Gianmaria Bruni, or more well known as Gimmi Bruni, is currently doing his first full season in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Porsche.
The former Formula 1 driver and double GT Champion from 2013 and 2014 drove for Ferrari for 10 years, before he signed for Porsche early 2017. He actually had a Ferrari contract, but Porsche bought him out of that contract, only with the clause that he wouldn’t drive FIA WEC in 2017, nor would he drive any races before 1 July at the earliest. That was to avoid him directly interfering with AF Corse and their FIA WEC and Le Mans in 2017.
Racing24-7.net caught up with him for an exclusive interview, and of course the amazing GTE Pro Pole Position at Le Mans was the first topic.
It was a really good Qualifying lap that you did. Did you find a shortcut somewhere?
“Haha yeah, no, it was a good lap, very good, and I tried to be as clean as possible, and got a bit of a tow from another car. I was able to pass this car just after Arnage. From there on I was clean, and I just tried to push as much a possible. The car was really good, and the team just prepared the car very good from the free practice to qualifying. It was my first new tires with Porsche in Le Mans, because at the test day and the free practice, I didn’t have any new tires, so I was impressed by the grip, and just enjoy.”
It wasn’t any problem to convert from the red cars to these? You had one and a half years to convert.
“Yeah, unfortunately yes. I wanted to come early, but I couldn’t. I’m still learning, so I’m not on the maximum of this car, for how I want to drive. But I’m getting closer, with every time that I step in the car. Until 3-4 months ago, or 2 months ago, I was still driving the car as the red one, because ten years is not like this (snaps with his fingers, editor), but the last 2-3 months I’m getting better, I just switch straight away to the Porsche car.”
Some of the other drivers has said that this car is easier to drive with the rear-mid engine rather than the old rear engined Porsche.
“I don’t really know, because I never drove the old one. I would like to. I went straight into GTLM with just one day of testing! I didn’t drive for 8 months, and went straight to America for testing.”
He was close at winning his debut race in the USA for Porsche – only a few days after being in a Porsche for the very first time.
Bruni did half a season of WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017, to get him up to speed with the Porsche 911 RSR car, before stepping into a full season FIA WEC programme this year. He finished 4th at Spa Francorchamps in 2018, before finishing second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Gimmi Bruni currently sits second in the FIA WEC GTE Pro standings alongside full season teammate Richard Lietz in the #91. Porsche #92 currently leads the Championship with Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre.
This weekend he will be back behind the wheel again, when the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season will be held at Silverstone in Great Britain.