R.Ferri Motorsport and AIM Autosport Racing With Ferrari have announced a newly formed effort to compete in the 2013 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, beginning with the 51st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26-27.
Hosted by Ferrari of Ontario/Alberta President Remo Ferri, the media event to announce the new program featured the first look at the team's new Ferrari 458 Italia, as well as the naming of the driver lineup for the No. 61 entry (ABOVE). Indy car, Formula 1 and NASCAR veteran Max Papis makes his return to sports car racing and the famed Ferrari marque with the team, joining two-time and reigning Rolex Series GT champion Jeff Segal for the full-season campaign.
"I'm super excited because from my journey in the sport, I'm reunited with the brand that helped me come to America," Papis told SPEED.com. "And to be back in sports car racing full time – on the verge of 2014, with what will be one of the best unified championships in the world – is really exciting."
"We're now trying to put together a great opportunity and a dream of winning the 24 Hours at Daytona," said Ferri. "Max is a great driver; a high profile driver. The AIM Autosport team has been great through the entire process and is definitely the right choice. We decided to create a Canadian entry. Our expectation is to continue the pedigree of Ferrari cars. It is part of our DNA, and it is a great part of my life. We are now ready to take it to the next level."
The AIM Autosport team is preparing for a two-car campaign in 2013, adding the No. 61, to the established No. 69 FXDD entry.
"This is a great opportunity for AIM Autosport to be able to expand our program from one to two cars," said Ian Willis, team co-owner and lead engineer. "The addition of the Ferrari of Ontario entry alongside the 2012 championship winning FXDD program is a tribute to our team and the success that we've achieved this past year."
The new driver combination for the No. 61 is touted as a serious contender in the 2013 Rolex GT Sports Car Series, and the upcoming Rolex 24.
"We're excited at this driver pairing of Max and Jeff," team co-owner Andrew Bordin said. "Each of them brings so much experience to the team, having both been involved with Ferrari in the past years. We know that we have the right combination
The on-track debut for the R.Ferri Motorsport and AIM Autosport Racing With Ferrari effort is slated for the upcoming "Roar Before the Rolex 24" test session at Daytona, set for Jan. 6-8. Additional announcements regarding the full AIM Autosport two-car driver lineup will be released in the coming weeks.