Lucas di Grassi joins AF Corse for 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Lucas di Grassi will link up with Ferrari’s AF Corse team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, racing in its No. 51 entry alongside James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Di Grassi was part of Audi’s LMP1 team prior to its closure at the end of 2016, and has scored three overall podiums at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the German marque.

The Brazilian confirmed to NBC Sports last month that he was chasing a deal to race at Le Mans with a factory team, and was today announced in a seat with AF Corse.

Di Grassi will race in the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE at Le Mans alongside Calado and Pier Guidi, who form the marque’s full-season line-up.

“I’m very happy to be back at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” di Grassi said. “Every professional racing driver wants to be part of history and to race for Ferrari means a lot to me.

“Manufacturer-backed GTE-Pro is undoubtedly the best place to be after my four years in LMP1.”

Di Grassi took to Twitter to stress that the deal would be a one-off for Le Mans only, once again stating that Formula E is his priority with Audi in 2017.

Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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