The Ferrari 488 GTE of Risi Competizione just missed out on victory in the GTLM class at the 57th edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona. The car finished runner-up just over a second (1.149) behind Team RLL’s BMW no. 25. The race was suspended with the red flag due to rain about two hours from the end when the Houston team’s Ferrari was battling for the win after leading for a number of laps. The Ferrari crews had difficult races in GTD class where the best result was ninth for the 488 GT3 of Via Italia Racing, which started from pole. The two 488 GT3 cars of Spirit of Race and Scuderia Corsa had to retire while in amongst the leaders. Both of them had also led at times.
GTLM. Ferrari was highly competitive right in the GTLM class right from the start. Car no. 62 of Risi Competizione, with its young but very experienced crew, kept out of the trouble that dogged the class from the early stages. So, while Chevrolet, Ford and BMW encountered problems, David Rigon and James Calado kept their car between second and fourth place ahead of the Porsches and the second of the Corvettes. With nightfall, all the drivers, including Alessandro Pier Guidi and Miguel Molina, had done at least one stint at the wheel, with some of them putting in a double stint, and others like Molina, even a triple. At around 4 am, the rain began to fall and James Calado performed like a true world champion. The British driver was much faster than the rivals, comfortably holding onto first. He then handed the wheel to Pier Guidi but the race was immediately red flagged due to the flooded track. After a break of over two hours the battle resumed with the Ferrari still in the leading group and ready to seize any opportunity. One such chance came when the Porsche no. 912 and the Ford no. 66, which had occupied the top two positions on a different strategy from that of the Ferrari team, came into contact. Two hours from the end, the 488 GTE slipped back into third after a pit stop, but Calado, back behind the wheel, took it up to second on the tail of the BMW no. 25 of Augusto Farfus. Shortly after came the second and final suspension with red flag. It was the first time there had been two red flags in the history of the 24 Hours of Daytona.
GTD. In GTD class Marcos Gomes, who took pole position in car no. 13 of Via Italia Racing, enjoyed an excellent start to the race. The Brazilian driver, who had initially lost the leading place to Ben Keating’s Mercedes, fought back and pulled away from his rival before handing over to Longo. Francisco was rather unlucky, spinning and losing two laps. The car then lost two more in the early part of the night but with some great stints Gomes, Andrea Bertolini and Victor Franzoni made up three laps to finish in ninth position. Spirit of Race no. 51 and Scuderia Corsa no. 63 had a difficult race. The 488 GT3 driven by Mathias Lauda, Pedro Lamy, Daniel Serra and Paul Dalla Lana was involved in an accident with the Lamborghini no. 47 and lost 30 laps for repairs before retirement. The Ferrari of Scuderia Corsa, crewed by Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil, Jeff Westphal and Dominik Farnbacher, was in the mix for victory until two and a half hours from the end when, at the bus stop chicane, Vilander crashed into a lapped Porsche that was going slowly. The damage was too great to continue. The overall race went to Alonso-Kobayashi-Van der Zande-Taylor.