Ferrari announce Ilott’s GT World Challenge drive

Tom Rawcliffe
Callum Ilott

Callum Ilott PA

Ferrari driver Callum Ilott will compete in this year’s GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, entered by Iron Lynx.

Ilott, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, will be the Scuderia’s test and reserve driver in Formula 1 during the 2021 season, but it looked at one point as though he may take a place on the main grid.

It was Haas that seemed a possible destination for the 22-year-old Briton, but they chose to go in another direction by choosing Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

So alongside his testing duties with Ferrari, Ilott will compete in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup – something new to the young driver.

He has never actually driven a GT car before, but that is due to change with Ilott set to try out the 488 GT3 this week at Mugello.

He told Autosport: “To get my first experience in GT and endurance racing in such a competitive series is obviously a steep learning curve, but we’ve got a great line-up.

“I’m really excited to get to experience it, and it should be a lot of fun actually. I’ve been having a look at the car and it’s a bit different to what I’m used to.

“It’s something I’m going to have to get some experience in, but I’m sure with the team I’ve got around me I’ll adapt well.”

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Ilott heads into the series no doubt feeling confident following last year’s achievement of finishing P2 in Formula 2, behind only Schumacher.

He will be tasked with retaining Ferrari’s title in the Endurance Cup after Alessandro Pier Guidi’s victory with AF Corse in 2020.

Ilott is not alone though as he will share the 488 GT3 with Antonio Fuoco, while David Rigon will drive the other car.

This season’s series is back to business as usual in terms of its schedule, with five rounds returning to the calendar following last season’s disruption amid the health pandemic meaning only four could go ahead.

A statement from Ferrari read: “FDA drivers will now have the possibility of including the world of sportscar racing in the options available to them, being able to tackle at the highest level this form of racing which has traditionally played a significant role in Ferrari’s history and which is destined to become even more important in the near future.”

Ferrari’s statement also cited the Spa 24 Hours, a famous race in the series, as an important one in the team’s history given it was the first place where their Prancing Horse emblem appeared on a Scuderia car.

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