Scuderia Corsa will carry Ferrari’s hopes in looking to add to its illustrious history in the Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 16. Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander and Jeff Westphal will share the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 in the event, which serves as Round 2 for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Scuderia Corsa gave Ferrari its most recent class victory in the Central Florida classic in 2016, when Christina Nielsen, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Balzan won for Scuderia Corsa in a Ferrari 488 GT3. The race victory was the first for the Ferrari 488 GT3, which has shown no signs of slowing after having claimed 200 wins in international GT3 competition earlier this year.
Looking to Bounce Back from Daytona Disappointment. After a strong start, MacNeil, Vilander, Westphal and Dominik Farnbacher finished 23rd in GTD in the rain-marred season-opening 24 At Daytona. The team was running a solid fourth after 18 hours, leading twice for more than one hour. Horrendous conditions late in the race saw Vilander make contact with a slower car in the chicane after visibility was severely limited late in the race. Vilander had scored two bonus points in the Michelin Endurance Cup by running second at the midway point of the 24 Hour. The Ferrari drivers earned 10 points, and are now just four out of the overall lead. After Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta remain in the unique four-race championship.
Ferrari’s 37 Sebring Victories Include 12 Overall Triumphs. Ferrari has scored 12 overall victories in the 66 years of Sebring 12-hour competition, among 37 class triumphs. The venerable Ferrari 333SP won the event three times from 1995 through 1998. Gianpiero Moretti, Mauro Baldi and Didier Theys backed up their Daytona 24-hour victory in 1998 for Kevin Doran’s Momo team, while Andy Evans and Fermin Velez won twice for Scandia Motorsports in 1995 and 1997. Seven of Ferrari’s overall triumphs at Sebring came from 1956 through 1964 for the Italy-based factory team. Juan Manuel Fangio and Eugenio Castellotti gave Ferrari its first triumph in 1956, sharing a Ferrari 860 Monza, while Phil Hill took back-to-back victories in 1958 and 1959, driving a Ferrari 250TR. Hill added a third victory in a similar car two years later, opening a streak of four consecutive Ferrari victories from 1961 through 1964. Winner for Ford in 1967, Mario Andretti switched to the Marque of the Prancing Horse to take victories in 1970 – in a Ferrari 512S – and with Jacky Ickx in a Ferrari 312P in 1972. More recently, Ferraris tallied four class victories in five years from 2007 through 2011, including three by Jamie Melo, leading up to the Scuderia Corsa taking GTD honors in 2016.
BROADCAST SCHEDULE. The Twelve Hours of Sebring will be televised beginning at 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. (all times ET) on Saturday, March 16. Coverage shifts to the NBC Sports App from 1-3:30 p.m., with NBCSN taking the broadcast from 3:30 – 11 p.m. Practice begins at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, with the day including a night session from 7:45-9:15 p.m. Qualifying is set for 9:55 a.m. on Friday, followed at 4 p.m. by the WEC 1,000 Miles of Sebring.