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    Disappointing End to 24 Hours at Daytona for Ferrari

    Daytona, Florida 26 gennaio 2020

    After 23 hours of effort and several lucky breaks, the well of luck ran dry for Ferrari at the 2020 edition of the 24 Hours at Daytona.  What started on a lovely, if cool Saturday afternoon, concluded in much the same fashion on Sunday.  The racing action also ran mostly uninterputed, with only five caution flag periods and thus a new record race distance completed.

    GTLM. After the thrill of victory four months prior at Road Atlanta, there could be no bigger swing of emotion for Risi Competizione and their no. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE.  On their penultimate pit stop, the team inserted James Calado into the car.  The Brit, however, spun the wheels on the Ferrari prior to the car being lowered from its jack stands, earning the team a drive-through penalty.  The car had been running successfully in the top four and was, if not immediately behind the leading group, within striking distance as the race entered the final two hours.  The drive-through penalty, however, largely eliminated the chance of victory.  The worst, however, was yet to come, as after serving the drive-through, the team encountered a puncture.  With the race slipping further and further from the team’s grasp, James drove quickly to return the car to the pits and enact repairs.  Unfortunately the tire came apart and caused further damage to the car, forcing the team to retire.

    GTD. Scuderia Corsa and their Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO 2020 encountered their difficulties much further from the finish, beginning with an issue when the team went to change brake pads in the early twilight hours.  A delay in the process caused the team to ultimately lose two laps to the leading GT-Daytona competitors.  While the team seemed to have plenty of time to recover the situation, quick pace from the leading cars combined with a lack of caution periods to allow the team to regain the lost laps meant that there was not much the team could do.  Yet, the Scuderia Corsa team and drivers Cooper MacNeil, Jeff Westphal, Alessandro Balzan and Toni Vilander did everything they could, successfully regaining one of the lost laps.  The team also wisely stacked their driver line up so that their two highest rated drivers, Balzan and Vilander did the vast majority of the driving in the final few hours.  Seventh was ultimately the best possible result on an otherwise difficult day.