DAYTONA BEACH, Fl. (January 26, 2016)- Following one of the closest qualifying sessions in recent history for the 24 Hours of Daytona, Scuderia Corsa’s Alessandro Balzan managed a daring last-lap to secure the team’s No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 a front row position, qualifying second and missing the pole position by less than two-hundredths of a second in the GT-Daytona (GTD) class. With the first-place qualifier also competing for Ferrari, this would secure a front-row sweep in the Daytona debut for the Ferrari 488 GT3, occurring on the 50-year anniversary of the marque’s incredible 1-2-3 victory at the 1967 event.
“It’s something that is really one-of-a-kind,” stated Balzan. “It was nice to do this kind of time, and we learned a lot about the car. This makes me very excited for the race, I have a big smile.”
With only 10 minutes to turn the fastest lap possible for tomorrow’s 24-hour race, Alessandro took a unique approach to the session, saving his tires and waiting for the ideal track conditions on lap eight, the final lap of the session, to pull his fast lap of 1:47.117, good enough for the front row and literally 0.018 seconds away from the top position.For Scuderia Corsa team principal Giacomo Mattioli, a similar enthusiasm is shared.
“I’m very happy for the Ferrari 1-2 result today,” stated Mattioli. “This was a great way to introduce the Ferrari 488 GT3 to the high banks of Daytona, and we couldn’t be happier with Alessandro pushing so hard on the last lap. I’m really happy that Ferrari was once again able to put on a great show for the fans, and we look forward to a great race on Saturday!”
While the team will be able to take some enjoyment on the day’s front-row effort, the real focus is two days away as the team prepares for 24 hours of racing, beginning Saturday at 2:30PM ET. Coverage within the U.S. will begin at 2PM ET on FOX, with international coverage available all 24 hours via imsa.com.
Continued updates can be found on the team’s social media channels, as well as full race coverage on imsa.com.
About Scuderia Corsa
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 to Bob Chapman, Autosport Image