The no. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari and the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari began to show their pace and durability as the 2020 running of the 24 Hours at Daytona crossed the half-way mark. With a smaller than typical grid, caution flags have been rare, with only one featuring in the past six hours of running. Its timing was fortuitous as it allowed the Ferrari teams to leverage clever strategy to regain front-running position in both the GTLM and GTD categories.
GTLM. After mega stints from Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, Davide Rigon is at the wheel to bring the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE through the half-way mark in the race. After a minor issue with the driver-side door cost the team valuable time, the afformentioned caution period allowed the team to close the gap. Risi’s fast work in the pits allowed the team to jump into 2nd in the category, where James enjoyed a prolonged duel with the leading BMW. Unfortunately, the straight-line speed deficit handed to the Ferrari by the balance-of-performance regulations meant it was impossible to pass, despite much better braking and cornering performance. Ultimately James had to pit and hand the car over. Davide Rigon rejoined the action in 4th place, just 12 seconds behind the class leader.
GTD. With Cooper MacNeil’s drive time 2/3rds of the way complete, the team has begun to lean more heavily on the professional portion of its line up, rotating Jeff Westphal, Alessandro Balzan and Toni Vilander through their no. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. A similar bit of clever pit strategy allowed the team to also gain track position and run strongly in 2nd place for a time. Unfortunately, at the restart, the team was on older tires than many of their competitors and they rapidly lost some of the ground they had gained before reclaiming it as the variability in the strategy plays out. As they cross the half-way point, the team runs third, 16 seconds off the leader.