four races in the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Series season, Ferrari's return has gone
particularly well. With a model built specifically for Grand-Am competition –
the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am – Ferrari has won consecutive races to take
the lead in the GT class championship standings.
victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway and New Jersey Motorsports Park put
Ferrari atop the Rolex Series GT manufacturer's championship. The latter
victory broke a tie to move the Italian automobile manufacturer into the
championship lead over Porsche, 128-123, with Mazda third at 117.
brought a smile to racing legend and former Ferrari factory driver Mario
about success for Ferrari always makes
me happy,” said Andretti, whose laurels include a victory in the 1972 Rolex 24
so magical…the name resonates around the world. When Ferrari scores, I think everybody is happy. I certainly have a
soft spot for them. I love when Ferrari is successful.”
enjoyed past success in Grand-Am, winning the Rolex Series GT manufacturer's
championship in 2003. Ferrari driver Cort Wagner shared back-to-back GT titles,
co-driving with Bill Auberlen in 2002 and Brent Martini in 2003.
have the Ferrari brand successful again in the Rolex Series has both present
and future implications," said Mark Raffauf, Grand-Am's managing director
of racing operations. "Ferrari racing – and winning – shines a spotlight
on the Rolex Series both in North America and Europe. It helps the current
competitive environment, and it bodes well for the environment in coming years.
it's really nice to see how competitive GT has become with the mix of our
traditional cars as well as the inclusion of the new European cars such as
Ferrari. GT racing these days is spectacular in Grand-Am."
and Emil Assentato of AIM Autosport Team FXDD won their second straight GT race
in Sunday's Global Barter 250 presented by Susan G. Komen for the Cure at New
Jersey, co-driving the No. 69 Ferrari. The pair leads Magnus Racing's Andy
Lally and John Potter by eight points in the driver standings, 125-117 – the
same margin for AIM over Magnus in the GT team championship.
truly gratifying to be part of the whole experience since we started with
Ferrari,” Segal said. “Seeing everything come together as quickly as it has –
and as well as it has – is just incredible. There are many people in Italy who
have worked hard to make this project a reality.”
whose family once owned a Ferrari dealership in Philadelphia, became the
youngest winner in the Grand-Am sanctioned Ferrari Challenge when he won at
Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2003 at age 17.
linked with the Ferrari brand since I was a kid,” Segal said. “Ferrari is a
company with a huge international standing and huge brand awareness. Everyone
around the world knows who and what Ferrari is. But as a company, it's quite
small. It's really a family feel.”
Ferrari 458s started the year with a flourish, with five entries in the
season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, led by fifth-place finishers Toni Vilander,
Olivier Beretta and Andrew Bertolini in the Risi Competizione entry. After
finishing eighth in the Rolex 24, Segal and Assentato placed second in the
Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, a preview of things to come at
Homestead and New Jersey.
Assentato – the 2010 GT champions when they co-drove Mazdas – will try to pad
their lead on June 2, when the Rolex Series season resumes at Raceway Belle
Isle Park in Detroit.
just an unbelievable resource with our partner in Ferrari,” Segal said. “This
car is built special for the Rolex Series but it is still heavily based on the
GT3 car, and there are 40 of those in the world. We have a lot of support
and we are learning a lot.”