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Fisichella, Ferrari and Williams triumph at Le Mans 18 Jun 2012

Ferrari's Giancarlo Fisichella (right) celebrates with team mates Toni Vilander (left) and Gianmaria Bruni (second left) after winning the GTE Pro class in the 2012 Le Mans 24 hour race, June 17, 2012 The Ferrari 458 GTC of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni during practice for the 2012 Le Mans 24 hour race, June 13, 2012 Williams F1 Team logo.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 3 March 2012 Anthony Davidson (GBR) Sky TV.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 17 March 2012

Former Grand Prix winner and current Ferrari tester Giancarlo Fisichella was part of the winning team in the GTE Pro class at the famous Le Mans 24 hour race over the weekend. Fisichella, fellow F1 veteran Gianmaria Bruni and team mate Toni Vilander brought their Ferrari 458 GTC home three laps clear of their nearest rivals in the famous endurance event.

Their victory was all the more remarkable given that a practice crash for Fisichella earlier in the week had caused extensive damage to the car, requiring his AF Corse team to replace the chassis ahead of the race.

“This is the most important race of the year and at the end of it, we achieved our objective,” said the Italian. “The win was especially down to the incredible efforts of the AF Corse guys who had to change the chassis after the accident on Wednesday, delivering a car that was better than anyone could have expected. I did not think I would be making it out on track for the final 20 minutes of qualifying, however thanks to their efforts, the miracle happened."

It was also good weekend for Ferrari’s F1 rivals Williams, whose Hybrid Power division saw their technology help the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro piloted by Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler make history by becoming the first hybrid-powered vehicle to take outright victory at Le Mans.

The race was less successful for another former F1 driver, Anthony Davidson, who was hospitalised with two broken vertebrae after a slower car moved across on his LMP1 class Toyota, sending it airborne and into the barriers.

“Instantly it spun the car, pivoted round to the left, then took off and turned upside down,” explained Davidson. “At that point I felt I was in an aeroplane out of control. I knew how close the barriers were, and travelling at that speed I was going to be there in no time. That part of the crash was pretty petrifying.

“It crashed back down to the ground, I felt an almighty punch up my spine when the car hit back down on four wheels. I still had my eyes closed and my hands off the wheels, in the brace position. Half a second after that I had the forward impact into the barrier.”

Davidson, an F1 television pundit with UK broadcasters Sky, is expected to remain in hospital until Wednesday.

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