The mid-August weekend gives Ferrari a resounding triple success with the 296 GT3. The Maranello marque's new racing sports car scored two victories, the first ever on North American soil, with the Conquest Racing team, in the fifth round of the GT World Challenge America, staged at Road America. Triumph, the first of the season also in the DTM, thanks to Jack Aitken of Emil Frey Racing in Saturday's race at the Lausitzring.
GT World Challenge America. Two pole positions and two victories at Road America marked the perfect weekend for the Conquest Racing team, which entrusted the number 21 Ferrari 296 GT3 to Manny Franco and Alessandro Balzan. The driver from nearby Milwaukee, Franco, after taking pole position for Race 1, led his stint, handing over the wheel to his partner Balzan in minute 49. The latter further extended his lead over his immediate pursuers to cross the line first and score the first ever win on North American soil for Maranello's new 296 GT3.
Ferrari grants an encore in the second race of the fifth round of the season, also starting Race 2 from pole position in the Pro class. After a close challenge, the two Conquest Team drivers managed to pass first under the chequered flag, also serving a 2.5-second penalty for an infraction in the pit lane.
For Conquest Racing it was their first win of the season, following second places at Sonoma and New Orleans, which launched them into the overall standings. The next round of the series is scheduled for 22-24 September at Sebring International Raceway. In the Road America race, however, the Triarsi Competizione Ferrari of Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel, initially announced among the entrants, did not start.
DTM. First win of the season in the DTM championship for the Ferrari 296 GT3. The winner is Jack Aitken, in the number 14 car of the Emil Frey Racing team, at the end of Race 1 of the fifth round of the 2023 season, on the 3,478 metre Lausitzring track. The Briton's haul is also enriched by pole position and the fastest lap set during the race. The triumph for the former Formula 1 driver came on a hot day, with temperatures over 30 degrees. "It was incredibly hot in the car, but I really wanted to get my first win in the DTM with the new Ferrari 296 GT3. We had a fantastic pit stop and I had a flawless race. In spite of everything, I spent a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror, especially towards the end of the race," said Aitken, who managed to resist the assaults of the pursuers and stay in the lead even after the pit stop, finishing 2.4 seconds ahead of the first of his rivals. Emil Frey Racing's second Ferrari, the number 69 driven by Thierry Vermeulen, crossed the line in ninth place.
Top ten also in Race 2 for both drivers with Jack Aitken seventh and Vermeulen again ninth. The next round for the DTM, the sixth of the season, is scheduled for 8-10 September at the Sachsenring.
GT WC Asia. The Prancing Horse has also notched up a win in the GT World Challenge Asia, where the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 – courtesy of the Maezawa Racing team – claimed victory in the second round held on the Okayama track, scene of the penultimate round of the season. At the end of 37 laps of the sprint race, Naoki Yokomizo and Piti Bhirombhakdi, who alternated at the wheel of the number 555 car, sealed the win with a 2''526 margin over the runners-up. For the Maranello manufacturer this is the first triumph of the season in the Japanese series reserved for GT3 class cars.
The event contested in Okayama also earned Prancing Horse the GT3 Japan Cup Am Drivers’ title. Yusuke Yamasaki and Yorikatsu Tsujiko, thanks to their runner-up spot in Race-1 at the wheel of the Comet Racing team-run Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, celebrate their result in the class – the standings are determined by the results obtained on the circuits of the Land of the Rising Sun – with one round to go before the end of the GT World Challenge Asia season, set to culminate in Malaysia at the Sepang track.