DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 7, 2017) – WeatherTech Racing put in a full three days of testing on the No. 63 Ferrari 488 at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL.), Alessandro Balzan (Italy), Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Ut.) and Jeff Segal (Miami, Fla.) all ran maximum laps during the three-day test at the World Center of Racing.
The only hiccup on the weekend was that Balzan was weather stranded in New York trying to get to Daytona and missed all of his track time on Friday. The team was quick to get him caught up and he was first in the car on Saturday. The Scuderia Corsa crew was able to give each driver a lot of laps to get familiar with the Ferrari 488 on the high-banks of Daytona.
A new wrinkle for this year, IMSA held a qualifying session this afternoon to determine where the team’s will set-up on pit road and their space in the garage for the Rolex 24 at the end of the month. Balzan had the wheel of the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari for the 15-minute “qualifying” session. He posted a time of 1:47.726 that put the team seventh on the IMSA GTD time sheet.
“It was really fun,” Balzan said. “I spent two days in New York. The snow was coming sideways, it was crazy. My luggage is in London, I’ve never been there in my life. It was a tough start to the year. But I am back with the team and I was able to get some good laps in yesterday. We have a new car, with a new aero package. When we make just a really small change it makes a big difference on the car. We are working on it and getting faster each session. Cooper and I are working well together and Gunnar and Jeff are up to speed as well. The Scuderia Corsa guys are like my family, so everything is very comfortable right now.”
“This is our first test with the Scuderia Corsa team and the WeatherTech Racing No. 63 Ferrari,” Jeannette said. “We are sticking with our test plan and we are getting some good time behind the wheel. The car has been progressing, getting better and better with each lap. The key is to get a car that is comfortable to drive fast and we are getting there with each session. I’m looking to forward to the race.”
“The weekend has gone quite smoothly,” Segal said. “This is all-new to us right now. The car is brand-new and we are together as a driver line-up for the first time. Everyone knows one another really well, so that helps with having a successful weekend of testing. We have a long list of items to work through on Friday and Saturday. Today we focused a little more on getting additional speed out of the car.”
“The weekend went really well,” MacNeil said. “The team had a great plan coming here and we accomplished everything on the list. Everyone really gets along and that helps make the work easier. All of the drivers have done a lot of laps. We have worked hard on driver comfort in the seat, since there is a big difference in driver height on our team. That took some work, but I think everyone is pretty comfortable right now. Happy to be in the Ferrari and looking forward to the race.”
The 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championship will kick-off at Daytona International Speedway with the 56th running of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, Jan. 25-28.