Sam Bird honored to secure Ferrari factory WEC drive

© Getty Images

Sam Bird feels honored to have joined Ferrari’s works AF Corse team in the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2016 season, racing in the GTE Pro class.

Bird won his first WEC title in 2015 with G-Drive in the LMP2 class, claiming four victories alongside Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal in the Ligier-Nissan car.

Running alongside his commitments in Formula E with DS Virgin Racing, Bird will now race for AF Corse in the no. 71 car alongside Davide Rigon.

Bird takes the seat of compatriot James Calado, who steps up to the lead no. 51 AF Corse GTE Pro entry that he will share with two-time WEC GT champion Gianmaria Bruni.

Toni Vilander has been moved over to the United Sportscar Championship to race with Giancarlo Fisichella in 2016.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the Ferrari family,” Bird said in a short statement on his website.

“It’s a true honor to be chosen to represent the legendary Prancing Horse in the World Endurance Championship. Thank you to everyone in Maranello for this wonderful opportunity.”