The new Ferrari 296 GT3 steps onto the international racing stage, making its appearance at the Daytona International Speedway during the Roar Before the Daytona 24. The event is a three-day test session which includes the qualifying session set for the weekend of 22 January, the prologue to the famous endurance race that opens the American IMSA SportsCar Championship season: this will open on 28–29 January with four teams and eight official Ferrari Competizioni GT drivers taking part, who will christen the new 296 GT3.
Roar: the format. Historically slotted just after New Years, the Roar offered teams a first opportunity to shake down new cars on the same circuit ultimately used for the 24 Hour race at the end of the month. Adjustments in 2020, however saw the date change to the week prior to the race and the introduction of a qualifying race on the Sunday of testing to set the grid for the 24-hour weekend. This year the qualifying race is gone, replaced by the traditional 1hr, 30 minute session on Sunday where each category will take it in turns to set their lap times and thus the grid for the 24 Hour race.
GTD Pro class. Risi Competizione returns with the same Ferrari all-factory driver lineup that finished second in the 2022 event. FIA World Endurance GT champs Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado return with Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra in the No. 62 Ferrari 296 GT3. Last year, the Houston-based team ran a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in GTD Pro, missing the top step of the podium by only two seconds after 24 hours of racing. Serra and Rigon went on to take top honors in the IMSA Endurance Championship, finishing second in the six-hour classic at Watkins Glen.
GTD class. AF Corse, Cetilar Racing and Triarsi Competizione will race in the GTD category for teams with Pro-Am lineups led by factory drivers.
AF Corse will have the No. 21 Ferrari 296 GT3. Factory driver Miguel Molina will co-drive with Simon Mann, Luis Perez Companc and Francesco Castellacci. The Italian team captured GTE Pro honors in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019 and 2021, finishing second in the class in 2020 and 2022, albeit with a different driver lineup in those events. Mann and Companc took second in GTD in the 2022 IMSA Endurance Cup.
Ferrari Factory driver Antonio Fuoco at Daytona will share Cetilar Racing’s new No. 47 Ferrari 296 GT3 with Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Alessandro Balzan for an all-Italian line-up once again. Last year, Fuoco, Lacorte and Sernagiotto took the GTD victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Triarsi Competizione makes its Daytona 24 Hour debut with the No. 023 Ferrari 296 GT3. Factory drivers Alessio Rovera and Andrea Bertolini join Onofrio Triarsi and Charlie Scardina in Florida.
The schedule. The Roar Before the Daytona 24 includes five practice sessions, including opening practice Friday at 11 a.m. and a two-hour night session beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (all times ET). The weekend concludes with qualifying on Sunday to set the grid for the following weekend’s 61st edition of the Daytona 24 Hours. Both GTD classes will hold a combined 15-minute qualifying session on Sunday at 1:25 p.m.