April 17, 2016 (Long Beach, Calif.) – It took a daring maneuver on a restart, but Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge ended just as the other ones this season – with Martin Fuentes holding the trophy as the winner of the GT-A class.
Fuentes, driving the no. 07 HUBLOT / Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, had qualified on pole in GT-A and a strong seventh overall for Sunday morning’s 50-minute sprint race. Under sunny, clear skies, the PWC field took the green flag but as the field streamed into the first corner, Fuentes was pushed wide and fell down the order. Before long, a full course caution flew for an incident.
Now in second position in GT-A but with the leader directly in front of him, Fuentes seized an opportunity on the restart to retake the lead with a pass into narrow “Fountain” corner that is one of the hallmarks of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. Leading the race again, Fuentes steadily moved forward through the field winning GT-A by over thirty seconds and finishing in eighth position overall.
With his fifth victory in five races, Fuentes maintains his commanding GT-A championship lead.
“This is a very challenging place to pass, and unfortunately we lost some spots at the start,” said Fuentes. “I had a chance to retake the lead on the restart, because I came out of turn one with more speed, and I had to try it. It wasn’t a 100% move, but it worked. I could have settled for the points for second, which would have still been a great day for us. But I saw an opportunity to make the pass, and we are here to race, so I went for it. The Ferrari was great here at Long Beach, and many thanks to the entire Scuderia Corsa crew for giving me the chance to win here today.”
In Saturday afternoon’s IMSA SportsCar Championship race, Daniel Serra and Alessandro Balzan put in a consistent effort to finish in sixth position in the GT-LeMans class with the no. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE. After starting in ninth position, the team opted for an aggressive strategy to go for the win that unfortunately didn’t paid off and team settled for sixth place.
“It was a wonderful experience to do my first race at Long Beach with Scuderia Corsa,” said Serra. “We raced a strategy that would allow us to use the balance and consistency of the N. 68 Ferrari 488 GTE the most. We had great pit stops from the team and made the most out of the car at Long Beach. This car is still new and we are always learning, and we’ll be able to use what we learned here when we compete in the other races this season.”
“I am extremely proud of the way that Martin has driven this season,” said Roberto Amorosi, Scuderia Corsa Technical Director. “He has obviously improved his championship lead. At the start, when he lost the lead, he stayed calm and kept the car out of trouble, and took the lead back as soon as he had an opportunity. It was a pleasure to have Bill Sweedler again with us this weekend – he did a great job considering the limited track time. In the GT-LeMans class, we learned quite a bit for the other races that we have planned for this season and will come back stronger! Thank you to Daniel and Alessandro whom did the best they could in such challenging conditions”
Fuentes and Scuderia Corsa will compete in only a few days with Pirelli World Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park in Barber, Alabama. Scuderia Corsa’s GT-LeMans and GT-Daytona next IMSA round will be at Laguna Seca on April 29-May 1.
About Scuderia Corsa
2015 24Hours of Le Mans Podium, 2015 IMSA GTD and 2013 Grand-AM Rolex GT championship-winning team Scuderia Corsa was founded in 2013 by Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo.
Follow Scuderia Corsa on Twitter @Scuderia_Corsa, on Facebook at Scuderia Corsa, Instagram at #Scuderiacorsaferrari and ScuderiaCorsa.com
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