Despite increased competition and a setback in the first race of the weekend, Ferrari remained perfect in GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competition, winning its eighth-consecutive race of the season at Road America with drivers Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald.
AF Corse recovered from a massive hit at the end of Saturday’s race which badly damaged the No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. The team went to its spare car, which was repaired after being involved in an accident in opening practice during the season-opening weekend at Sonoma.
While the team worked on the second car following the incident, Grunewald helped his teammate get mentally ready for the second race.
“I have a great teammate,” Saada said. “He talked me up over dinner, got my head back into it, and I woke up and said, ‘You know what – you can’t look back.’ You just move forward, and we did – he did. All the credit goes to Conrad today. He did a great job.”
Saada started 14th in the 15-car field, and was up to 11th overall and second in the Am class when he pitted at the opening of the pit window with 50 minutes remaining in the 90-minute contest.
The AF Corse team managed to get Grunewald back out into the class lead, running 10th overall with 40 minutes remaining. Grunewald picked up another overall position, finishing ninth.
“It’s a Ferrari, so it’s good right out of the box,” Grunewald said. “This car has been sitting on the trailer for awhile. We told JC to be very careful in the car. The crew did the best they could to get everything together. It took him a few laps, but once he got up to pace he did a perfect job. The pit stop was perfect. The team did an amazing job. They were here until 10 or 11 last night, so I couldn’t be more grateful. Now I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen.”
Next up for the GT World Challenge America is a visit to Watkins Glen for a pair of races on Sept. 18-19. Sebring follows on Oct. 2-3, with the season closing at Indianapolis on Oct. 17.