At the end of the one-hundred-minute race that decided the starting grid for the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona, we heard from some of the Ferrari drivers who took to the track today.
“The new format was quite enjoyable”, commented James Calado, who qualified fourth in the GTLM class. “We pushed to the absolute limit, so the car was at its maximum, and I think the others have a lot more in hand, so I’m not sure about the race. It’s good to be back here in Daytona. Obviously, without the fans it’s a shame. Hopefully, it’s going to be a good race.”
It was a difficult race for the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of AF Corse in the GTD class, due to a puncture that forced Nielsen to crawl along for a lap and take an extended pit stop. “It was quite tricky conditions out there, going out on slicks on a wet track”, explained the Dane. “But I had a few laps in the warm-up this morning in more or less the same conditions. I would say that we will take quite a lot from the qualifying race, the practice race, to the 24 hours next week”. Simon Mann started, making his debut at the Florida track. “The start was kind of tricky”, said the Italian. “I kind of played it a bit too safe, but it’s just qualifying for the race next week, so it’s also important not to do anything stupid. It was a tricky start, but then you get into the rhythm and everything. It’s all about staying out of trouble as well and not getting into any messes”.
“It was my first proper weekend in a GT car, to be honest,” Jones said after finishing in eight position with the Scuderia Corsa 488 GT3 Evo 2020. “It is a lot to learn. The team has been great in helping me adapt to that and my teammates have a lot of experience here and in GT cars. It’s been a great all-around weekend preparing for the 24. The race had its challenges. We had the penalty and then I didn’t have my radio for a bit which is tricky. But it’s good to have those issues now to get them out of the way. I’m looking forward to next week.”
For Curtis, he shared similar feelings to Jones after today’s qualifying race.
“I think we’re in a good position for the 24,” Curtis said. “I made a mistake during one of the early cautions, but the team recovered well. I think Ed did a great job and he picked up a few spots. Overall, today was a positive run. We’ve got a few kinks to work out but nothing major. The team has taken the time to get to know each other so I think we’ll be in good shape for the 24.”