29 gennaio 2016
Daytona Beach, 28 January 2016 - Defined as one of the the world's most renowned raceways, Daytona International Speedway retains quite a history within Ferrari's racing endeavors. With 21 victories at this circuit, the Prancing Horse marque welcomes its return to the 3.56-mile road course for the 24 Hours and Ferrari Challenge season opener. This year, 37 drivers representing four different countries will take to the high banks in two races prior to the GT endurance race which features the new 488 GTE for the first time. Although the drivers ran three successful practice sessions under some slick conditions, the qualifying session this afternoon was cancelled due to inclement weather. Therefore, the starting grid positions reflect the 2015 final point standings.
Trofeo Pirelli. Making his return as the newly crowned 2015 North American Ferrari Challenge champion, Emmanuel Anassis (Ferrari Quebec) is looking forward to start his 6th season with the series driving the 458 Challenge EVO. Finishing with 254 points in 2015, Anassis saw his most successful year as a Challenge driver. However, he'll find some fierce competition with the rest of the Trofeo Pirelli field. Gregory Romanelli (The Collection), who finished second in the North American championship, will follow behind Anassis in the starting grid for tomorrow's race, alongside Wei Lu (Ferrari of Vancouver) and a few other additional familiar faces, including 2014 North American champion Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston), Henrik Hedman (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) and Carlos Kauffman (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale).
Trofeo Pirelli AM. James Weiland (Boardwalk Ferrari), Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario), Arthur Romanelli (The Collection), Patrice Brisebois (Ferrari Quebec), Steve Johnson (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale), and Brent Lawrence (Ferrari of Newport Beach) will make their return for another consecutive season in the Ferrari Challenge. However, they will test their potential this season against some new and returning drivers in Trofeo Pirelli AM.
Coppa Shell. Although the top contenders -- Jean-Claude Saada (Boardwalk Ferrari, Joe Courtney (Miller Motor Cars), Chris Cagnazzi (Ferrari of Long Island), Dan O'Neal (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale) -- will start in the the front of their class field in tomorrow's race, the North American Ferrari Challenge sees its biggest field of newcomers in Coppa Shell. Ten rookies will race for the first time this weekend in the 458 Challenge EVO. These drivers have participated in several of Ferrari's Corso Pilota programs, and escalated their skill level to the top with the Challenge portion of the course. Testing in Daytona earlier this month, the newcomers had their first taste of the circuit's elevated banks in Turns 1 and 4, as well as the high-speed straightaway.
The program. Follow all the action as Race 1 of the weekend goes green tomorrow at 12:00 PM EST (6:00 PM GMT). Saturday will feature Race 2 of the Ferrari Challenge at 9:45 AM EST (3:45 PM GMT) preceding the 24 Hours, which begins at 2:10 PM EST (8:10 PM GMT). Stay up to speed on Twitter and Instagram at @FerrariUSA and follow the conversation at #FerrariGTRacing.