Sam Bird gets Le Mans 24 Hours seat with AF Corse Ferrari
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, March 28th 2014, 08:27 GMT|
Sportscar newcomer and ex-Mercedes Formula 1 reserve Sam Bird will join the AF Corse Ferrari team at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
The Briton, who is contesting the four United SportsCar Championship enduros with the Starworks Prototype Challenge team this year, will race a GTE Am class Ferrari 458 Italia at Le Mans and next month's World Endurance Championship opener at Silverstone.
Bird, 27, will share the car with WEC regular Michele Rugolo and Australian Steve Wyatt, who last year raced for AF in the Asian Le Mans Series.
AF Corse team manager Batti Pregliasco has confirmed that Bird will take the place of Ferrari factory driver Andrea Bertolini, who will be racing with the Franco-Russian SMP Racing Ferrari squad in the European Le Mans Series supporter at Silverstone and again at Le Mans.
"It's great that AF has given me this chance and get a start in a new form of racing for me," said Bird, who finished second in GP2 last season.
The deal follows a try-out by the AF Corse team for a spot in its factory GTE Pro class WEC squad at Vallelunga earlier this month.
That seat, alongside Davide Rigon in the second works 458, has gone to fellow Brit James Calado.
Calado is taking part in the official WEC test at Paul Ricard on Friday and Saturday, but the official announcement from Ferrari has yet to be made.