June 30, 2013 – Watkins Glen, NY. After days of pouring rain, the sun came out temporarily for Sunday’sSahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen where the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 battled a competitive and crowded field of GT cars to a top five finish, resulting in the team’s fifth top five finish in just seven races.
Alessandro Balzan, one of this year’s breakout stars in the GT class, started the race in 5th position. Within 12 laps he took the lead in a dramatic move, overtaking the two leading cars in one corner. Balzan then held the lead for 11 laps before pitting for new tires and fuel. On lap 41 Balzan handed the Ferrari over to Craig Stanton, who was added to the driver lineup for the Watkins Glen race.
Under the fourth yellow of the race, team co-driver Jeff Westphal took over in good position thanks to a fast pit and began chasing down the leaders as the rain began to fall hard. Numerous drivers slid off the course with slick tires causing several yellows. Balzan took his second and final stint behind the wheel on slick tires as the rain began to fade. He then set his fastest lap of the day of 1:52.286, pushing his way back up to the final 5th position at the checkered flag.
Of his team’s performance, co-owner Art Zafiropoulo, said, “I was pleased to be here at the Glen and I’m very proud of our team and the job they did in the pits. Alessandro was outstanding today and got faster as the race went on.”
Balzan, in his first outing at the famed Watkins Glen circuit added, “overall I’m satisfied with the car’s performance and the team’s effort. They did an amazing job preparing the car and were fantastic in the pits. I’m satisfied with our top 5 finish today. The season is only halfway through!”
Craig Stanton, the veteran driver and DP track record holder at the Glen who joined the team for this weekend’s race said, “it was an honor to drive with Scuderia Corsa led by Giacomo Mattioli. The team did a great job today. I want to thank my amazing teammates this weekend and feel we worked well together. The boys did amazing pit stops, the car ran flawlessly and was prepared perfectly for this race.”
“It was a challenging race with ups and downs. I drove hard but had issues being stuck in traffic that lost me some time. I’m proud of the team for battling through and figuring out the best way through after I came in. Having the car on the track for six hours wasn’t easy, but #63 was quickest at the end,” said team co-driver Jeff Westphal, sharing his thoughts on the marathon six-hour race.
The intermittent rain and 6 yellow flags wreaked havoc on team strategies while the high humidity and heat challenged the stamina of the drivers and proved, once again, that many factors and lots of luck lead to a good finish at the Six Hours of the Glen.