Three Ferrari teams came through Sunday’s 100-minute qualifying race without incident to earn starting positions for this weekend’s 60th 24 Hours At Daytona, the opening round of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Risi Competizione qualified 11th in the new GTD Pro category, while Cetilar Racing placed 12th and AF Corse 17th in GTD. Both classes feature international GT3 machinery, with GTD limited to Pro-Am driver lineups.
Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra drove the new No 62 Pennzoil Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in GTD Pro, which has replaced the GTLM category starting with the 2022 season. They will be joined by Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in the race. Rigon qualified fifth in the class with a lap of 1:46.805-seconds, but went to the back of the 61-car field after the team had a gearbox issue Sunday morning. Rigon fought back to 13th before handing the car over to Serra, who gained two positions in the closing laps.
“The race went well, but we had no speed in a straight line,” Serra said. “We hope they will improve the BOP for next week, but the balance of the car is very good. We still have work to do, but we’re happy with the balance. We had that issue, so we lost the warm-up and the formation lap. There was a lot of traffic, and when you start at the back with no speed on the straights, it’s very difficult.”
No stranger to IMSA’s endurance races, Cetilar Racing is making its first start in IMSA competition with the Ferrari brand, extending a European partnership with AF Corse. Roberto Lacorte and Alessio Rovera drove in the qualifying race, and will be joined by Giorgio Sernagiotto and Antonio Fuoco in the bright blue No. 47 Cetilar Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 for the race.
Lacorte was fifth in qualifying, running 1:47.271-seconds. Falling back in the early going, he was seventh at his pit stop. Rovera returned to the race in 12th, and held the position throughout his stint. “It was difficult,” Rovera said. “We were not in the best position, but I’m sure we will improve for the 24 Hour. This race was just a warm-up. Next week we will be ready, for sure.”
Toni Vilander, Luis Perez Companc, Simon Mann and Nicklas Nielsen share the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. Companc was ninth in Saturday time trials, running 1:48.125-seconds, and was joined by Vilander in the race. “It’s good to get track time before the race, but the Roar is very difficult to analyze,” Vilander said. “There are a lot of strange things going on track that will be completely opposite when we go racing next weekend. As racing drivers, we always want to do our max. We prepare to go fast. Then you see cars that will be battling for the win, and then in the Roar they are nowhere. It’s always been the same, but at some point I wish it would end.
“The Prototype classes were really on it today, and they were battling for positions,” Vilander added. “The traffic will be a tough issue for the race. It’s difficult for IMSA to have this big field, because with the large number of cars there will be a lot of cautions. This race was more like a practice day, and it’s impossible to make any conclusions about the speed of any cars.”
On-track preparation for the 24 Hour resumes with three practice sessions on Thursday and the green flag will fall on the 24 hour contest on Saturday at 1:40p.m. Eastern.