Toni Vilander

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Toni Vilander
Born (1980-07-25) 25 July 1980 (age 34)
Kankaanpää, Finland
Nationality Finland Finnish
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 2008, 2010 -
Teams AF Corse
Risi Competizione
Best finish 13th (2011)
Class wins 2 (2012, 2014)

Toni Markus Vilander (born 25 July 1980 in Kankaanpää) is a Finnish racing driver who currently drives for the AF Corse Ferrari team in various categories of sports car racing.

After a single-seater career which reached the level of the GP2 Series in 2005, Vilander switched to GT racing. He has had numerous success with AF Corse, winning the 2012 and 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans LMGTE-PRO class races with former grand prix drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni, and also the GT2 class championship within the FIA GT Championship in 2007 and 2008.

Career[edit]

Vilander started racing karts at the age of five, winning the Junior A class of the Finnish Karting Championship in 1995, and both the German and Oceanic championships in 1999. He then upgraded to open-wheel cars in 2001. By 2004, he was competing in Italian Formula 3 with the Coloni team, and upgraded to Italian Formula 3000 in 2005, as well as competing in the Italian GT series.

However, trouble was brewing in the Coloni GP2 team, as lead driver Gianmaria Bruni had a row and left mid-season. Vilander got the call-up from Coloni to be Bruni's temporary substitute and competed in the Italian and Belgian rounds of the championship. He proved a competent midfield runner, finishing 15th, 8th, 14th and 13th in the four races in which he took part. For the season-closing double-header in Bahrain, Coloni chose to replace Vilander with Ferdinando Monfardini, and Toni went back to his normal drives. Vilander finished 25th overall in the series' inaugural year with no points, but was more successful in Italian Formula 3000, where he finished fourth with 23 points, and more successful still in Italian GT2, where he was crowned champion with his co-driver Alessandro Pier Guidi, scoring a total of 182 points.

In January 2006, Vilander, Pier Guidi and Giambattista Giannoccaro won the GT2 class of the Mil Milhas Brasil race and were placed fourth overall, driving a Ferrari 360. Using that same car, he went on to win that year's GT2 class of the Italian GT Championship. He also won the GT1 class of the 2006 Italian GT Championship with Giannoccaro, driving a Maserati MC12. For one race, he made a guest appearance in the FIA GT Championship.

Continuing his sportscar success, Vilander won the GT2 class of the 2007 FIA GT Championship with team-mate Dirk Müller. In 2008 he teamed up with Gianmaria Bruni and retained his title. He also competed in the American Le Mans Series alongside Jaime Melo in a Ferrari 458 Italia GTC for Risi Competizione.

Vilander has competed in six Le Mans 24 Hours races from 2008 onwards, driving Ferraris for the AF Corse team. In 2008, he shared a Ferrari 430 with Thomas Biagi and Christian Montanari in the GT2 class but failed to finish. Two years later, he returned to La Sarthe to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia with Jean Alesi and Giancarlo Fisichella, finishing 16th overall and fourth in the GT2 class. In 2011 he again drove a 458 with Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni in the new GTE-Pro category, improving to 13th overall and second in class having held the class lead for much of the 24 hours. For the 2012 race, the trio returned and won the class convincingly (finishing 17th overall) despite the car having to be completely rebuilt for the race following Fisichella's crash in practice, missing qualifying and starting from the back of the grid as a result.[1] In 2013, he again drove a 458 for AF Corse, this time with Kamui Kobayashi and Olivier Beretta, finishing fifth in the GTE-Pro class. He was reunited with Bruni and Fisichella once more for the 2014 race, and the trio took another class victory.

Vilander made his début in the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2012, again driving a Ferrari 458 Italia for AF Corse alongside Filip Salaquarda. The duo took two victories—one at the Slovakiaring and the other at the Nürburgring—and Vilander finished ninth in the drivers' standings after missing the final round of the season. He did not return to the series in 2013 due to his increased World Endurance Championship commitments for the team.

Vilander has competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship since the series was launched in 2012, having made sporadic appearances in the interim Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series which preceded it. In 2012 he shared a Ferrari 458 Italia with Bruni and Fisichella in AF Corse's lead entry for three of the championship's eight rounds, winning at Le Mans and in Bahrain, assisting the team to win the LMGTE Pro Trophy. For the 2013 season, he was switched to the team's second entry full-time, with Kamui Kobayashi and Olivier Beretta. For the final race in Bahrain, he was swapped with Fisichella in the lead entry due to the latter's disappointing performances, and duly won the class with Bruni to narrowly retain AF Corse's class championship over the works Aston Martin Racing team. With Kobayashi returning to Formula One, Vilander remains with the lead AF Corse team in 2014 with Bruni, and has won the races at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans (the latter also with Fisichella) to lead the GTE manufacturers' championship and the newly introduced GTE drivers' championship after three races.

Racing record[edit]

Complete GP2 Series results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 DC Points
2005 Coloni Motorsport SMR
FEA
SMR
SPR
ESP
FEA
ESP
SPR
MON
FEA
EUR
FEA
EUR
SPR
FRA
FEA
FRA
SPR
GBR
FEA
GBR
SPR
GER
FEA
GER
SPR
HUN
FEA
HUN
SPR
TUR
FEA
TUR
SPR
ITA
FEA

15
ITA
SPR

8
BEL
FEA

14
BEL
SPR

13
BHR
FEA
BHR
SPR
25th 0

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2008 Italy AF Corse Italy Thomas Biagi
San Marino Christian Montanari
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 111 DNF DNF
2010 Italy AF Corse Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
France Jean Alesi
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 323 16th 4th
2011 Italy AF Corse Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Ferrari 458 Italia GTC GTE
Pro
314 13th 2nd
2012 Italy AF Corse Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Ferrari 458 Italia GTC GTE
Pro
336 17th 1st
2013 Italy AF Corse Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Ferrari 458 Italia GTC GTE
Pro
312 21st 5th
2014 Italy AF Corse Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 458 Italia GTC GTE
Pro
339 13th 1st

Complete GT1 World Championship results[edit]

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Points
2012 AF Corse Ferrari NOG
QR

5
NOG
CR

6
ZOL
QR

13
ZOL
CR

3
NAV
QR

10
NAV
QR

9
SVK
QR

1
SVK
CR

4
ALG
QR

12
ALG
CR

Ret
SVK
QR

7
SVK
CR

6
MOS
QR

9
MOS
CR

Ret
NUR
QR

8
NUR
CR

1
DON
QR
DON
CR
9th 80

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
2012 AF Corse LMGTE Pro Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Ferrari F142 4.5L V8 SEB
EX
SPA LMS
1
SIL SÃO BHR
1
FUJ SHA NC -
2013 AF Corse LMGTE Pro Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Ferrari F142 4.5L V8 SIL
2
SPA
3
LMS
4
SÃO
Ret
COA
3
FUJ
9
SHA
5
BHR
1
5th 108
2014 AF Corse LMGTE Pro Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Ferrari 4.5 L V8 SIL
4
SPA
1
LMS
1
COA
3
FUJ
1
SHA
Ret
BHR
1
SÃO
1st 156*

* Season in progress

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Roberto Streit
Italian Formula Renault 2.0 Winter Series
Champion

2002
Succeeded by
Pastor Maldonado
Preceded by
Miguel Ramos
Matteo Malucelli
Italian GT Champion
2006
Succeeded by
Stefano Livio
Lorenzo Casè