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Ferrari chasing WEC GTE replacement for Bruni in four-man shootout

Bruni Ferrari, WEC Shanghai

Ferrari will test a raft of new drivers this week in what appears to be final confirmation that the Italian manufacturer has lost the services of Gianmaria Bruni to rival Porsche.

Ferrari will give a try-out to four drivers, including GP3 racer Nyck de Vries and former Audi DTM regular Miguel Molina, as it searches to fill the seat at the factory AF Corse World Endurance Championship team that Bruni is set to leave vacant.

Also due to take part in the test at Vallelunga on Tuessday are Ferrari regular Alessandro Pier Guidi and Alex Riberas, who has raced for the marque in the Asian Le Mans Series this winter.

Porsche has made a renewed bid for the services of two-time WEC GT champion Bruni two years after failing in a first attempt to poach him.

Bruni subsequently signed a multi-year contract with his long-time employer, which remains valid for the coming season.

It appears likely that the contract will result in Bruni missing the start of the 2017 WEC campaign as part of a negotiated release.

Porsche, which has so far only announced three full-season drivers for its 2017 GTE Pro campaign, has refused to comment on the likelihood of Bruni joining its ranks.

Ferrari GT boss Antonello Coletta would only say that it was a "very delicate situation".

Pier Guidi, 33, has links with Ferrari and sister brand Maserati stretching back over 10 years and is understood to be the most likely candidate to take the spare seat alongside Briton James Calado.

He drove alongside Calado and Bruni in AF lead car at last year's Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round.

Ferrari is also believed to be keen to try out a new generation of GT drivers for the future, hence the inclusion of McLaren Formula 1 protege de Vries, Molina and Riberas in its shootout.

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