dimanche 19 mars 2017
Strong second in GTD for Scuderia Corsa at 12 Hours of Sebring
After leading on multiple occasions throughout the race and rarely ever dipping below the top-three throughout all 12 hours of competition, Scuderia Corsa drivers Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan, and Matteo Cressoni would run a faultless race en route to second during today's Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The reigning Champions returned to Sebring where the team took victory during the debut of the all-new Ferrari 488 GT3 last year. Honoring the 70th anniversary of Ferrari this year, hopes were high that Los Angeles-based group could add another Sebring victory to the legacy. After an intense fight, there would be two Ferraris on the podium, one in each GT category, and that is an excellent testament to Ferrari heritage on its 70th anniversary.
Starting in 10th place, the team's championship potential was demonstrated during an impressive first four hours, gaining nine positions to take the lead by time they hit the third hour, and with the No. 63 ultimately taking an important second-place during race's four-hour mark, earning a valuable four points towards the team's North American Endurance efforts.
As the long grueling hours of racing continued, the vital middle section of the race, where mistakes and lapses in judgement are most prevalent, no one on the team put a foot wrong. Continuing the form seen in the first four hours, all three drivers took their turn at either leading or maintaining a comfortable top-three pace, once again crossing the line in second as the race hit the Eight Hour mark, and again earning a valuable four points towards their endurance championship efforts.
Scuderia Corsa didn't leave anything on the table and ultimately advanced several positions in the North American Endurance Championship adding strong momentum heading in to the "sprint" season.
For Christina Nielsen, a second place finish would prove satisfying.
"I've always had very good luck at Sebring, and of course a very good team also," stated Nielsen. "I've had three class podiums, one victory, two second places, two endurance wins, I'm super stoked. The Riley Team, I would say, had the best opportunity and they took advantage of it, so huge congratulations to those guys they did a great job. But, I couldn't be more proud of Scuderia Corsa; Matteo Cressoni, Alessandro Balzan, they were just a mega team and we took the best opportunity that we had and made the most of it."
For Giacomo Mattioli, team owner of Scuderia Corsa, a perfect group effort is all he can ask.
"After last year victory, Sebring has been good to us again. With the second place, we are getting the team valuable points in Championships, IMSA and North American Endurance Cup. Everyone should be very proud of our podium effort today," stated Mattioli. "We had perfect pit stops, a great strategy, and of course Christina, Alessandro and Matteo did an excellent job, there's not one scratch on No. 63. This is the sort of race that we'll look back on as one that paved the way to our Championship contention."
With the second race of both the IMSA Championship as well as North American Endurance Championship behind, all attention now turns to the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the first "sprint" race of the 2017 season. Taking place in the team's Southern California backyard, an effort to impress in front of their home crowd will be second-to-none. Practice begins on Friday, April 7, with the race taking place one day later on April 8.
Scuderia Corsa Press Release
Photos: Ferrari Media