No. 63 was the top finishing Ferrari at the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona, the most anticipated sports car race in North American motorsports history. At the debut of Ferrari in the GT Series at the 24 Hours of Daytona, Scuderia Corsa came home fifth in its class in the new F458 Italia Grand-Am specification GT3 challenger. The GT class victory went to the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche followed by the No. 67 TRG while third place went to the No. 59 Porsche.
Daytona-winning, Olivier Beretta of Monaco, as well as two more multiple Championship-winning drivers, Andrea Bertolini and Toni Vilander did a fantastic job representing Risi Competizione this week end.
With 45 competitors in the GT category, and a total grid of 59 cars, the race promised much and delivered tenfold. No 63 Ferrari F458 Italia Grand-Am started from 11th place on GT grid on Saturday, ran free of any mechanical issues and was only slightly delayed in the pits at the very beginning of the event due to a malfunctioning fueling hose. All three drivers drove superbly, maintaining a steady and quick-lapping pace which even put them at the top of the GT time sheets at one point. The 31 pit stops meant there was some see-sawing of position throughout the race, but the car was never out of the top six GTs once dawn broke. There was tight racing and flag-to-flag competition throughout, and the No. 63 challenged for a podium finish in the final hours of the race.
Giacomo Mattioli, Ferrari Beverly Hills/Silicon Valley Scuderia Corsa President commented “I am very proud of our debut in the Grand Am series. Rolex 24h at Daytona is a legendary race and our Ferrari 458 #63 performed well. I would like to thank Ferrari North America and Risi Competizione for their support. We will be back!”
“We lost a bit of time here and there during the race, and at the end the Porsches were quicker in a straight line and I was in a tow”, Ferrari’s most recently-signed driver, and overall winner at Daytona in 2000, Olivier Beretta, reflected after the race. “I was trying to push hard, but avoid any mistakes, and we ended up fifth. Everyone has seen the Ferrari is fast but we have to remember the Porsches have been racing here for many, many years and we just arrived a few months ago.”
Four time FIA GT1 World Champion and Scuderia Ferrari F1 development driver, Andrea Bertolini commented: “I think we all did a good job and we were really consistent and pushed hard in the dark to make up some time and challenge at a high level in the class. If you consider we’re here for the first time, I think everyone at Ferrari should be proud of this result. At the end, after 24 hours we were on the same lap as some very experienced Porsche teams and highly developed cars so I think this will be one of the strongest cars in the Grand-Am series in the future”.
Double FIA GT2 Champion and Risi Competizione regular in North American racing, Toni Vilander: “I must say that it was a hard race! It was our first time here, we learnt a lot and, if and when we come back, we will be quick when it matters.”
Mindful of its promising and very satisfying debut, Scuderia Corsa with Ferrari Beverly Hills/Silicon Valley will await you to the next North America’s premier twice-round-the-clock event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2013!
For more information about Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 GT3 Endurance Races Programs, please contact Richard Schoenberg at email@example.com or 818.782.4691