Callum Illot may not have secured a full-time Formula 1 seat, but the young Brit will still race in 2021 as he joins Ferrari in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup as a member of the Italian manufacturer’s Iron Lynx squad.
Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Aiden Hover
Illot, who had a stellar season in Formula 2 last year, finishing only 14 points behind eventual champion and fellow Ferrari Academy Driver Mick Schumacher, was expected to graduate to Formula 1. However, with the cut-throat, and sometimes unfair, nature of motorsport the Briton was left without a full-time seat and could only secure the role of test and reserve driver for Ferrari.
The Maranello-based team has now added to Illot’s responsibilities as he is to race in 5 endurance rounds in the GT World Challenge Endurance Cup as Ferrari aims to defend the Driver’s title won by Alessandro Pier Guidi in 2020. Illot will race car number 71, a Ferrari 488 GT3 which will be shared by Davide Rigon and fellow Ferrari Academy Driver, Antonio Fuoco. In the sister number 51 car will be Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Come Ledogar.
Illot, who has never driven a GT car, conceded that his first experience in endurance racing will be, “A steep learning curve,” but added that he has confidence in their line up and he expects to have a lot of fun. Illot will have some time to get used to the car as the team will be testing at Mugello this week.
The news of Illot’s 2021 racing duties comes just days after the prancing horse announced their planned return to the world of endurance racing in the prototype ranks. It was also followed by news that Ferrari will contest in 5 different championships this year. While Ferrari seems to struggle in the pinnacle of motorsport that is Formula 1, the same can’t be said elsewhere.
The GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup will have 5 rounds starting with testing on the 25th of March at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. The first round is expected to take place in Monza on the 16th of April.