Braselton, 8 October 2017 – Ferrari, Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan and the Scuderia Corsa team of Giacomo Mattioli are the 2017 champions in the GT-Daytona class of the American IMSA championship. The 488 GT3 no. 63 sidestepped trouble in the Petit Le Mans, which ended in the middle of the night European time, winning all the titles available despite a difficult race. The 488 GTE no. 62 of Risi Competizione, crewed by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella, also sealed a podium finish in GT-LM class.
GT-Daytona. In the GT-Daytona class the 488 GT3 of Scuderia Corsa just needed to plot a very conservative race even though Matteo Cressoni, Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen’s teammate for the occasion, had put the car in pole position with a perfect qualifying. The start of the race was less than ideal on a wet but drying track. Just 15 minutes in Cressoni gave space to the prototype of Team Penske driven by Helio Castroneves but in doing so put a wheel off track losing control of the Ferrari in the wet grass and then colliding with the same prototype. The car managed to return to the track and so at the stroke of the second hour, Balzan and Nielsen sealed the drivers’ title. Later, the car suffered another problem but still reached the finishing line thus enabling Scuderia Corsa and Ferrari to take the Team and Constructors’ titles. This extraordinary clean sweep confirms the effectiveness of the 488 GT3 in major international competitions. The GT-D class race went to the Audi of Team Montaplast by Land Motorsport of Connor De Philippi, Sheldon Van Der Linde and Christopher Mies.
GT-Le Mans. In the GT-Le Mans class the Ferrari 488 GTE of Risi Competizione started from first but was then penalised by yellow flags and later by a problem with a door. Toni Vilander, who took pole position, Giancarlo Fisichella and Alessandro Pier Guidi thus had to mount a comeback to finish third in a race won by the BMW of Team RLL driven by Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims and Kuno Wittmer. The overall win went to the Tequila Patron ESM of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Brendon Hartley.