Μπορεί τα μάτια να είναι στραμμένα στην Formula 1 που ξεκινά την επόμενη εβδομάδα, αλλά στον 12ωρο αγώνα Sebring η Ferrari πήγε εκεί την 458 GT2. Η ομάδα που την εκπροσωπεί είναι η Risi Competizione, η οποία μετά από πολλές νίκες και συμμετοχές στο Αμερικάνικο πρωτάθλημα Le Mans Series αλλά και στον 24ωρο ομώνυμο αγώνα, παίρνει μέρος τόσο με Ferrari 458 GTC όσο και με μια F430 GT2. Την 458 GTC την οδηγούν ο Βραζιλιάνος Jaime Melo και οι Φιλανδοί Toni Vilander και Mika Salo.
Αποτελέσματα των κατατακτηρίων αλλά και μεγάλη photogallery στη συνέχεια.
[Πηγή: Ferrari , Risi Competizione via Jon Sibal | Photos Copyright: Ferrari, Regis Lefebure/Risi]
Ferrari makes its mark in qualifying for Sebring 12 Hours
Maranello, 19 March – The enthralling Sebring 12 Hours got underway with a fifteen minute qualifying session, for what is the opening round of the prestigious American Le Mans Series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
Qualifying was closely contested and of the seven Ferraris entered in the GT class, pole went to the AF Corse F430 GTC, proving that this car is still extremely competitive. In the experienced hands of Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Pierre Kaffer, the F430 GTC prepared by the team from Piacenza set a fastest time of 2.01.561 on its third lap, a time just 182 thousandths faster than the Corvette Racing car of Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Richard Westbrook (2.01.743.) Third on the grid will be the BMW Motorsport of Augusto Farfus-Bill Auberlen-Dirk Werner (2.01.841) which missed out on the front row by a mere 98 thousandths. Alongside it is its sister car driven by Andy Priaulx, Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand, fourth in 2.02.139.
After going well in free practice, the Risi Competizione 458 Italia GT2, making its international debut in this famous race, was fifth fastest in qualifying, in the hands of Jaime Melo, who stopped the clock in 2.02.290. There is still everything to play for for the Houston team: they have dominated the last four Sebring 12 Hours and this time they are running the new V8 powered sports car based on the 458 Italia, with the aim of equalling the amazing run of wins achieved by the F430 GTC.
The car’s maiden outing will be watched by a special guest in the shape of Ferrari managing director, Amedeo Felisa, who is in Florida to watch the race which starts at 10.30 local time today.
International debut for the 458 Italia GT2 at the Sebring 12 Hours
Maranello, 18 March – This weekend sees the new 458 Italia GT2 make its much awaited debut at the famous Sebring 12 Hours race, the opening round of the prestigious American Le Mans Series and of the intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
With this car, the Risi Competizione team will try and match the extraordinary series of wins obtained by the F430 GTC over the past four runnings of this classic event. The new V8 sports car, based on the 458 Italia and developed by Ferrari in conjunction with Michelotto Automobili, picks up where the F430 GTC left off and on this occasion it will be driven by a crew consisting of Brazil’s Jaime Melo and the two Finns, Toni Vilander and Mika Salo.
Watching the 458 Italia GT2 on its maiden outing will be special guest, Ferrari managing director Amedeo Felisa, who arrives today in Sebring to witness this special event which also sees over eighty Ferrari owners taking part this evening in a parade that marks the opening of the race weekend prior to the actual start on Saturday at 10.30 local time.
Other cars entered in the GTE Pro category include the F430 GTC prepared by AF Corse and entrusted to the experienced Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Pierre Kaffer, who will tackle the event looking to score as many championship points as possible. After this race in the United States, the AF Corse team will also swap its F430 for the new 458 Italia GT2, having only recently made its track debut with Fisichella and Bruni at the Le Mans Series official test day.