GRAND-AM Series: AIM Autosport Team FXDD Takes First Laps in New Ferrari at Fiorano

By Auto News Log • November 14th, 2011

WOODBRIDGE, Ont. – Only days after the recent announcement of AIM Autosport Team FXDD’s full-season entry in the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Series in an all-new Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand-Am, team drivers Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal took their first laps in the team’s new car recently at Pista di Fiorano, Ferrari’s Official Test Track in Maranello, Italy.

The new AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia was put through a trouble-free 50-lap run on Tuesday, November 1, on the eight-turn, 2.9-kilometer Fiorano test track that is located on the same property that houses the Ferrari factory and the legendary Formula One team workshop. The grounds are also home to Enzo Ferrari’s office building and the track’s driver changing room is the same facility used by Ferrari’s legendary Formula One and sports car drivers for decades.

“To drive a Ferrari race car around the Fiorano circuit, in the shadow of the Ferrari factory and the home of the Formula One team, is an experience like no other,” Segal said. “I’m totally thrilled and honored to be able to say that I’ve done that, and I’m especially happy that my first laps were behind the wheel of our new 458 Italia GT Grand Am.”

AIM Autosport Team FXDD personnel Andrew Bordin, Ian Willis and Jeff Pomfret were on hand for the productive debut session that focused on the initial shakedown, systems checks and driver fitment and later included some runs through setup directions and options. The occasion also marked the official handoff of the car to AIM Autosport Team FXDD, the first group to announce a full-season Rolex Sports Car Series GT program with the new Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand-Am.

“The test went smoothly with no problems whatsoever,” said Willis, AIM Autosport Principal and Race Engineer. “The car responded very well to setup changes which made me very happy and, judging by the drivers’ faces, they were thrilled. It was an honor to be able to perform this test at Fiorano and I would like to thank Cristiano Michelotto and the staff of the Fiorano test facility.”

Segal was equally enthusiastic about the first run in the AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand-Am.

“We had a perfect shakedown test, and I’m happy to report that the car ran flawlessly throughout the entire day,” Segal said. “In fact, we finished the shakedown agenda quite early and spent most of the afternoon working through different setup configurations in order to get to know the car better.”

The pure-bred pedigree of a factory-built Ferrari and the professionalism and preparation of all involved combined to make the initial outing a success.

“A big thank you goes out to the staff at Ferrari Corse Clienti and Michelotto for building such a spectacular race car,” Segal said. “We’re now looking forward to getting the car back to the AIM team headquarters to begin preparation for the December tests. While this was an experience I won’t soon forget, our focus has now turned to preparing for the Rolex 24 and the 2012 season.”

Assentato and Segal will co-drive the new Ferrari in 2012 for their fifth full season as Rolex Series GT teammates and first in a Ferrari and with AIM. The AIM Autosport Team FXDD collaboration brings together two multi-race winning GRAND-AM Rolex Series efforts-AIM in Daytona Prototype competition and FXDD in GT since 2008-as the first team to announce a 2012 program in a new Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand-Am.

AIM Autosport Team FXDD’s official Rolex Series debut is scheduled for GRAND-AM’s final organized test session of the year at Daytona International Speedway, December 6-7. The team will run its debut race in the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26-29, in addition to the entire 2012 season schedule. The full driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be announced shortly.

Source: GRAND-AM Road Racing


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