Daytona Beach, Florida (January 22, 2024) … The fan favorite Risi Competizione Ferrari team returned to Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., this past weekend for the Roar Before the 24, the precursor to the 62nd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27-28.
The Houston, Texas-based Ferrari team has the same Ferrari Competizioni GT factory GT drivers at the wheel as it has had for four of the past five years. The 2023 overall winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Italian Alessandro Pier Guidi and Brit James Calado, are joined by Ferrari factory teammates Italian Davide Rigon and Brazilian Daniel Serra as the Risi team will again pursue the 2024 IMSA Michelin Endurance Championship in the GTD Pro class.
Serra was tasked with qualifying the Ferrari 296 GT3 Prancing Horse for the twice-around-the-clock endurance race and clocked a time of 1:44.831, fast enough for fifth in class for the team’s grid position. Nine of the 13 GTD Pro class cars were within a second of each other in qualifying, promising a very competitive field. A total of 59 cars are entered for this 62nd running of Daytona’s famous 24-hour race at the 3.56-mile speedway road course.
“It was a qualifying affected by traffic, because the potential of the car was greater and I am convinced that we would have had a chance to fight for pole,” said Daniel Serra about his qualifying run. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have a possibility to put all the sectors together and this will result in us starting fifth.”
Last year this foursome of drivers had their work cut out for them with a brand-new Ferrari 296 GT3 race car and 61-car field. Unfortunately, the 24-hour race became just a 12-hour race as the Risi team had to make a rare early withdrawal after suffering unrepairable floorboard damage caused by an earlier race incident. However, in 2022, the No. 62 Risi Competizione team with the same four drivers led much of the race and finished just off the top step, in second place in the final year of the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
Last June Calado and Pier Guidi helped make history in the new Ferrari 499P as victors of the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Rigon and Serra return to the No. 62 Risi Competizione team for the third year in pursuit of the GTD Pro IMSA Michelin Endurance Championship (IMEC), which they won in 2022. There will be a total of five IMEC races this year including after Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, 6 Hours of Indianapolis and Petit Le Mans 10-hour enduro.
Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
“The Roar went pretty well. All the drivers are happy with the car. We are going into race week with very little setup work to do. We need to focus more on race items like driver changes, wheel change practice, test fitting spares, etc. Driver seat inserts are typically an issue, but we have that sorted. Our pace seems pretty good. If Daniel had been able to put a single lap together in qualifying, I think we’d have been closer to pole. But it’s a long race and I think we have a very competitive car; starting position isn’t that important for a 24-hour race.”
James Calado, driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:
“I am happy to be back with Risi and racing in GT again to start the year. I’m looking forward to the race and so far the car feels good.”
Alessandro Pier Guidi, driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:
“It’s very nice to be here again with Risi. I think we are really well prepared this year for the race and, I think, for the rest of the championship. I can’t wait until next week to start the race and see where we can go. I hope we have a good opportunity this year and I hope we can do well for the team, the guys and for Giuseppe (Risi).”
Davide Rigon, driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:
“It’s always so nice to be back with Risi. We have a brand-new car and of course we have much more experience this year with the (Ferrari) 296, one more whole year of experience over last year’s Rolex 24. So, I feel a bit more ready this year honestly. The Roar went well and we’re pretty happy with the setup. The qualifying might not have been the best position, but we will work to be even better for the race weekend. All is good and we’ll keep preparing for the race.”
Daniel Serra, qualifying driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:
“It’s great to be back with Risi and start the season at Daytona, one of my favorite races of the year.”
Sponsors for the 2024 season for Risi Competizione for the Rolex 24 include Pennzoil, OMP Racing and the Ferrari of Ontario and Ferrari of Toronto dealerships.
Check IMSA.com for television broadcast schedule times on NBC, USA and full streaming on Peacock.