone will mark the first race of the eight-round FIA WEC championship that will spread across Europe, North and South America, as well as Asia, in what’s quickly become the most prestigious sportscar racing series in the world. 8Star team principal Enzo Potolicchio will be looking for back-to-back World Championships, after the accomplished Venezuelan racer won the LMP2 title last year, which included victories at Sebring and Le Mans.
This year, Potolicchio has put his focus in the GTE-Am class, with 8Star running a Ferrari 458 Italia in conjunction with multiple-time GT champions, AF Corse. The new partnership has already gotten off to a promising start, as the Ferrari was quickest in the second day of official pre-season testing at Paul Ricard last month. More than 800 miles were logged during the productive two-day test in southern France.
Joining Potolicchio in the No. 81 Ferrari for the this weekend’s FIA WEC season opening race, as well as the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps next month, will be experienced GT drivers Rui Aguas and Philipp Peter, as 8Star targets victory in their international debut.
“We definitely have a good feeling heading into this weekend,” Potolicchio said. “It’s an exciting time for 8Star and we’ve been very happy with this latest partnership between us and AF Corse for the FIA WEC. Our engineer is very good and I think we have a strong driver package as well. We can only expect to win. I’m really confident in this program.”
Considered as the “Home of British Motorsport,” the 5.901-km, 18-turn Silverstone circuit was the site of a close-fought second place finish in LMP2 for Potolicchio in 2012, the same race where AF Corse scored a double class victory in both GTE-Pro and GTE-Am.
“For me, it’s going to be a different experience now being in GTE-Am because I’ll have to look out for the LMP1 and LMP2 cars,” Potolicchio added. “But fortunately, I already know all of the tracks from last year. The Ferrari 458 Italia is a car I like and drive well. If we can have clean races, there’s no reason why we can’t win. It’s an exciting approach to Le Mans, as that’s our main goal.”
The 6 Hours of Silverstone opens with two Free Practice sessions on Friday. Qualifying is set for Saturday afternoon, with the FIA WEC season opening round beginning Sunday at 12 p.m. BST (7 a.m. ET). The race will be broadcast live on Motors TV in Europe, along with live video and timing and scoring available at http://live.fiawec.com to viewers worldwide.