Ferrari will be represented in both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT classes in the season-ending Petit Le Mans on Saturday at Road Atlanta.
Defending Petit class winner Scuderia Corsa is coming off its best finish of the season in the GT Daytona class and is in solid contention for the Endurance Cup, while Risi Competizione returns to the series in the GT Le Mans category with its trio of Le Mans-winning drivers.
GTLM. Risi Competizione will be looking for its fourth triumph in the 10-hour endurance test, fielding the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE for 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans winners James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra. This will be the team’s second appearance of the IMSA season, with Calado and Pier Guidi finishing second for Giuseppe Risi’s Houston-based team in the 24 Hours At Daytona.
Calado, Pier Guidi and Serra won the French endurance classic in June for AF Corse, driving a Ferrari 488 GTE. Serra also won three of four recent races in Blancpain GT World Challenge America competition for R. Ferri Motorsport, helping co-driver Toni Vilander to an early clinch of the championship. This will be the fourth Petit Le Mans appearance for Serra, who competes in the Brazilian Stock Car Series in his native country.
Risi Competizione won the inaugural Petit Le Mans in 1998, with Wayne Taylor, Eric van der Poele and Emmanuel Collard sharing a Ferrari F333 SP. Risi scored back-to-back GT2 triumphs in 2008-2009, with Jamie Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer in a Ferrari 430 GT3. The team’s most recent IMSA victory was in the 2016 Petit Le Mans, with Vilander, Calado and Giancarlo Fisichella taking GTLM honors.
“Petit Le Mans has been a special race to me and the team since it first started at Road Atlanta 22 years ago,” said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. “Having won that inaugural race in 1998 and three additional victories, I’m quite fond of this race and this venue.”
GTD. Cooper MacNeil and Vilander posted a season-best second-place finish in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 in the recent IMSA event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, scoring their second-straight podium after finishing third at Virginia International Raceway. They will be joined in the finale by Jeff Westphal, who finished third with MacNeil and Vilander earlier this season in the endurance classics at Sebring and Watkins Glen.
MacNeil is the defending GTD winner of the event in the WeatherTech Ferrari. Serra joined Scuderia Corsa for the 2018 race, going to the front with an on-track pass with 50 minutes remaining and leading the rest of the way.
“We won Petit last year and I know we can do it again,” said MacNeil. “Toni and I were on the podium at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Jeff was with us on the podium at The Glen. We tested at [Road Atlanta] after the VIR race, so we should unload the WeatherTech Racing Ferrari one-step ahead in regard to set-up and what to expect. I am looking forward to a lot of driving this week and hopefully some winning!”
Vilander, MacNeil and Westphal are currently second in the Endurance Cup, trailing the leaders by only three points. The competition embraces the events at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen, with points at the finale to be awarded after four, eight and 10 hours. Vilander and MacNeil are fifth in the GTD season championship.
“I am looking forward to the last race of the IMSA season,” Vilander said. “We have been having good results lately with our podium finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Cooper put in a great opening stint, got us great track position and I was able to bring it home to the podium. Jeff joins us again, in his last race with us we were on the podium. The team won Petit last year, so we will try and repeat that effort on Saturday.”
RACE SCHEDULE. There will be three practice sessions on Thursday, at 11:15 a.m., 3:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times ET), with final practice at 11:15 a.m. on Friday. Qualifying for Petit Le Mans begins at 3:55 p.m. on Friday. The race takes the green flag at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday. Television coverage begins at noon ET with a three-hour program on the NBC Network, with coverage continuing on the NBC Sports App at 3 p.m. and NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. IMSA Radio and SiriusXM will also provide live coverage.