The Ferrari 296 GT3 endured a challenging qualifying debut in the Roar Before the 24, the testing session that precedes the longest and most prestigious endurance race in North America, the 24 Hours at Daytona. The Maranello cars will start from the middle of a 33-car field of GT3-specification challengers in the opening round of the IMSA series. While the ultimate lap times were certainly not ideal, there remains a full week until the 24-hour contest allowing the technicians and engineers to perform their analysis of the data to find the missing performance.
The format of the Roar before 24 this year has changed compared to previous editions, reserving for Sunday the task of determining the starting grid via in a 15-minute session where one driver per car is assigned the task of setting the fastest lap rather than through a qualifying race.
GTD Pro. In the top class for GT cars, Daniel Serra - reigning champion of the Endurance Cup together with Davide Rigon - took the 296 GT3 of Risi Competizione to ninth position, thanks to a time of 1:49.495. Serra will rejoin Davide Rigon, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in the race after finishing third last season’s 24 Hour race.
GTD. There were three Ferrari 296 GT3s competing in this class, the best of which was the Cetilar Racing car, with Antonio Fuoco behind the wheel in ninth place with a time of 1:48.309 on his fifth lap. The Italian driver was the quickest overall among those at the wheel of the new Ferrari which, in the race, will see him alongside Giorgio Sernagiotto, Roberto Lacorte and Alessandro Balzan. More distant are the 296 GT3s of AF Corse and Triarsi Competizione. The former, qualified by Miguel Molina, will start from seventeenth on the grid after setting a time of 1:49.265 while the latter, driven by Alessio Rovera, will line up from twenty-second position. Traditionally, qualifying at Daytona is not decisive for the final success, and the week ahead will allow the teams to further analyze the data and improve their pace.