The 60th edition of the Daytona 24 Hours went down to the wire with the Ferrari of Risi Competizione second in the GTD-Pro class and a 4th place finish in GTD for AF Corse. The first round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, run in perfect weather conditions but with very cold temperatures, provided a thrilling spectacle from green flag to chequered flag, although there were also phases of Full Course Yellow. The Ferraris competing in Florida, after a less-than-perfect qualifying session in last weekend’s Roar before 24, proved themselves up to the challenge of this iconic endurance marathon.
GTD-Pro. Risi Competizione’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020 put in a convincing performance, consistently running in the podium positions. The number 62 car was in second place by the sixth hour and third by the twelfth hour, successfully alternating drivers during the various stages of the race, in which it also held the lead for many laps. Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado were more active in the early and late stages of the race, while Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra were more often behind the wheel in the middle stages when the extremely cold temperatures made the tyre warm-up process difficult. This was a phase in which the Ferraris lost decisive seconds to their rivals in the first few passes after the pit stop. With Pier Guidi at the wheel, Ferrari tried to attack for the win in the final stages but a different strategy to their rivals in the final FCY phase had put the Italian back in fourth place. Pier Guidi, back in third position, during the last lap benefited from the outcome of the fierce duel between the two Porsches driven by Jaminet and Vanthoor, who were in the lead at the time, which gave a well-deserved second position to the American team behind the Pfaff Motorsport car.
GTD. A well-deserved podium finish, which the AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo 2020 was earning after a race conducted on the attack and in the top positions, disappeared at the end. Less than thirty minutes from the checkered flag, during a yellow flag phase, an unauthorised overtaking move forced the car to serve a drive-through that excluded it from the fight for victory. Nicklas Nielsen, together with Toni Vilander, had been the stars of the race up until that point. The Maranello car could no longer count on optimum performance after the contact in the early hours of the race involving Luis Perez Companc. Both the Argentinean and Simon Mann were, however, the authors of a very positive performance that had seen the young Italian champion also leading the race. The final finish of fourth place, just over ten seconds from the podium, despite the difficulties encountered, is a very positive result.
For Cetilar Racing, what just ended was a 24 Hours of Daytona to be quickly filed away in terms of results but to be used as a valuable experience in view of the season that it will face in the American series. After two contacts in the first hours of the race that forced the Ferrari to make two very long pit stops, the car of the Italian team led by Roberto Lacorte, with Giorgio Sernagiotto, Antonio Fuoco and Alessio Rovera at his side, crossed the finish line in fourteenth position.