Scuderia Corsa had a spectacular weekend in the GTD class. Jeff Segal first made waves for the team by driving the No. 63 AERO-painted Ferrari 488 GT3 fastest in qualifying to start the Sunday race on pole. Segal and co-driver Christina Nielsen took the turbocharged V-8 Ferrari through a challenging rain-delayed race before turning the wheel over to driver Alessandro Balzan. Balzan drove the final stint to the finish, just 2.28 seconds ahead of Jens Klingmann No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. The victory marked Nielsen’s first in the WeatherTech Championship competition, 60 years after the first Ferrari victory at Sebring, and the first for a female in 10 years at Sebring, and the first ever for the GTD class.
“The last five minutes were almost like the 12 hours,” Balzan told IMSA commentators. “We decided not to change the tires, so it was the advantage not to lose a lot of time with cold tires. We had a nice race with the BMWs. We had a bit of contact, but that is to be expected because you are fighting for the win. Then I took advantage of the traffic and was able to pull away.”
“I’m just as thrilled as I can be,” Nielsen said. “Sebring is a unique event, probably my favorite beside Petit Le Mans. Getting my first win here feels amazing – it’s something we worked super hard for. Now I guess we’re in a good path for the championship.”
After starting from pole position, the No. 63 488 GT3 was slowed from various on-track incidents and rain delays. Drivers Balzan and Nielsen endured the early stages of the race, fighting through the field and dealing with a two-hour red flag period. Nielsen and Segal pushed through the next portion of the race to set Balzan up for the final, race-winning stint.
“I was actually worried at one point that we might not make it! But everyone kept fighting and kept pushing, and that is what led to our victory,” Nielsen remarked.
The team not only achieved pole position, but they set a new track record in qualifying, set the fastest GTD lap during the race at 2:02.810, and went on to win the race, putting Scuderia Corsa in third place overall in GTD, and second in the GTD driver’s championship.
Scuderia Corsa cars, including the race-winning 488 GT3 and seventh place finisher No. 68 Ferrari 488 GTE, feature full AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology liveries. Using AERO gives the team better protection for long endurance races, helps reduce lap-time sapping weight, and greatly enhances the look of the car.
Jim McGuire, CEO of entrotech, AERO’s parent company, stated “Balzan, Nielsen, and Segal drove an amazing race. We’re always happy when AERO drivers cross the finish line first, and this race showed a fantastic team effort from the guys and girls at Scuderia Corsa.”
Scuderia Corsa will return with AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology at the Grand Prix of Long Beach for the GTLM class April 18, and in both GTD and GTLM at Laguna Seca on April 29.
About Scuderia Corsa
2015 24 Hours of Le Mans Podium, 2015 IMSA GTD, and 2013 Grand-AM Rolex GT championship-winning team Scuderia Corsa was founded in 2013 by Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo.
Follow Scuderia Corsa on Twitter @Scuderia_Corsa, on Facebook at Scuderia Corsa, Instagram at #Scuderiacorsaferrari andScuderiaCorsa.com
About AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology
AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology is a division of entrotech, inc. that designs, manufactures, and sells a series of patent-pending, film-based paint appliques to the aerospace, automotive, and commercial trucking industries. Established in 1999, entrotech is a chemical technology business that designs, develops, and commercializes innovative materials used in many of the world’s most advanced products. The company’s focus is on life sciences, data storage, display protection, and green paint applique films. With executive offices and laboratories in San Francisco, the company has manufacturing and development facilities in Columbus, Ohio. For more information, visit: www.entrotech.com