Three Ferrari teams will be in action at Circuit of The Americas as the SRO GT World Challenge America opens its 2020 campaign with a pair of weekend races staged at the Texas circuit.
Vital Speed will field the No. 6 and No. 7 Ferrari 488 GT3s, while Squadra Corse has the No. 1 Ferrari and TR3 Racing the No. 31 entry for the events on the 20-turn, 3.426-mile Formula One grade circuit.
Defending GT America champion Martin Fuentes returns to the No. 1 Hublot/Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale/The Concours Club 488 GT3, co-driving with Rodrigo Baptista in the Pro-Am category.
Fuentes will be seeking his third-consecutive and fifth career championship in the series, all earned in a Ferrari. Last year, Fuentes scored a weekend sweep for Squadra Corse at COTA, co-driving with Caesar Bacarella on his way to taking nine victories and the World Challenge America Am title. In 2018, the Mexican veteran doubled up at COTA on his way to winning 13 races and sweeping the Sprint GTA and SprintX GT Am championships. Fuentes also won nine races for Squadra Corse in 2016, sweeping the COTA races en route to taking the GTA title.
Baptista will be racing a Ferrari for the first time in GT World Challenge America competition after winning 13 races with K-Pax Racing over the past three seasons.
Jeff Westphal and Trevor Baek will co-drive the No. 7 Metier Studio/Vital Enterprises/Novus/Sift Flatwater/Cinder Ferrari, competing in the Pro-Am class. Vital Speed also fields the No. 6 entry with similar sponsors for Richard Baek and Mark Issa in the Am category.
Making his GT World Challenge America debut this weekend, Westphal has extensive experience behind the wheel of a Ferrari, having taken to the podium in IMSA WeatherTech Championship and Grand-Am Series competition. Most recently, the 2019 IMSA Pilot Challenge GS champion raced a Ferrari 488 GT3 with Scuderia Corsa in the 2020 24 At Daytona.
Issa made his Ferrari Challenge debut at COTA in 2019 and went on to capture the championship, winning six of 12 races with 10 poles. He also ran four races in GT World Challenge America competition in 2019 for Squadra Corse, debuting with a pair of Am class victories at Watkins Glen International.
The father-son team of Rich and Trevor Baek co-drove in the 2019 weekend at COTA for Vital Speed Motorsports, with the Ferrari Challenge graduates finishing fifth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. Rich Baek is already a winner in 2020, winning the second race of the season-opening Ferrari Challenge weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
TR3 Racing returns to the Pro-Am class with the No. 31 Ferrari for Ziad Ghandour and Matteo Cressoni, both making their GT World Challenge America debuts.
Ghandour is a six-year veteran of Ferrari Challenge competition. He is coming off his best season, winning four of eight races and capturing three poles en route to placing second in the 2019 North American championship for Boardwalk Ferrari. He also has eight career triumphs in international Ferrari Challenge competition.
Cressoni has an extensive international resume, placing third in the 2019 European Le Mans GTE championship for Ferrari.
On-track activity begins on Friday with a pair of one-hour sessions, beginning at 10:25 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. (all times Central). Qualifying is Saturday at 9:40 a.m. (driver one) and 10 a.m. (driver two). The opening 90-minute race will be Saturday at 1:35 p.m., with race two Sunday at 1:15 p.m.