The Squadra Corse Ferrari took its third SRO GT World Challenge America victory of the season Saturday, regaining the lead in the Pro Am championship in a 90-minute race at Road America.
Pro-Am. Martin Fuentes managed to avoid an incident in Turn 1 on the opening lap that opened the door to victory for the No. 1 Hublot/Ferrari of Ford Lauderdale/The Concours Club Ferrari 488 GT3.
Entering the weekend with a one-point deficit, Fuentes and Baptista now lead the Pro Am standings by 16 points, 116-100.
Barely avoiding contact when his top-two Pro Am competitors spun, Fuentes ran third overall throughout his stint, pitting as soon as the pit window opened at the 45-minute mark to turn the Ferrari over to Baptista.
“I had a good start, and I was right behind the pole position,” Fuentes said. “I don’t know what happened behind me, but I looked over and saw the rear of the other Mercedes almost touch my mirror. We were so lucky, because I didn’t have anywhere to go. I’m happy we went on to win the race.”
The team lost ground following a pit stop as Baptista was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane infringement. He returned to the race with 30 minutes remaining, and was able to maintain the class lead while placing fourth overall.
“For sure, it’s good for the points and good for the championship, but it wasn’t a nice race,” Baptista said. “The two Mercedes crashed in the first turn, and they touched our car, so our car was a little bit damaged, and wasn’t nice to drive – we were out there alone on the track.”
Baptista will start Sunday’s race from third position and fifth overall.