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No Podium for Ferrari at Daytona

IMSA – Ferrari off the podium at Daytona

The 58th edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening round of the IMSA series, closed with the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Scuderia Corsa in seventh place in the GTD class, while in the GTLM class the 488 GTE of Risi Competizione was forced to retire just over an hour before the end due to a tyre explosion that damaged the bodywork.

GTLM. The race of the Ferrari 488 GTE no. 62 of Risi Competizione was heavily affected by a Balance of Performance that meant it couldn’t compete with its opponents. Despite the total commitment of the drivers and the excellent team strategies, the 488 GTE’s pace lagged far behind that of its rivals.
The car, crewed by official drivers Calado-Pier Guidi-Rigon-Serra, also experienced some unfortunate episodes. These included the two punctures suffered by Rigon, and the explosion of the right rear tyre an hour and twenty-one minutes from the end when Calado was behind the wheel. The damage sustained forced the team to withdraw the car. “I’ve never seen such a bad BoP for us,” said Rigon. “We were struggling to outperform the GTD class cars for speed”. Daniel Serra commented along similar lines: “We did our best even though I think it was clear to everyone that we didn’t have the speed on the straight that our rivals displayed. The team did everything in its power, and we drivers also have little reason to blame ourselves”.

GTD. The Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Scuderia Corsa finished seventh in the GTD class, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of the US team, long in contention for the podium before losing two laps due to a problem when replacing the brake pads. The crew of MacNeil-Westphal-Vilander-Balzan recorded an excellent pace throughout the 24 hours, confirming the soundness of the solutions introduced with the Evo 2020 version of the 488 GT3, on its second race outing. As in the GTLM class, the Balance of Performance negatively impacted the performance of the new car from Maranello. “The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of my favourite races,” said Alessandro Balzan, “and it’s good to be back in it. However, it’s frustrating to have a fantastic car but not have the chance to fight given the difference in top speed with our rivals. The seventh-place finish is not the result we were hoping for, but we gave it our all”.

IMSA – Risi Competizione drivers’ comments at the end of the race

At the end of the 24 Hours of Daytona we gathered the words of the crew of the Ferrari 488 GTE that raced in GTLM class.

Davide Rigon: “As early as this morning we realised that we didn’t have the pace. We were close to the others but never had the opportunity to attack them. The Balance of Performance penalised us, and this meant that the excellent work performed with the team to set up the car was in vain. I’ve never seen such a bad BoP for us. We were struggling to outperform the GTD class cars for speed“.

Daniel Serra: “Even though we didn’t have the pace to compete against our rivals, it’s always sad not to have managed to finish a race. We did our best even though I think it was clear to everyone that we didn’t have the speed on the straight that our rivals displayed. The team did everything in its power, and we drivers also have no good  reason to blame ourselves”.

Alessandro Pier Guidi: “The race was what I expected, honestly. Looking at the figures on the eve of the race, I predicted some difficulties. However, I expected to be closer or to be able to do battle in some of the stints. Instead, I only saw our opponents when the Safety Car brought the group back together. I have little to complain about the work done by the team and us drivers. Our car was well balanced. It’s clear, however, that as long as the speed of our car on the straight was that of the GTD and not the GTLM it was difficult to compete. I am very disappointed. It’s frustrating to leave this track feeling like this and it’s hard to accept because it’s not the first time it’s happened“.

James Calado: “We are disappointed that we had to retire, both for the team and for the work we drivers put in. I’m sorry I didn’t give Giuseppe [Risi, ed.] the result we all hoped for. From the driving point of view, we did everything we could to maximise the car’s potential. We knew it would be tough, but we didn’t think it would be that hard. We struggled to stay up with the others, even though we hold nothing back. The tyre explosion was instantaneous, with no warning. I am disappointed about the Balance of Performance because it meant we were unable to fight on equal terms with the others. In the Petit Le Mans, we had a car that could battle for victory, but not here, so we would like to review certain parameters“.

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