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    Weekend preview: Ferrari 296 GT3s competing in America and Europe

    2023 GT World Challenge America

    Maranello 31 marzo 2023

    The new 296 GT3s will take to the track at the weekend in Europe for the NLS in Germany and the GT Cup in the UK, while in the USA they will compete in round one of the GT World Challenge America.

    GT WC America. After a remarkable run to the championship in 2022, Ferrari will open a new chapter in North American competition with its new 296 GT3s as it takes on the SRO GT World Challenge America for 2023. The all new platform will compete in the top two classes beginning with this weekend’s doubleheader at Sonoma Raceway.

    Conquest Racing will challenge with the No. 21 Ferrari 296 for Manny Franco and Alessandro Balzan. The team made its SRO debut with Balzan and Franco at Sebring last September, winning both pole and leading both races en route to second- and fourth-place finishes driving a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. The team also finished sixth in the Pro class in the season-ending Indianapolis 8 Hours, with Balzan, Daniel Mancinelli and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli driving.  Franco is also a graduate of the Ferrari Challenge championship in North America, having competed in select races in 2022 in addition to his partial season effort in the SRO championship.

    Triarsi Competizione returns with one car in Pro-Am, the No. 33 Ferrari 296 with Ryan Dalziel and Justin Wetherill. In 2022, the pair finished fifth in the championship, winning Round 5 with a third-place overall finish at Virginia International Raceway. The team has already raced the Ferrari 296 twice this year, including the new car’s international debut in the Daytona 24 Hours, along with the 12 Hours of Sebring. Last year, Triarsi Competizione won the final 10 GT World Challenge America races to capture the Am title with Onofrio Triarsi and Charlie Scardina in the team’s first full season. The duo took second in both races at Sonoma last year, with the two rounds won by defending series champs AF Corse with Conrad Grunewald and Jean-Claude Saada. Ferrari ended 2022 with a perfect 25-race winning streak over two years in Am competition.

    Action at Sonoma opens with testing on both Wednesday and Thursday, and practice on Friday. Qualifying begins Saturday at 9:20 a.m, followed by Race 1 at 3:05 p.m. Race 2 will takes the green flag Sunday at 2:15 p.m. (all times are local).

    NLS. Just two weeks on, the cars of the Nürburgring Endurance Series return to the stage for the forty-seventh edition of the 4 Hours of Nimex. 141 entrants will contest the season’s second round, 30 of them in the GT3 SP9 class also featuring three Ferrari 296 GT3s. The Maranello manufacturer’s new car debuted in this championship in the ADAC Westfalenfahrt round, immediately securing a class podium with second place for Frikadelli Racing. Number 30 is back, but with a completely new crew: Nick Catsburg and David Pittard will replace Fernandez Laser and Klaus Abbelen.

    WTM Racing is also back, with Leonard Weiss and Jochen Krumbach in the number 22, while Indy Dontje steps in for Daniel Keilwitz. Christian Kohlhaas and Jody Fannin of Racing One will drive the Ferrari 296 GT3 for the first time in the Nürburgring Endurance Series.

    On Saturday, 1 April, qualifying will run from 8.30 to 10 a.m., while the endurance race starts at 12 p.m.

    GT Cup. The Donington circuit will kick off the new GT Cup Championship season, which sees the crew of Graham and Dan de Zille of AF Corse return to the series after their sixth place overall and second place in the GTC class in 2020. The two drivers, at the wheel of a Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, will start in the same class for 2023 after Graham gained experience on the track in last season’s Ferrari Challenge UK.

    Two Ferraris were also on the final podium in the GTC class of the GT Cup in 2022, with a second and a third place.

    At Donington, track activities begin on Saturday, 1 April: after free practice, qualifying is from 11.30 to 11.45 a.m. and from 11.50 a.m. to 12.05 p.m. The Sprint Race will kick off at 2.40 p.m. and finish at 3.05 p.m., while the fifty-minute Pit Stop Race takes the green flag at 5.55 p.m. Sunday, 2 April, sees a similar programme with qualifying from 10.50 a.m. and 11.10 a.m., the Sprint Race from 2 p.m., and the Pit Stop Race from 4.45 p.m.