Risi Competizione wins GTD Pro class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona

Risi Competizione wins GTD Pro class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona

The Risi Competizione team won the GTD Pro class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway by a full lap for the first round of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series. The No. 62 Ferrari 296 GT3 won the class in the 62nd running of the historical 24-hour Florida race and finished 18th overall.

 

The victory was a popular one for the fan-favorite team who has fielded Ferraris for decades, mostly in the United States. Team Owner Guiseppe Risi has long been associated with racing in the U.S., based out of a Houston, Texas location. Today’s victory was only Risi’s second victory at the Daytona enduro, having first won in 2002 in the SRP II class in the Grand-American Road Racing Series in a Lola B2K/40. Mr. Risi has had a long relationship fielding Ferraris. This race was the first together for the pair, and the 19th year for Risi entering the 24 Hours of Daytona, with the team having a total of 21 entries over that time.

 

The four Ferrari Competizioni GT factory drivers, Daniel Serra (qualifying driver), Davide Rigon, James Calado, and Alessandro Pier Guidi expressed their appreciation to Giuseppe for his passion for racing and partnership with Ferrari, which allowed them to have the opportunity to take home coveted Rolex Daytona watches this weekend.

 

Additionally, Serra and Rigon will contest the IMSA Michelin Endurance Championship (IMEC) series with Risi Competizione this season, which includes the five endurance races on the 2024 IMSA schedule. Today’s overall class victory also allowed them to capture the lead in the IMEC series.

 

Pier Guidi clocked the fasted lap among his teammates and the quickest in the GTD Pro class with a time of 1:45.812. Serra was the qualifying and starting driver  from the fifth class position who quickly found his way into the lead. Other than a couple issues in the pits, the car ran well and the drivers were pleased to run it through the paces during each of their stints with their eyes on the prize.

 

The last time that the Risi Competizione team stood on the podium at Daytona was in 2022 with a second-place class finish after leading much of the late race. They also finished second at the 6 Hours at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York last summer and third at Petit Le Mans last October.

 

Ferrari factory drivers Calado and Pier Guidi paired to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans last summer in the new Ferrari 499 Hypercar.

 

Fifteen cautions were displayed during the race that lasted over four hours, leaving just shy of 20 hours of green flag racing time.


The Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 led much of the Rolex 24 At Daytona race in the GTD Pro class

 

QUOTES:

Daniel Serra, staring driver, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:

Regarding the Rolex 24 victory:

“The BMW (competitor) had a problem just before the pits and then it was more about bringing it home for me. Then after the yellow, the Porsche was on our lead lap. You know, it’s never easy. You start to hear some noises in the car, and you think everything is out of control on the last lap. I’m just really happy. This is the race I was missing and really wanted to win. This might be the happiest day in my racing career.”

 

Regarding the level of competition you have experienced the last couple of weeks at Daytona?

“It's great to see the GTD Pro (class) with more cars and more competition. I've always said that IMSA is one of my favorite championships, and I have to say I did a few last year. I did a few IMSA IMEC races, the WEC European series and the NASCAR stock car series in Brazil, because I still live in Brazil. And IMSA is one of my favorites. I like the championships. I like the tracks, the rules, the atmosphere, in the paddocks, so it's nice to see the GTD Pro with more cars and more competition. I hope it's getting even bigger and more cars for the next years.”

 

Davide Rigon, driver, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:

Regarding the Rolex 24 victory:

“Amazing, amazing. What a team! What a Ferrari! We really pushed so much since the beginning. Thanks so much to my teammates, all the engineers. I’m super, super happy now. I would like to enjoy (this experience) with my team.”

Regarding the level of competition you have experienced the last couple of weeks at Daytona?

“I agree with Daniel. Of course we are happy too. At the end the level is always so high. Last year it was just the single number seven car, but the level was super high.

“This year will be even higher, and I agree, it's so nice to deal with the fight at the end and the rules in this championship. We also liked so much the tracks that they have here in the U.S., and together with the team at Risi, it's like a second family.



“With Giuseppe and all the Ferrari group, we will be really pushing to achieve like we did in 2022 to win the IMEC championship. We will do our best.”


The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 drivers show their pride

with the car after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona GTD Pro class.

 

James Calado, driver, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:

“I don’t know really. It’s rather easy just to worry during the end of the race. The team did a great job giving us a great car. I’m happy for Giuseppe, he really deserved it. I’m happy for us. It’s a great result for the start of the year and puts us in a great place for the rest of the year.”

 

What it’s like to win in a Ferrari:

“It's been 10 amazing years which have gone by so fast. I remember the first one which was very, very special. But every time you win in a Ferrari, it's hard to put into words. You get this special feeling. There's no words really that put it into perspective. Not to say that we're always under pressure being Ferrari drivers, so we need to win.

“We always want to improve. We win, but then we move on, and we try and improve for the next one. That's the good thing about this team. We're all one big family.”

 

Alessandro Pier Guidi, driver, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:

Regarding how special it is to win the Rolex 24 with Ferrari and Risi:

“Well, it's amazing. First of all, I think we deserved this victory. We were also trying a lot of times to achieve this victory. We finished twice second, and it's a long-time partnership between Risi and Ferrari, and between them and with the other drivers we have been very close many times, but never been able to achieve this victory.

“Finally, we get it. If you see in the footage after the checkered flag and the picture is amazing. Everyone was crying, happy, and I went and I gave a big hug to Giuseppe, because all the passion he put in here in this effort, he really deserved this”

About putting two 24-hour wins together?

“It's even difficult to dream, and we did it. Actually six months ago, we achieved this amazing historic victory in Le Mans, and now we are back here with Risi and Ferrari to complete another 24, to achieve another amazing success.“


"It has been a long time that Ferrari has been trying to win this race again, and it is quite surprising Risi and Ferrari have never won together. They won so much together, but never this race. Finally for Giuseppe and Ferrari together, we achieved this victory, we must be all proud of this.”

 

Rick Mayer, Race Engineer, Risi Competizione:

“This year was the 62nd running of the Rolex 24 with the 62 car so that was a special thing for Giuseppe. We had four fantastic drivers. The crew prepared a great car, and we had some luck and things went our way. Sometimes that’s what it takes to win. I’m happy for Giuseppe because he’s wanted to win this race again for a very long time.”


A proud Risi Competizione Team Owner Giuseppe Risi

The next race for the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 will be the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 14-16 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Serra and Rigon will compete in round two of the IMEC series.

 

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. 


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