GRAND-AM Road Racing: Rolex Series Specific Ferrari Heading To Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Ferrari’s heritage in the Rolex 24 At Daytona dates back to 1962, when Phil Hill and Ricardo Rodriguez co-drove a Ferrari Dino 246SP to a second-place finish in the inaugural Daytona Continental.
The famed Italian marquee is looking to build on that tradition, debuting a Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am built specifically for Rolex Series competition at a two-day private test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 27.
Factory drivers Jamie Melo and Toni Vilander are expected to be in attendance for the closed session, which is the first step in Ferrari’s participation for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29 and additional 2012 Rolex Series events.
Melo and fellow test driver Maurizio Mediani completed 45 trouble-free laps Monday at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in Italy, in the car’s first public shakedown. The development work was handled by motorsports and engineering firm Michelotto, the same firm that helps develop and manufacture many if Ferrari’s race cars.
Fans can watch the test from the Oldfield Grandstands, which will be open free to the public through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office. The test will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with a lunch break.
Ferraris have raced in 47 of the 49 editions of the Daytona classic, winning overall five times among 15 class victories.
Four Ferraris finished in the top 10 of the 1962 event. Stirling Moss finished fourth overall and won the GT 3000 class in a Ferrari 250GT, while NASCAR superstar Fireball Roberts finished 12th overall in a Ferrari 250GT. Ferrari scored a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1967 Rolex 24, while Mario Andretti and Jacky Ickx won the 1972 event in a Ferrari 312PB.
Source: GRAND-AM Road Racing