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On 28th July 2003, a Formula Renault race was held at Misano Adriatico. It was won by a young Finn who, two years earlier had won the Italian winter karting series. The youngster went by the name of Toni Vilander.
That season, Toni finished third in the championship, driving for RP Motorsport, going on to win the Italian Formula 3 Championship the following year, impressing the Astromega team enough for them to want him to continue in single-seasters. Instead, he discovered GT cars, taking the Italian GT2 class title with Maserati.
That victory turned his career around, Toni deciding to concentrate on GT racing, competing with Ferrari in Europe with AF Corse and in America with Risi Competizione.
Today, Vilander is a cornerstone of the GT racing world, with two wins to his name in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of the 458 Italia GT2 run by AF Corse. The first of these wins came in 2012, the second this year. Sharing the car with him have been the same two drivers, the Italians Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni.