DAYTONA BEACH, FL. (January 28, 2017) – Beginning the 2018 racing season with tremendous momentum, Scuderia Corsa will walk away from this weekend at Daytona with a successful combination of victories and resilient drives in their Ferrari Challenge and IMSA programs respectively.
Kicking off the weekend in the Ferrari Challenge USA, the team’s driver development program was off to an immediate start following Friday’s Race One victory of Cooper MacNeil in the Trofeo Pirelli category, matched by Michael Fassbender taking his first-ever motorsport victory with a first place in Coppa Shell. Saturday’s Race Two would provide a similar result, with Mark Fuller taking top honors in Coppa Shell, followed by Thomas Tippl taking his first-ever victory in the Coppa Shell AM. Chris Carel would take dual runner-up finishes in Coppa Shell as well, while David MacNeil, Bradley Smith, Jim Camp, and Oscar Arroyo-Paredes would enjoy the high banks of Daytona.
Beginning the top-tier IMSA season at the most notorious event in North America, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the team’s No. 63 and No. 64 Ferrari 488 GT3 entries would both enjoy top-ten finishes, earned by virtue of preparedness and resilience.
Driving the No. 64 Ferrari 488 GT3, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Frankie Montecalvo and Sam Bird would enjoy a relatively mistake-free run en route to a fifth-place finish, gaining valuable championship points toward their quest for the North American Endurance Cup.
The No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3, meanwhile, would overcome early adversity to gain nearly 10 positions throughout their run, with Cooper MacNeil, Gunnar Jeannette, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Segal taking 10th position.
For Bill Sweedler, a top-five provided a solid foundation for their endurance season.
“The 2018 Daytona 24 was uniquely different from any other 24 I have competed in – only 20 minutes of yellow flag running in what seemed like a full day of sprint racing! But Scuderia Corsa and its entire crew, engineers, spotters, and team management handled it flawlessly. My teammates were amazing and helped me keep positive while coping with the Flu during the entire day! Now onto Sebring!”
Enjoying his start to the endurance season, Frankie Montecalvo enjoyed his team debut.
“This Daytona 24 hour was one of the hardest endurance races I’ve ever had the honor of competing in. With so little yellows it felt like an all out sprint race from start to finish. It was a great way to start the season finishing in the top 5. I want to thank the team and my co drivers for their great performance.”
In the No. 63, Cooper MacNeil would perform well to open up his IMSA season.
“[There was] one hiccup the whole race that cost us,” MacNeil said. “We didn’t have the car to win, but we had a top five car. The good news is that we got some good points. Hats off to the team for working hard on getting the problem solved quickly and efficiently, and getting us back out there with minimal laps down. We never gave up. We kept clawing back. We made it back from 18th to finish 10th. And, with as few yellows as we had, I think that was pretty good. I’m looking forward to Sebring.”
For Alessandro Balzan, the professionalism he’s come to expect would continue through the weekend.
“After facing the fixing the electrical issue the race was very smooth, we never had any other problems. The team executed very well. To finish a 24 hour is always a goal and I want to thank the entire team for their continued hard work.”
For team owner, Giacomo Mattioli, a strong performance by the overall program is something to stand behind.
“To bring 11 entries across two series this weekend is a testament to the overall organization,” stated Mattioli. “This weekend represented a complete team effort by Scuderia Corsa. During the 24 Hours, the crew did a great job in reacting and fixing the early race issue. The cars were very competitive throughout the race, and our drivers made disciplined and intelligent decisions. I am proud of the team with continuing our Never Give Up mentality. We are looking forward to the next endurance race at the 12 Hours of Sebring.”
The next event for the Ferrari Challenge USA will take place from March 9-11 at the prestigious Circuit of the Americas, while IMSA will continue one week later at the famed 12 Hours of Sebring, running from March 14-17.
About Scuderia Corsa
2017 IMSA GTD Champion, 2017 Le Mans podium, 2017 6H of Watkins Glen podium, 2017 12H of Sebring podium, 2016 IMSA GTD Champion, 2016 24Hours of Le Mans GTE-Am winner, 2016 6H of Watkins Glen Winner, 2016 12H of Sebring Winner, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GTA Champion, 2015 24Hours of Le Mans Podium, 2015 IMSA GTD and 2013 Grand-AM 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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Picture Credit: Bob Chapman, Autosport Image