Sebring, 19 March 2016 – At the historic 12 Hours of Sebring, the Ferrari 488 GT3 has scored victory in its first race. Sixty years after Eugenio Castellotti and Juan Manuel Fangio drove a Ferrari 860 Monza to Ferrari’s first victory at the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring, Scuderia Corsa and drivers Alessandro Balzan, Christina Nielsen and Jeff Segal survived a challenging race that featured multiple caution periods and rainy conditions to score the first win for the new Ferrari 488 GT3.
Starting from pole. The no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3, which was qualified on pole position by Segal, led the early stages of the race before falling down the order due to incidents and changing conditions. However, strategy by the team and the speed of the new turbo-engined Ferrari enabled the drivers to move up the order in the second half of the race, with Balzan taking the lead of the GT-Daytona class in the closing minutes of the race. “I am really, really happy to help Ferrari and Scuderia Corsa to win this race,” said Balzan. “To be a part of the first race, and the first win, for the 488 GT3 is an incredible feeling. And it is even more amazing that it is Sebring! It is a great honor to be another Italian to win at Sebring driving a Ferrari, as Castellotti did sixty years ago.” Another Ferrari led the GT-Daytona class at various parts of the 12-hour contest. The no. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Matteo Cressoni, Raffaele Gianmaria and Peter Mann ultimately finished in ninth position but during the race showed a race-winning pace.
GT-LeMans. In the GT-LeMans class, no. 62 Risi Competizione and drivers Giancarlo Fisichella, Davide Rigon and Toni Vilander narrowly missed the Sebring podium after running near the front of the class throughout the race tha was won by Gavin-Milner-Fassler on the Chevrolet. Finishing in fourth position, the team scored the Dekra Green Challenge Award which is presented to the most environmentally clean, fast and efficient GT-LeMans competitor at each IMSA SportsCar Championship event. The no. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari Ferrari 488 GTE driven by Andrea Bertolini, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra overcame a minor issue in the early stages of the race to finish in seventh position. The next race for the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15-16. Stay up to speed at @FerrariUSA and join the conversation with #FerrariGTRacing and #FerrariFirsts.
#63 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan, Christina Nielsen and Jeff Segal
#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Davide Rigon
#68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Daniel Serra and Andrea Bertolini