Scuderia Corsa and Martin Fuentes will once again reunite for Pirelli World Challenge competition, committing to the SprintX championship for 2017 with a new co-driver in veteran Stefan Johansson.
Driving the same No. 7 Ferrari 458 GT3 that led him to nine victories last year, new for this year’s campaign will be the addition of former F1 and IndyCar driver Johansson behind the wheel. The first two rounds of competition will take place this Saturday and Sunday at Virginia International Raceway.
PWC’s SprintX format will combine the heritage of endurance racing with the the excitement sprint racing. With all races will featuring two drivers sharing the car, much like at endurance races, all events will be only 60 minutes, putting a premium on maximizing every lap in search of top results.
Fuentes returns to the team as the reigning Pirelli World Challenge GTA category champion following a landmark 2016 season. Last year, he took nine victories, seven of them consecutively – a record for the series’ GTA category – and amassed enough points that his championship was clinched with two races remaining in the season.
Sweden’s Johansson, now a Los Angeles resident and current Scuderia Corsa sporting director, has competed in everything from F1, to IndyCar, to driving some of the most legendary cars to ever compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Beyond having driven with teammates that included names like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, the native of Sweden has also enjoyed a fantastic history with the Ferrari brand, driving for its F1 team in 1985 and ’86.
“I really look forward to returning to the cockpit with this program – it’s always something special to be racing for Ferrari!” said Johansson. “We’ve worked hard to develop this organization, and having Martin return to the team is a great testament to what we continue to build. He obviously had a tremendous 2016 season, so I’m confident that with the two of us teaming together we can have a great season, we’re both prepared and ready. The Pirelli World Challenge’s SprintX championship is a really interesting approach, and the current roster of teams and drivers is at a very high level, it should be a great experience.”
For Fuentes, the opportunity to return to competition in 2017 is one he has looked forward to.
“I’m very excited to be back with Scuderia Corsa and racing this 2017 championship,” said Fuentes. “I’m looking forward to a great season just like we had in 2016, and there’s new challenges, of course. There’s two championships that we’ll be fighting for this year, and I’m very excited and motivated. I’m in great shape, and have done my pre-season training and I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m looking forward to a good start for both championships in the Pirelli World Challenge and Ferrari Challenge as well.”