The sporting adventure on American soil continues for Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra, who this season have debuted with the Ferrari 296 GT3 in the Endurance Cup of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. After winning the Drivers' title in the GTD Pro class in 2022, with the 488 GT3 Evo 2020, the Maranello manufacturer’s official drivers have already seen the first three rounds of the 2023 year go into the archives: the 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen with the new series-derived car fielded by the Risi Competizione team. On the horizon for the Italian-Brazilian pair is the Petit Le Mans, which will be held at Road Atlanta over the weekend of 14 October.
Results on the rise. “At the debut at Daytona, the 296 GT3 was excessively penalised in terms of Balance of Performance,” says 36-year-old Rigon, “while at Sebring, with the new parameters, we started to enjoy driving our car more, although we still suffered in terms of speed. The turning point came at Watkins Glen when we sensed that our potential was increasing.”
The podium at the Glen. The historic 6 Hours of The Glen race, which is run on the 5.47-kilometre track, ended with a runner-up spot for the duo sharing Risi Competizione’s car number 62. “There’s a bit of regret about finishing in second, in the race marked at the end by a yellow flag when we were in contention for the triumph,” was the 39-year-old Brazilian’s evaluation. “In any case, the result was positive, the car the car gave its best especially on the medium-high speed curves, while we still suffer a bit in terms of flat-out speed on the straights.”
The goals. Ahead of the fourth and final round of the Endurance Cup, Rigon and Serra analyse the favourable points for the Ferrari 296 GT3. “The characteristics of the Road Atlanta track are similar to those at the Glen,” says the driver from Veneto, “so we have great potential. It will be important to stay out of traffic and avoid any mistakes.” The goal at the Petit Le Mans “will be to win the last endurance race of the season, which is held on one of the tracks I love the most,” adds Serra.
Teammates and friends. Rigon and Serra have enriched their personal trophy cabinets by winning the IMSA title in the 2022 season, a triumph that has allowed them to strengthen a relationship based on mutual trust. “Who is Daniel? A reliable person. I am always certain that he will be as strong, or stronger than me, and that he will deliver the car to me in excellent condition when it’s my turn,” Rigon says. “Davide is the dream teammate,” smiles Serra, “a professional who makes very few mistakes and with whom it’s a pleasure to share the cockpit.”
American racing. Racetracks that blend history and tradition and passionate spectators who interpret motorsport with a unique philosophy: racing across the Atlantic holds a captivating allure for fans. “I totally discovered all this a couple of seasons ago, since I’ve taken part in all the IMSA endurance races, whereas in the past I had only entered the 24 Hours at Daytona,” comments Rigon. “I love American racing because there’s a special atmosphere between drivers and mechanics, even from different teams, as if we were all one big family.” Serra adds: “IMSA is one of my favourite championships because the race is ‘open’ until the end, and even if you have problems or make slight mistakes you have the chance to try and get back in the race for a good place. The last laps are always exciting and unpredictable.”