The 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona will feature the debut of the Ferrari 488 GTE. The new racer from Maranello will challenge for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory in one of the most demanding and challenging classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The new car performed well earlier this month at the traditional Roar Before the Rolex 24 with SMP Racing and Scuderia Corsa. The third team, Risi Competizione was forced to skip the official test being busy preparing their car in Italy.
For the Daytona 24 Hours race Ferrari will have a slight advantage of fielding three cars. Their rivals from BMW, Corvette, Ford and Porsche will have two-car efforts each. The three Ferrari teams are maybe privateers but they are very well prepared and have some solid line-ups.
Risi Competzione is a long time front running Ferrari team in North American sportscar racing with massive experience in endurance classics. At Daytona the #62 Ferrari GTE will be driven by four Ferrari factory drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta. Risi Competizione is the only Ferrari team doing the complete the 2016 IMSA season.
Scuderia Corsa is debuting in the GT Le Mans class with Ferrari. In the past seasons they performed very well in IMSA and GRAND-AM competitions. In 2015 the team clinched the GT Daytona championship title. Their #68 Ferrari 488 GTE will be shared by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Alexandre Premat, Daniel Serra and Memo Rojas, a very solid line-up. Scuderia Corsa will compete in all four North American Endurance Cup (NAEC) races this year.
The third Ferrari entry at Daytona is a Russian one, from SMP Racing. The team won the 2015 FIA WEC GTE-Am title with the Ferrari 458 Italia. In Florida the 488 effort is supported by the all-conquering AF Corse squad. Viktor Shaytar from Russia will be joined by three Ferrari works drivers, Andrea Bertolini, Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado.
GT Le Mans entry list for the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Photos: Scuderia Corsa, Risi Competizione / SMP Racing