In the 71st running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, three Ferrari 296 GT3s took the checkered flag with Risi Competizione leading the charge with a sixth-place finish in the GTD-Pro category. Over the course of 12 hours, the Ferraris proved themselves to be competitive, running at the sharp end of their respective classes. Mechanical misfortune and poor luck, however, rendered the GTD contestants in uncompetitive position by the second half of the race, but, as is typical for an IMSA race, the contest was truly decided only in the final hour as safety-car periods regrouped the field several times in the closing minutes. Risi Competizione, however, was unlucky and was struck by a prototype in the third corner. The car was able to continue but was well back from contention by the time the checkered flag waved.
GTD Pro. The No. 62 Ferrari 296 GT3 of Risi Competizione secured a sixth-place finish, a disappointing result for a car that had proven to be capable of running at the front for much of the 12-hour contest. With a line up featuring Ferrari factory drivers Daniel Serra and Davide Rigon, the duo was joined by Gabriel Casagrande in the third spot. Serra started the race behind the wheel but the team quickly rotated through its line up with Casagrande taking the lead in the category shortly after the 4-hour mark as pit stop cycles favored the Ferrari. Davide Rigon took the next stint, running as high as second before his stop at the seven-hour mark, and closing within 10 seconds of the lead at the eight-hour mark. Yellow-flags, however, continued to punctuate the action which allowed the cars in the category to re-synchronize their strategies, blunting the advantages of the Ferrari. Serra, however, took over driving duties for the closing stint. The caution with 48-minutes to go, however, proved the most damaging to Risi’s hopes for a good result as the car was struck by a prototype in the rear in the third corner, pitching the 296 GT3 into a spin. Serra was able to continue, but had been demoted to sixth and was not able to recover in the waning minutes of the race.
GTD. Three Ferrari teams entered their Ferrari 296 GT3s in the GTD category, with each enduring various levels of misfortune during the 12-hour contest. AF Corse ultimately led the charge with their No. 21 Ferrari 296 GT3 of Simon Mann, Francesco Castellacci and Ferrari factory driver Miguel Molina. The team was running 12th and on the lead lap with four hours to go, but a lengthy pit stop was required at that point to implement repairs and left the team nine laps behind. The team chose to go back out to gain helpful data and experience, ultimately finishing 13th in the category.
Defending class winner Cetilar Racing, also endured several issues during the contest, precluding the team from repeating their feat of 2022. The No. 47 Ferrari 296 GT3 featured Giorgio Sernagiotto, Roberto Lacorte and also Ferrari factory driver Antonio Fuoco. The team was running strongly just past the eight-hour mark, but the team fell to 14th in the very competitive class when Lacorte stopped and handed the car over to Fuoco before the Italian driver surged back to 9th when he stopped with two hours remaining, but several unscheduled stops to sort various issues meant the car lost 10 laps between that time and the end of the 12-hour contest.
The No. 023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 featured Onofrio Triarsi, Carlie Scardina and Ferrari factory driver Alessio Rovera behind the wheel and were looking to build upon their successes at the previous IMSA race at Daytona in January. After running well for the opening stanza of the 12-hour race, the car was forced to return to its garage to implement a mechanical fix. The car was able to return to the track, many laps down, but ultimately had to return to the garage after the issues recurred and the team decided to retire the car.
Schedule. Ferraris will make their return to the IMSA series in June for the Six Hours of Watkins Glen event, the next stop in the Endurance Cup Championship.