Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra’s victory in the American IMSA championship brought them the GTD Pro class title in the Endurance Cup. They sealed their win in the Petit Le Mans race at the wheel of the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, which they shared with James Calado. This historic result brought Maranello its first title in the leading US championship since 2016 when Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen were crowned GTD class champions in both the overall standings and endurance class. It also rewarded the incredible passion and dedication of the historic team owned by Giuseppe Risi.
The celebration. At the Road Atlanta circuit, Rigon celebrated his first title in production-derived GTs with his teammate Serra. This shared joy was the fruit of the two official Ferrari Competizioni GT drivers’ teamwork. “I had never experienced the thrill of winning a drivers’ title,” says Rigon. "It was my first time at the Petit Le Mans on a very difficult and narrow track, which doesn't allow for mistakes given that there are about fifty cars in the race. We didn’t win the race, but we took the title. It was difficult but unforgettable”. The Brazilian Serra was of like mind: “One of our goals was to win in the IMSA, which I think is one of the most amazing championships in the world. You battle to the end on ‘old school’ tracks where the first mistake means you wave goodbye to a result.” The racing atmosphere on the other side of the Atlantic also holds a special fascination for our Venetian colleague. “Of course, it' s every man for himself on the track, but in the paddock, you spend a lot of time with the other drivers. There is a straightforward and friendly atmosphere. However, the IMSA’s real attraction is the technical tracks with run-off areas reduced to a minimum: At Daytona, you end up against the barrier if you make a mistake. At Sebring, Watkins Glen or Road Atlanta, if your wheels go onto the other side of the track, you've probably lost your chance of victory.”
Team chemistry. Endurance racing requires two or more drivers to take turns in the hot seat of a car like the 488 GT3 Evo 2020. The race stints, the driving and rest periods, and the team’s strategies are only maximised if the group’s result is prioritised over individual interest. “You have to capitalise on your strengths and help your teammates improve on their weaknesses,” says Rigon. It is essential to think for the group, forget about self-importance, and treat the car you will hand over to your colleague with kid gloves.” For Daniel Serra, team chemistry is also more than just an abstract concept. “When you are a professional driver, you have to think about the shared goal, whether it’s winning a race or triumphing in a championship. I have been a member of the official Ferrari Competizioni GT team since 2020. It was a long journey that brought me here, a dream come true.”
The future. As the 2022 season draws to a close, capped by a prestigious win in the IMSA, the two pro drivers look to the immediate future. At Ferrari, this future will see new, ambitious projects with the arrival of the new 296 GT3, picking up the baton from the 488 GT3. “This year, during the 296 GT3 development tests, we often met with the other official drivers. We shared a lot of time and didn’t just talk about lap times and track times as usual: I fully understood what it means to be part of this group and am proud of it. I have the best teammates in the world,” Rigon explains.