Ferrari teams led their respective classes in one of the two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice sessions on Friday, the opening day of the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The Roar is a three-day test. This year, the event is being held the weekend before the famed 24 Hours of Daytona and will be highlighted by a 100-minute qualifying race on Sunday that will set the field for next Saturday’s 59th running of the 24 hour contest.
GTLM. James Calado set the fastest lap in the opening GT Le Mans session, running a quick time of 1:43.680-seconds in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE. That stood up as the fastest lap of the day in GTLM. Davide Rigon was third in the afternoon practice, running 1:44.434-seconds. Alessandro Pier Guidi and Jules Gounon will co-drive.
Calado has a recent history of being fast at Daytona. He led qualifying during the 2020 Roar, giving the team first pick of pit and paddock positions for the 24 Hours. In addition, Calado and Rigon finished second for Risi in the 2019 24 Hours at Daytona, while Pier Guidi was the most recent Ferrari winner in the event, scoring for Level 5 Motorsports in 2014.
GTD. Marcos Gomes was fastest in the afternoon GT Daytona session, running 1:46.731-seconds in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. He will co-drive with Ryan Briscoe (seventh in the morning practice at 1:47.024-seconds), Ed Jones and Bret Curtis. Curtis in particular is looking forward to getting to know his teammates. “I’m looking forward to getting in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari with the guys,” Curtis said, “It’s nice having the Roar one week before the race, it makes for a short week to the 24 which I know we’re all excited to tackle.” For Jones, it will be his first time at Daytona. “I’m really looking forward to the Roar because its my first time to Daytona,” Jones said. “I’m excited to see how the Ferrari feels. It will be a new experience for me.”
AF Corse will field the No. 21 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, which placed second in the morning session with a lap of 1:46.505-seconds set by Matteo Cressoni. Simon Mann was sixth in the afternoon, running a lap of 1:47.007. Co-drivers are 24 Hours debutants Nicklas Nielsen and Daniel Serra.
Schedule. Saturday will open with a third one-hour practice beginning at 10:30 a.m. (all times ET). A 15-minute qualifying session for both GTLM and GTD will begin at 3 p.m., setting the grid for Sunday’s qualifying race. Saturday will conclude with a two-hour night practice, beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday opens with a warm-up at 10 a.m. The WeatherTech Championship competitors will hold a 100-minute qualifying race beginning at 2:05 p.m. This sets the field for the 24 Hours at Daytona, that starts at 3:40 p.m. on Saturday, January 30.