|Race day was extremely busy for us, with lots of drivers, the autograph session, and the fan walk. (Photo: Bob Chapman, Autosport Image)|
Saturday – Race Day!
Saturday was race day, and it FLEW by. Upon arriving at the track, we had a driver meeting, a team meeting, an autograph session, and a fan parade on the pre grid pretty much back to back in terms of time. With all those commitments – none of them are optional for the drivers – it kept me moving until 12:25 when I hopped into the Ferrari and got ready to take the green flag.
|Lots of traffic at the start as our Ferrari is surrounded by Porsches, BMWs and Corvettes. Things were close but we had a clean start. (Photo: Bob Chapman, Autosport Image)|
In the Rolex Series there are two classes – Daytona Prototype and GT. The Prototypes have their own start, with the GT cars starting about thirty seconds behind, so we can just focus on our own race during the opening laps without worrying about the Prototypes. At the start, the Porsche in third position of Patrick Lindsay / Patrick Long was strong, and tried to squeeze me out in turn two but I was able to keep my nose inside and create an opportunity to sneak by and follow the two GM cars (one Camaro and one Corvette) away from the field.
|On the podium with my teammate, Alessandro Balzan! He did a great job with almost no practice to help secure second place for our team. (Photo: Bob Chapman, Autosport Image)|
We had a full course caution and we made a strategy call for a splash of fuel, and the Scuderia Corsa guys got me back out on track ahead of everyone else who stopped so we were in second place. After the restart, I chased down the leading Corvette – who hadn’t stopped – and passed him using the same tires I started the race with. I was able to pull away and when it was time to stop for fuel and tires, I handed the car over to Alessandro in first place.
The guys gave us a great stop but we were beat out of the pits by the Stevenson Camaro. Alessandro had to chase him down and put a ton of pressure on him – the Ferrari was fast but Barber is a really tough track to make passes on, and the driver in the Camaro, Robin Liddell, is an outstanding GT driver. Alessando secured second place, only 0.8 of a second behind the winner. It was really impressive to see him drive that well since he only had four laps on the track in the wet before he got in the car during the race and had never been to the track before.
|The Scuderia Corsa guys put away our Ferrari – it will come out again next weekend at Road Atlanta! (Photo: Bob Chapman, Autosport Image)|
After getting on the podium, I can’t wait to get back on track in the Ferrari with Alessandro and the Scuderia Corsa team. We’ll be racing at Road Atlanta on April 20. Watch us on SPEED!