Ferrari returned to action under the lights at Daytona International Speedway, with Scuderia Corsa taking a solid fifth-place finish in Saturday evening’s WeatherTech 240.
Cooper MacNeil and Toni Vilander shared the No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO 2020 that carried a patriotic red, white and blue livery to celebrate America’s Independence Day.
Similar to the season-opening 24 At Daytona – where long green flag stretches prevented the team from making up a lap lost due to a brake change – lack of cautions again prevented the team from converting the strong race pace into a podium result.
“Tough finish for us today, we were poised to have a good weekend,” MacNeil said. “Qualifying was close on the time sheet, but we finished where we started. We gave it everything we had.”
MacNeil was at the wheel of the Ferrari when his father – WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil – gave the command for drivers to start their engines. Delayed by 40 minutes due to lighting, the race started in light rain which quickly let off as the track was nearly dry within 10 laps.
“It was tricky conditions at the beginning,” said MacNeil, who started on slick tires. “I focused on keeping the car in winning condition for Toni on dry tires on a wet racetrack with everything pointed in the right direction. We had no mechanical issues and we come away with the WeatherTech Ferrari in one piece with some good points. Long season still to go.”
Vilander ran the fastest lap of the race in the GT Daytona class, 1:47.288-seconds, but could not erase the early deficit as the two-hour, 40-minute race ran green start to finish.
“We unloaded really good on Friday,” Vilander said. “We were the fastest in the first practice. Cooper did a great job in qualifying, all of the GTD cars were close. We made the decision to start on slicks. Cooper really had his hands full and did a fantastic job to keep the WeatherTech Ferrari on the track and in a competitive position. When I got in we just couldn’t match the pace of the Lexus and Acura cars today. We will go to Sebring where we have run well in the past and look to keep improving.”
After a hiatus of more than five months due to the Coronavirus shutdown, the WeatherTech Championship swings back in action in two weeks with the Grand Prix of Sebring on Saturday, July 18.