|Circuit||Daytona International Speedway|
|Date||27.01. – 28.01.2018|
|Distance||4.628,256 km / 2.876,480 miles|
|Paul Dalla Lana
Spirit of Race
44. overall / 21. in class GTD
Alessandro Pier Guidi
|488 GTE||Risi Competizione||16. overall / 5. in class GTLM|
|488 GT3||Scuderia Corsa||30. overall / 10. in class GTD|
|488 GT3||Scuderia Corsa||25. overall / 5. in class GTD|
Ricardo Perez de Lara
|488 GT3||Risi Competizione||39. overall / 17. in class GTD|
Daytona, 28 January 2018 – Ferrari’s experience of the 24 Hours of Daytona 2018 could be summed up in a nutshell as significant untapped potential, a performance at times to match the very best, but an unsatisfactory finish.
GTLM. In GTLM class car no. 62 of Risi Competizione crewed by James Calado, Davide Rigon, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Toni Vilander was the star of the first half of the race. Vilander didn’t push things at the start but was in the leading group after four hours, on the tail of the two lightning fast Fords. Despite various troubles, including a problem with the safety net in the passenger compartment, a puncture and a door replacement, the 488 GTE was in the mix for a podium finish. However, a technical problem at the halfway mark lost it six laps. The almost complete absence of yellow flag phases also did the car no favors, so in the end it had to settle for fifth. Nevertheless, the Ferrari proved its potential by clocking the fastest lap, with James Calado recording a time of 1:44:008 in the first third of the race.
GTD. There was even more cause for regret in the GTD class, given that Ferrari had monopolised the front row in qualifying. Car no. 82 of Risi Competizione took command thanks to a fast Miguel Molina but the Houston team’s performance was compromised by a refueling problem in the first part of the race. The car returned to the pits, but a issue with the filler caused fuel to spurt out, which landed on hot parts of the car, ignited and ruined the rest of the race. Molina drove the car over the line after alternating with Matt Griffin, Martin Fuentes, Santiago Creel and Ricardo Perez de Lara. It finished in 17th. Car no. 63 of Scuderia Corsa was the star of the early stages of the race until technical trouble lost Balzan-MacNeil-Jeannette-Segal nine laps that they only partially made up. They ended in tenth. The crew of the 488 GT3 no. 51 of Spirit of Race was up among the leaders until 8 am, but was forced to retire after Paul Dalla Lana came off track and it was too damaged to continue. The best of Ferraris in the end was car no. 64 of Scuderia Corsa, the one that had struggled most in qualifying. Sam Bird, Frankie Montecalvo, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell fought back from 14th to fifth place again proving the car’s potential. Unfortunately though, this great potential remained untapped. The Cadillac of Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi was overall winner.
Daytona, 28 January 2018 – As the sun rose over the Daytona International Speedway, the 24 Hours at Daytona entered its final phase. The strongest contenders were the No. 51 Spirit of Race entry and the No. 64 Scuderia Corsa entry. Things looked very close for a podium position, but calamity soon struck the No. 51 when a spin forced a lengthy pit stop for repairs. Further down the field, the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa entry put in some strong lap times, but has thus far been unable to make any headway on their 7 lap deficit to the leaders.
GTLM. Ford has solidified its advantage in the GT-LM field, having lapped all of their nearest competitors. The No. 62 entry from Risi Competitzione is in fifth place with Toni Vilander at the wheel, six laps behind their nearest competitor.
Daytona, 28 January 2018 – At hour 17, all five Ferraris continue to work their way towards dawn in the 24 Hours at Daytona. The night has shaken up the running order, but consistency, speed and some well timed caution periods have brought the No. 64 entered by Scuderia Corsa (the car received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane) and No. 51 entered by Spirit of Race back to the lead lap of the GT-Daytona battle. Both cars are running within twenty seconds of the leading Lamborghini, ensuring a dramatic final third of the 24 Hour classic.
GTLM. Mechanical woes have blunted the Ferrari challenge in the GTLM class as the team has been required to spend additional time in pit lane. The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari is currently 7th in class, and seven laps behind the class dominating Fords.
Daytona, 27 Jan 2018 – After two hours car no. 51 of Spirit of Race is ahead in the GTD class. The Ferrari has so far been driven by Daniel Serra, Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy. However, a problem sent car no. 82 of Risi Competizione into the pits, after it had led the first part of the race. The two 488 GT3s of Scuderia Corsa with Townsend Bell and Cooper MacNeil are still racing and in the top ten.
GTLM. In the GTLM class James Calado has taken over from Davide Rigon in the Ferrari 488 GTE of Risi Competizione. The car is in ninth place in a race where up to now there have been no yellow flags.
Daytona, 27 Jan 2018 – The 2018 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona got underway at 2:40 pm local time. Two Ferraris lead the field in the GTD class. Miguel Molina, at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Risi Competizione, started by immediately overtaking Daniel Serra in the sister car of Spirit of Race. The two Scuderia Corsa Ferraris are respectively in seventh, with Sam Bird making up seven positions, and in ninth with Alessandro Balzan.
GTLM. In the GTLM class the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione is placed seventh, the same position in which it started, with Vilander in the driver’s seat. After a shower just before the race, the track dried quickly and the temperatures rose but humidity remains high.
Daytona, 25 January 2018 – Daniel Serra in the 488 GT3 no. 51 of Spirit Of Race will start from pole position in the GT-Daytona (GTD) class of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Miguel Molina will be in second for Risi Competizione in an all Ferrari front row. In the GT-Le Mans (GTLM) class Tony Vilander qualified the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione in seventh place.
GTD. Right from the start, Daniel Serra in the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Spirit of Race dictated the pace. He improved lap by lap for a final time of 1:46:049, the fastest ever recorded in this category at the International Speedway. Serra will be joined by Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda. Second place was taken by the sister car of Risi Competizione, driven in qualifying by Miguel Molina. He also improved lap by lap, stopping the clock at 1:46:502. Miguel, an official Maranello driver, will share the car with Matt Griffin and Mexicans Martin Fuentes, Santiago Creel and Ricardo Perez de Lara. The first of the two Scuderia Corsa Ferraris will set off in fifth. Alessandro Balzan recorded a time of 1:47:055. In the race, he will share the 488 GT3 with Gunnar Jeannette, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Segal. The other Scuderia Corsa car, the no. 64 of Sam Bird, Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Frankie Montecalvo enjoyed a less successful qualifying. Bird recorded a time of 1:47:839, for 14th place.
GTLM. In the GT-Le Mans the Ferrari 488 GTE of Risi Competizione had a less successful qualifying session. Toni Vilander began by recording relatively high times, but improved towards the end for a time of 1:43:601 good for seventh place. He was just over eight tenths of a second behind the Chevrolet of Jan Magnussen, which took pole in 1:42:779. The overall pole went to the Cadillac of Renger Van Der Zande in 1:36:083.
Programme. The race will start on Saturday at 2:40 pm local time (8:40 pm CET) but is preceded by more free practice sessions, including one at night so that all the drivers can become familiar with the conditions they will have to face in the race.
Daytona Beach, 25 January 2018 – Ferrari returns to Daytona with five cars, one in the GT-Le Mans (GTLM) class and four in the GT-Daytona (GTD). The 488 GTE and four 488 GT3s will be trying to beat the many other manufacturers at the legendary 24 Hours that opens the IMSA SportsCar championship season and, indeed, a full-on year of GT racing.
GTLM. One car will be competing in the GTLM class. The 488 GTE of Risi Competizione will be there with an entirely official crew of Toni Vilander and Davide Rigon, plus the FIA World Endurance Championship winners, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi. Calado and Vilander came third last season, so now the goal is to win, even if the BoP once again penalises the Italian berlinetta on the straight, which at Daytona means much of the track given that the 31-degree parabolic curves are also driven at full throttle. Calado and Vilander’s best finish at Daytona is still the third place of 2017, while Rigon was sixth in 2016 with the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione, and Pier Guidi won the 2014 edition in the GTD class with Level 5 Motorsports, for the Prancing Horse’s most recent triumph on the legendary Florida track.
GTD. Four 488 GT3s will be involved in the GTD class. Expectations are high for the car of Scuderia Corsa that, without Christina Nielsen, will see Alessandro Balzan, the return of Jeff Segal and new entries Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette. Segal was part of the team that won in 2014, while MacNeil was second in 2015. Fourth is the best result so far for both Balzan (for Ferrari in 2013) and Jeannette (2014). Giacomo Mattioli’s team is also fielding a second car, the no. 64 of Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler, Sam Bird and Frankie Montecalvo. Bell won in 2014 with Sweedler while both Bird and Montecalvo recorded their best results in 2014, with respectively a sixth and a fourth place. The third 488 GT3 belongs to Spirit of Race and will be driven by Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda, Pedro Lamy and Daniel Serra, who more usually compete against Ferrari crews. Fourth place is the best result achieved so far by all four drivers. Dalla Lana, in his ninth outing, recorded it in 2016, just like his three co-drivers, although Lamy had previously been fourth also in 2009. The last of the Ferrari group is Risi Competizione’s second car, crewed by rookie Miguel Molina, official Ferrari driver, Matt Griffin, and Mexicans Santiago Creel, Martin Fuentes and Ricardo Perez de Lara, an old acquaintance of the Ferrari Challenge. Griffin was fourth in 2015, Fuentes sixth in 2014, Creel tenth in 2017 and Perez De Lara 17th in 2013.
History. Ferrari has twice been overall winner of the 24 Hours. The first victory came in 1967 with the official 330 P3/4 of Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon, when there was the famous one-two-three finish and a Ferrari hat trick on the podium. Then in 1998 the 333 SP of Doran-Moretti Racing won with Arie Luyendyk, Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi and Gianpiero Moretti. There have also been eight class victories, most recently in 2014 in the GTD with Segal-Pier Guidi-Bell-Sweedler and Level 5 Motorsports. However, there were also another 11 wins not obtained in the 24 hours. The first came in 1959, in the USAC series, with Santiago Gonzalez and Skip Hudson in a 250 GT of the Hans Hirch team. We also shouldn’t forget the triumph in the 6 Hours of 1972 by the 312 PB of Scuderia Ferrari with Mario Andretti and Jacky Ickx.
Programme. The long weekend at Daytona kicks off on Thursday with the free practice sessions followed by qualifying at 3:55 pm local time (9:55 pm CET) for the GTLM class and at 4:20 pm (10:20 pm CET) for the GTD. On Friday, there is another test session before the race starts at 2:40 pm local time (8:40 pm CET) on Saturday. The conclusion is of course scheduled for the same time on Sunday.