Long Beach, 7 April 2017 – On Saturday afternoon, two Ferrari 488s will be charging down Shoreline Boulevard in pursuit of victory in the IMSA Sports Car Championship and to add to the celebrations of Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary.
Special track. Ferraris have been thrilling crowds in Long Beach, California, since the beginning of racing on the street circuit. Ferrari captured victory three times during the era of the United States Grand Prix West – in 1976 (Clay Regazzoni), 1978 (Carlos Reutemann), and 1979 (Gilles Villeneuve). More recently, Ferraris captured the IMSA GT2 class victories in 2007 (Risi Competizione) and 2008 (Tafel Racing). Risi Competizione and Scuderia Corsa will face a very different challenge than the previous race at Sebring. The Saturday afternoon race, which will feature a shorter-than- normal race distance of 100 minutes, will place a premium on the drivers extracting the most speed possible on the bumpy street circuit in qualifying as well as the speed of the pit crews during the race’s likely single pit stop.
Previous races. Both teams arrive in Long Beach after finishing on the podium at Sebring. At Sebring, for the second straight race, the no. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander closed out a hard-fought race with a third-place finish. After two races, they are third in the GT-LeMans season championship. Risi Competizione has one victory at Long Beach, in 2007, as well as five additional podium finishes on the street circuit. Last year at Long Beach, the team scored the first GT-LeMans podium for the Ferrari 488 GTE.
Debut. This year marks the first time that the GT-Daytona class will compete at Long Beach, and thus it is the first time that the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 will compete on the street circuit. However, drivers Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen have raced there before and are fresh from a runner-up finish at Sebring.
Schedule. Saturday’s IMSA Sports Car Championship race will be broadcast live on FOX on Saturday, April 8 at 4:00 PM ET, while qualifying will be streamed live on Friday, April 7 at 7:30 PM ET on IMSA.tv.