All three Ferrari teams turned competitive laps on Thursday as practice opened for the 24 Hours At Daytona. Risi Competizione, Scuderia Corsa and AF Corse all led sessions in their respective classes during the recent Roar Before the 24 weekend, and will be among the teams to watch when the 59th running of America’s premier endurance race begins on Saturday at 3:40 p.m. ET.
Strong Showing in GTLM. James Calado was second in the competitive GT Le Mans class in Thursday’s afternoon session, turning a lap of 1:42.754-seconds in the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE, while Jules Gounon was third in the morning opening practice with a lap of 1:43.196-seconds. They will be joined by Alessandro Pier Guidi and Davide Rigon in Saturday’s race.
Calado was fastest in opening practice during the recent Roar Before the 24, running 1:43.680-seconds – a lap that time stood up as the second-fastest in the category through last weekend’s activities.
“Today’s testing was pretty good” according to Risi driver Davide Rigon. “We worked pretty well with the balance of the car and all of us are happy. We also practiced some driver changes and prepared everything properly for the race. We are quite happy that the balance of performance is quite close to the others and we ended up P3 today. Let’s see how things go but we need to continue working like this through the race and we’ll see at the end. We’ll see the results in the last few hours of the race.”
Ferrari continues to show pace in GTD. Marcos Gomes continued to impress in Thursday afternoon practice, placing fifth in GT Daytona with a lap of 1:46.310-seconds driving the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. The Brazilian driver led two sessions during the recent Roar. Ryan Briscoe was fifth in the opening session, running 1:46.292-seconds. They will co-drive with Ed Jones and Bret Curtis.
"Today has been a very good day” said driver Ryan Briscoe. "We have had competitive speeds but we continue to work on the car balance and learn more and more about the car. I am super happy to be back in a GT car. It requires a different approach in traffic where you have four different classes of faster cars coming at you. It requires an adjustment and a new experience for me. Running in traffic at night has been a learning experience but I am enjoying every minute of it.”
After leading a session with Daniel Serra and having Simon Mann starting on the pole in the 100-minute qualifying race last weekend, AF Corse put its other two drivers in the driver’s seat on Thursday. Matteo Cressoni was 13th in the afternoon with a lap of 1:46.773-seconds in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, while Nicklas Nielsen was 14th in the morning at 1:46.829-seconds.
AF Corse driver Simon Mann commented, "Today has been very productive as we try to maximize the time we have. We have been looking at the car and working towards the car we want to have in the race to optimize our pace. We are only focused on ourselves right now so that we are completely ready when the green flag comes down on Saturday. When we are navigating traffic, the DPi and LMP2 are very straightforward because they are faster than us. The LMP3s are more difficult to judge because we are running just about the same speeds. Having a spotter overhead makes that strategy much easier to work through.”
Coming up. Thursday’s on-track activity concluded with a one-hour, 45-minute night practice. Friday’s lone on-track activity for the WeatherTech Championship teams is a one-hour session beginning at 11:20 a.m. ET.