After earning a pair of weekend Blancpain GT World Challenge America sweeps at Watkins Glen International with new teammates, the two championship-leading Ferrari drivers will look for the same outcome as those same driver line-ups stay in place for the championship battle this weekend at Road America.
Daniel Serra returns to the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport 488 GT3, joining Pro points leader Toni Vilander. Am leader Martin Fuentes will be rejoined by Mark Issa in the No. 7 Squadra Corse Ferrari. The two 90-minutes races at the historic 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit will serve as the 11th and 12th races of the 2019 campaign.
PRO. The Watkins Glen sweep gave Vilander a 28-point lead with four races remaining in the No. 61 Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta, Zekelman Industries Ferrari 488 GT3. R. Ferri Motorsport now has won four of its last six races – with six consecutive top-two finishes. While Vilander leads the driver points, R. Ferri Motorsport runs second behind a two-car operation in the team standings, now trailing by only two points.
“It’s nice to see the same trend keeps going, that we are stronger at every track we go to after 12 months,” Vilander said. “We’ve done our homework in a nice way. I think we’ve found a really good setup. I’m happy with the car, happy with the team, I’m happy with the way we work the tires. A lot of good things are happening, but we have four important race starts to go. We need to have strong races.” A year ago, Vilander finished second in the Saturday round at Road America but took fifth on Sunday to remain second in the standings in his run to eventually winning the championship.
Serra – a recent Le Mans class winner for Ferrari – replaced Miguel Molina, who was promoted to the World Endurance Championship to race a Ferrari after winning two races with Vilander earlier this season.
“I’m happy for Miguel – it was a good step (going to WEC) for him – but I got a super-strong replacement in Daniel Serra,” Vilander said. “Daniel does not know the track at Road America, so we will need to spend a few extra minutes, but I’m 100-percent sure that he will learn the track in three to four laps.”
PRO-AM. After clinching the Am championship with a weekend sweep at Watkins Glen, Squadra Corse moves to the Pro-Am category with the No. 7 Hublot/Issa Castro Law/Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale Ferrari 488 GT3 for Martin Fuentes and Mark Issa.
Issa is a successful competitor in Ferrari Challenge Coppa Shell competition, winning six of 12 races this season for Ferrari of Atlanta, and made a winning impression as he joined Fuentes at Watkins Glen. The team has swept all four weekends it has entered this season, with Fuentes and former co-driver Caesar Bacarella winning six races. A year ago, Fuentes won the Saturday race at Road America and only came up 0.008-seconds shy of doubling that win count in the Sunday race as he made a furious last lap charge but came up just short.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE. The weekend schedule provisionally opens with a pair of practices on Friday at noon and 4:50 p.m. (all times ET). Qualifying is set for Saturday at 9:55 a.m. for race 1 and 10:15 a.m. for race 2. The 90-minute Saturday round takes the green flag at 3:20 p.m., while Sunday’s event begins at 3:15 p.m.
Both races and qualifying will be streamed live on gt-world-challenge-america.com, with Sunday’s contest live on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The 2019 season will come to a close at Las Vegas on October 19-20.