Ferrari logo

    The Ferrari 296 GT3 triumphs at the 24 Hours of Daytona

    Daytona 28 gennaio 2024

    The Ferrari 296 GT3 scored a historic result at the 62nd running of the 24 Hours of Daytona, taking the Prancing Horse back to the top step of the famous American endurance race on the 10th anniversary of the marque's previous victory. Official drivers Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado triumphed in the GTD Pro class with the Risi Competizione’s number 62 296 GT3 after completing 733 laps. At the chequered flag, in the first race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship's 2024 season, the crew beat the number 77 Porsche. The Maranello marque's most recent success dated back to 2014 and was signed, in GTD, by Pier Guidi along with Americans Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler and Scott Tucker.

    The weekend was completed by AF Corse's second place in GTD and Conquest Racing's third, ahead of Triarsi Competizione's Ferrari, which finished at the foot of the podium in fourth, prestigious placings that made the event at the iconic Daytona International Speedway, where the 296 GT3 made its debut a year ago, even more memorable. In the top-10 was the 296 GT3 of Cetilar Racing which made a strong charge earlier in the race, but ultimately faded as the sun rose and the temperatures got hotter in the latter portion of the race.

    Historic figures. Ferrari added to its honour roll with its 17th class triumph in the history of the endurance classic held in Florida, traditionally the round that opens the year of international motorsport, dating back to the 1960s (from 1962 to 1965 the race was run over different distances; from 1966 - with the exception of 1972 - over the 24 Hours). The Maranello marque's roster of victories also include five overall wins on the famed Daytona banking.

    Ferrari's previous victory at Daytona was in 2014 when Pier Guidi won in GTD at the wheel of Level Five Motorsport's 458 Italia GT3 and before that the Ferrari 333 SP of the Momo/Doran team won overall (1998) with Mauro Baldi, Arie Luyendyk, Gianpiero Moretti and Didier Theys. Memorable successes in the glorious history of the star-studded event also include the class success of Stirling Moss's Ferrari 250 GT (1962) and the overall success of Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon's Ferrari F330 P3/P4 (1967), which triumphed in the edition that ended with a parade finish, completed by the second and third places respectively of the 330 P4 of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti, and the 412 P of Pedro Rodriguez and Jean Guichet.

    GTD Pro. Right from the early stages of the race the Risi Competizione quartet showed they had the credentials to compete in the top positions, taking the lead for the first time on the stroke of the seventh hour. In the middle of the night, when twelve hours had elapsed on the clock, the Ferrari - entrusted in the first stints to Serra and Rigon, who were taken over by Pier Guidi and Calado - took the lead of the race and held it until the first light of dawn, confirming its steady position in the top-3. Despite a 2-minute 51-second pit stop needed to change the rear brakes with five hours to go, Calado was back on track putting in some excellent laps and putting the Ferrari back in the lead, while a three-way challenge for the win with the number 1 BMW and the number 77 Porsche was emerging. In the final two hours, Risi Competizione strengthened its lead over the chasing pack and, despite a Full Course Yellow re-compacting the group with 52 minutes to go, the team signed the win in Florida with Serra passing under the chequered flag, one lap ahead of the Porsche.

    GTD. In the class that includes professional and gentlemen drivers, AF Corse celebrated on the podium, with the number 21 car driven by Miguel Molina, Simon Mann, François Heriau, Kei Cozzolino, and Conquest Racing, with the 34 entrusted to Albert Costa, Manny Franco, Alessandro Balzan and Cédric Sbirrazzuoli. The two entries finished second and third respectively (2'731 and 1 lap behind the number 57 Mercedes). The Spanish driver and the Brazilian took the wheel in the last two stints, taking advantage of the excellent work done by team-mates Cozzolino (in the lead at the stop, two hours from the end) and Franco, trying in the final to take a second, historic victory for Ferrari.

    Triarsi Competizione in the number 023 car entrusted to Alessio Rovera, Onofrio Triarsi, Charles Scardina, Riccardo Agostini (the driver from Veneto born in 1994 making his debut in a full day's test) had come to the fore in the central part of the race, taking the lead on Sunday morning. In the final hours, after losing a few positions, Rovera made a comeback in style by finishing fourth under the chequered flag, one tenth down on the number 34 Ferrari.

    More unfortunate was the race of Cetilar Racing's 296 GT3 number 47 driven by Antonio Fuoco with Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Eddie Cheever III (tenth at the finish), which had been the protagonist of the challenge at the top in the early stages, even occupying first position at various stages. In the early hours of Sunday, the team was forced to enact repairs to the suspension following a contact, and a racing incident caused the car to lose a few laps. On Sunday morning, the Italian team's pit box welcomed Marcell Jacobs, the two-time Olympic sprinter in the 100 metres and in the 4x100 relay (at Tokyo 2020), who watched the highlights of the 24 Hours.