Double race weekend for Scuderia Corsa
Ferraris will be on the grid at TUDOR Championship race in Virginia and Pirelli World Challenge race in Sonoma.
This weekend won't mark the first time that Scuderia Corsa competes in two different races in the same weekend, but it marks the team's debut in the Pirelli World Challenge.
In Virginia, at the challenging Virginia International Raceway, the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 will be on the hunt for its third victory of the season in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Drivers Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal (in photo) are eager to put an underwhelming event at Road America, when contact badly damaged the Ferrari in the early stages of the race, behind them. Balzan and Westphal are not only looking for more victories but to help secure the GT-Daytona manufacturer championship for Ferrari.
It will mark the team's first event at the famous circuit, which will see the GT-Daytona and GT-LeMans classes race in a standalone race this weekend.
"For me, it is going to be very exciting to race our Scuderia Corsa Ferrari at VIR," said Balzan, the 2013 Rolex Sports Car Series GT class champion. "It will be my first time on the circuit, which the other drivers tell me is an amazing place. Jeff and I will be pushing hard for a win for the team, and for Ferrari, and also to help us forget about the nightmare weekend that we had in Road America. Without the prototypes, we should have a very fair competition in the GT-Daytona class and we will be pushing like crazy."
The engineer of the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, Joe LaJoie, lays out the challenge of VIR: "Overall, VIR has a nice combination of turns from slow speed up to a very fast 'S' with some pleasant elevation changes," said LaJoie. "The Ferrari can be fast with more downforce, but the car is more raceable when setup efficiently. The track has just been repaved so we will have to see what has changed.
'Can be challenging'
"Turn one and two has a long, bumpy brake zone leading into a long combination of turns, which requires adequate support. It is difficult to get to full throttle quickly there. The kink before turn three can be challenging because of the long exit of turn two at about 1g, and then switching directions at 100mph and 1.4 gs. Sacrificing a bit of turn four can be advantageous in order to setup turn five. The uphill esses which follow is a fun, iconic set of corners taken in the Ferrari at 140mph - 6th gear, 1.7gs left and right, with elevation change. The high speed balance must be right on with good control. These corners lead to Oak Tree corner, which is a double-apex corner that must be driven just right to get good speed down the fastest straight of the track.
"At the end of that straightaway is turn 14, the track's biggest braking zone which also has a dog leg to the left. Lots of passing will happen there. The last two corners, turns 16 and 17, have a large speed and elevation change which requires a car with good control in order to get up to speed quickly. This leads onto the front straightaway and races down to turn one for another opportunity to pass."
Meanwhile, the no. 77 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia of Mike Hedlund will compete in the World Challenge doubleheader at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Sonoma Raceway is located close to Ferrari Silicon Valley, which is owned by Scuderia Corsa team principals Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo, meaning they will make their World Challenge debut in front of a large home crowd.
"Scuderia Corsa has a massive amount of Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 experience from Europe," said Hedlund. "If you combine that with our local knowledge of the track, I expect us to be up to speed quickly. We'll do our best to put on a good show for all our friends and fans coming out to the rack and for those watching live on world-challengetv.com!"
Both World Challenge races will be streamed live at world-challengetv.com, with Saturday's race being shown on Saturday, August 23 at 2:30 PM PT and the second on Sunday, August 24 at 4:40 PM PT.
The GT-LeMans and GT-Daytona race at TUDOR Championship's Oak Tree Grand Prix will be shown on Sunday, August 24 at 4:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1.
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