One of the surprises to come from the Paris press conference announcing the entry lists for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans was the nature of 8Star Motorsports’ debut in the WEC.
Led by driver/team owner Enzo Potolicchio the team will enter a Ferrari 458 Italia in the LMGTE Am class. The car will be run in co-operation with Ferrari specialists AF Corse, with Rui Aguas and Marco Cioci – both GTE Am regulars in AF Corse run teams – completing the line-up alongside Potolicchio.
“We started talking a few months ago because of our good relationship in the WEC, and most recently in Abu Dhabi,” said AF Corse team principal Amato Ferrari, Potolicchio racing as part of the AF Corse team for the 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi at the end of 2012. “Enzo is a great interest for Ferrari because he raced in Ferrari Challenge and he has a good relationship with Ferrari North America. He did a good job in Abu Dhabi and we’re sure that he can help us develop the car and try to win the championship.”
Venezuelan Potolicchio was part of the Starworks Motorsport team that swept to the LMP2 class title in the WEC, scooping a class win on the 24 Hours of Le Mans debut. Awarded a Le Mans return with his own team in 2013 Potolicchio wants nothing less than a return to the podium.
“There are not that many drivers who have won Le Mans in multiple classes. That was one of the main reasons why we decided to go GT racing,” he said. “The whole plan came together in Abu Dhabi when I was there racing for AF Corse. I’ve known Amato Ferrari for a long time and he has been very supportive of my driving. I think this is the logical next step, not only for myself, but for 8Star Motorsports.”
However, in order to take the WEC title, let alone the class win at Le Mans, which the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) announced 14 LMGTE Am entries for the 8Star team will have to beat some strong – and experienced – opposition, including another AF Corse run Ferrari.
“On paper, we have the best line-up in GTE-AM,” Potolicchio contended. “With the continued support we’re getting from Venezuela, and now from AF Corse and Ferrari, I know we have everything we need to be successful. It will be great to be back in a Ferrari, and one that I know will be capable of winning races and the championship. It’s a perfect program for us and we’re looking forward to starting this new chapter.”
8Star’s WEC program will run alongside the Rolex Series campaign they began at the Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend.