Scuderia Corsa hunts GTD victory at Circuit of the Americas

Scoring two consecutive podiums in the last two rounds of IMSA competition, Scuderia Corsa will head in to this weekend's fourth race of the season at the famed Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in the hopes of continuing their championship challenge. Now 23 points away from the lead with nine races remaining, drivers Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan will take to the wheel of their No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 with a focused approach on defending their 2016 title.

Just minutes away from scenic downtown Austin, Texas, COTA has quickly become a staple of the North American racing scene. As the lone U.S. circuit to host the Formula One World Championship every year, the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit is notorious for providing exciting racing and wheel-to-wheel action.

Scuderia Corsa will arrive in Austin having had success at the venue previously, with Nielsen and Balzan having taken a podium finish there last year, which served to all-but-clinch the 2016 GTD category championship for the team.

As part of the continued celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Ferrari, the team will look to continue their streak as the mid-season focus on championship points continues.

For Christina Nielsen, a return to one of her favorite circuits is always something to look forward to.

"I am very much looking forward to COTA," stated Nielsen. "We had a great finish last year with a P3 and got on the podium. It's a little different going in as last year it was the second-to-last round, we're going in to it this year as only the fourth round of the championship, so we're not as nervous as we might have been. Secondly, it should be a lot different racing there in May compared to September when we used to do the race, so I think everyone will be on new ground in terms of the setup that we used last year that was based on high temperatures, lots of sun and a high level of humidity. I'm hoping that it will be cooler this year, we haven't done any testing, but the team always starts out with a good baseline and then makes some fine tuning, so hopefully we can do the same this weekend. We've had two podiums in the last two races so it would be nice to continue this way, but it's a new race and a new track, and I'm looking forward to it."

For Alessandro Balzan, a return to the unique city of Austin always creates fond memories.

"Visiting Austin is always something we look forward to," stated Balzan. "The city itself is unlike any other place that we visit, but also one of our favorites. The layout of COTA always provides for great racing, and with so many straights, tight corners, fast chicanes, and everything else we should see a lot of passing and a lot of action. We had a great race last year with our podium, and now that we're in the position to chase after the championship leader I think we can be even more aggressive."

For team owner Giacomo Mattioli, the championship is very much at the forefront.

"After the last race, the championship is really in focus for us," stated Mattioli. "The team has proven all-season a strong resolve to make their way to the front, and it was never more evident than with our great podium performance at Long Beach. COTA should be a great track for our Ferrari, and of course in this 70th Anniversary year we want to deliver results more than ever."

Practice for the fourth round of the championship begins this Thursday, May 4, with racing action taking place on Saturday, May 6. Same-day television coverage will be available on FOX Sports 1 at 7PM ET.

Scuderia Corsa Press Release