Ferrari extended its undefeated streak to 11 consecutive victories in the Am class of the GT World Challenge America powered by AWS on Saturday, after the debut entry of Triarsi Competizione ended AF Corse’s perfect season.
Charlie Scardina and Onofrio Triarsi combined to win the class in the No. 23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, placing eighth overall in the 90-minute race. A late entry, the team decided only five days ago to compete.
AF Corse already clinched the Am championship by winning the opening 10 races of the campaign. Saturday, Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald placed second in class and ninth overall.
“It’s a great feeling,” Triarsi said. “It was very short notice. Our crew did an amazing job getting everything ready. Everybody worked real hard to make this work at the last minute. My brother-in-law did an amazing job driving the car. We had a fabulous pit stop – the guys didn’t make one mistake. It was great to see the checkered flag. We’re happy to be here.”
Scardina, running his first race since 2007, qualified seventh and first in class with a lap of 2:03.163-seconds. After losing three places on his opening lap, he worked his way up to fifth overall before pitting at the 40-minute mark.
“It was a good team effort,” Scardina said. “The guys gave us a great car that was very stable, very neutral. For me, it was getting some confidence, which fortunately was the case, and got me into the top spot – considering that a week ago we weren’t even entered in the race.”
The race came down to the wire. Grunewald took over at the pit stop, running 22.661-seconds behind Triarsi. Over the final 23 laps, Grunewald gradually cut into the margin, and was 7.681-seconds back with five minutes on the clock. He made a valiant charge over the closing laps, coming up 2.115-seconds shy at the checkered flag.
Grunewald will start 11th overall and first in class for Sunday’s finale, turning in a 2:01.698-second lap in qualifying. Triarsi qualified second in class and 13th overall, running 2:02.910-seconds.
Sunday’s race takes the green flag at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Following Sebring, the season wraps up at the three-hour mark of the Indianapolis 8 Hour on Sunday, Oct. 17.