Jul 28 | Ferrari F458 Italia Wraps Up Successful Two-Day Test
The Ferrari F458 Italia built specifically for Rolex Sports Car Series completed 174 trouble-free laps at competitive speeds during a two-day session at DIS.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – GRAND-AM’s newest race car, the Ferrari F458 Italia built specifically for Rolex Sports Car Series competition, completed 174 trouble-free laps at competitive speeds during a two-day session at Daytona International Speedway.
“Today was a tremendous improvement over yesterday,” said Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale team principal Ronnie Vogel. “We’ve got good feelings about the car, and the drivers were very comfortable out there. We had a great time, and now we’re really looking forward to the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona.”
Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale enters nine cars in the Ferrari Challenge, including one for points leader and defending champion Enzo Potolicchio – who also drives the No. 2 Starworks Motorsport Porsche/Riley Daytona Prototype in the Rolex Series. The team also provided technical assistance for the Dragon Speed’s Ferrari F430 in the 2011 Rolex 24. Now it’s looking forward to stepping up to the Rolex Series.
“We’re planning to run two cars in the Rolex 24, and hoping to take delivery of the second car very soon,” Vogel said. “We’re also working on our driver lineups for the Rolex 24 and next season, and that’s being ironed out now.”
Jaime Melo and 2008 Rolex 24 GT winner Raphael Matos drove the car on both days and were joined by Guy Cosmo for the Wednesday session.
“This has been an awesome experience, and I feel honored to be part of this test,” Matos said. “The return of the legendary manufacturer to Daytona, and I was able to run competitive lap times and absorb a lot of information from Jamie.”
While the Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale entry was the only car testing, several other car owners and team owners watched with interest. Steve Hallam, Michael Waltrip Racing’s executive vice president for competition, said the NASCAR team is seriously considering running two of the new Ferraris in the 2012 Rolex Series.
“The test has been very positive, and the car appears at first sight to be competitive,” Hallam said. “There is still data to be studied and details to be considered to see how competitive the car will be. It was a real privilege to be welcomed into the test as an observer.”
The return of Ferrari is one of many intriguing storylines for next seasons 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, held on Jan. 28-29. Four to six of the F458 Italias are expected to participate, looking to add a new chapter to Ferrari’s extensive legacy that includes five overall victories and 15 class victories in the American classic.
Jul 27 | The History Of Ferrari At Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway has been the site of many past sports car glories for the famed manufacturer Ferrari and here's a look at their storied success.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway has been the site of many past sports car glories for the famed manufacturer Ferrari, who will debut a version of the F458 Italia specifically built for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.
Here's a look at the storied success of Ferrari at Daytona International Speedway.
1962: Phil Hill and Ricardo Rodriguez finish second overall in a Ferrari Dino 246SDP fielded by Ferrari’s North American importer Luigi Chinetti Sr. Stirling Moss finishes fourth in NART Ferraro 250GT and wins S+5000 class. NASCAR star Fireball Roberts finishes 12th in a NART Ferrari 250 GT.
1963: Pedro Rodriguez wins overall in the three-hour Daytona Continental in a Ferrari 250 GTO, fielded by Chinetti’s North America Racing Team (NART).
1964: Rodriguez and Hill win overall in a NART Ferrari 250 GTO as the Daytona Continental is expanded to 2,000 kilometers (approximately 12 hours, 30 minutes).
1966: Rodriguez and Mario Andretti finish fourth overall in a NART Ferrari 365P2/3 as the Daytona event is expanded to 24 hours.
1967: Bouncing back to setbacks at Daytona and LeMans, Ferrari orchestrates a 1-2-3 photo finish, led by Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon in a factory-fielded Ferrari 330P4.
1970: Andretti, Jacky Ickx and Arturo Merzario finish third overall in a factory Ferrari 512S.
1971: Ronnie Blacknum, Tony Adamowicz, Alain De Cadenet are second overall in NART Ferrari 512S.
1972: Andretti and Ickx win overall in factory Ferrari 312PB in a one-time event at the six-hour distance.
1973: In a return to 24 hours, Francois Migualt and Milt Minter place second overall and win the GT+2000 class in a NART Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona.
1977: Budding racer/actor Paul Newman joins Minter and Elliott Forbes-Robinson in finishing fifth overall in a Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona.
1979: John Morton and Adamowicz finish second overall and win the IMSA GTO class in a Ferrari 365GTB/4 entered by Otto Zipper, who passed away suddenly on the morning of the event. The team raced in his memory and won.
1996: Gianpiero Moretti fields a Ferrari 333SP prepared by Kevin Doran and finishes second overall, co-driving with Wollek, Didier Theys and Max Papis. A late-race change by Papis falls short in the closest finish in the Rolex 24 at the time, earning him the nickname the “Mad Max.”
1997: A Ferrari 333SP finishes second overall for the second straight year, with entrant Andy Evans joined by Fermin Velez and Charles and Rob Morgan.
1998: After years of trying, Moretti achieves his dream of winning the Rolex 24 in his 15th attempt, joined by Theys, Mauro Baldi and Arie Luyendyk in a Ferrari 333SP.
1999: Wayne Taylor finishes second overall in a Doyle/Risi-entered Ferrari 333SP, co-driving with Max Angelelli, Allan McNish and Didier de Radigues.
2003: Ralf Kelleners, Anthony Lazzaro and John Mowlem finish second overall in a Ferrari 360 Modena entered by Risi Competizione.
Tickets for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are avialable online at http:www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Jul 26 | Ferrari Debuts New F458 During Two-Day Daytona Test
The Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am car kicked off a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new Ferrari F458 Italia designed for competition in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series was turning heads before it even turned a wheel at Daytona International Speedway.
“The car looks like it’s winning, standing still,” GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe said. “It’s a sharp-looking car.”
“When you think about moving forward and the future of the sport, it's nice to celebrate our 50th anniversary with a competitor who has been part of our past and will be part of our future,” DIS President Joie Chitwood III said.
Ferrari factory engineers spent part of the morning getting the car up and running before getting to work getting the suspension setup right for the unique 3.56-mile circuit that combines a high-banked oval with an infield road course. It was also the first time at Daytona for Ferrari factory pilot Jaime Melo, the lead driver at the two-day test that will end on Wednesday. Raphael Matos, GT winner of the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona, also turned some laps.
“The car is absolutely spectacular,” said Mark Raffauf, GRAND-AM managing director of competition. “To have a Ferrari made specifically for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series is really important and sets the groundwork for a lot of other relationships.”
Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale owns the car and prepped it for the test, and hopes to add a second car to its lineup for the Rolex 24.
“This was a two-year project, and to finally be out here on the track at Daytona is really great,” said team principal Ronnie Vogel. “So far, so good – the test is going great. Now, we’re going to continue to dial it in.”
The new car looks to add a new chapter to Ferrari’s extensive list of achievements when the green flag waves for the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29. Ferraris have competed in 47 of the 49 Daytona classics to date, winning overall five times among 15 class victories.
“The big significance for this car is that it was conceived and produced by Ferrari and built specifically for the Rolex Series,” Raffauf said. “This car comes here straight from Maranello, Italy, right from Ferrari, and it’s also significant that this is really a GRAND-AM car.”
Raffauf added that four to six of the new Ferraris is a realistic number for the Rolex 24, and that several teams were looking at running Ferraris in the entire Rolex Series championship.
Eddie Cheever – America’s most experienced Formula One driver and 1998 winner of the Indianapolis 500 – was central to cementing the relationship between Ferrari and GRAND-AM. He’s also considering running one of the new cars for his son, an 18-year-old currently racing Formula 3 in Italy.
“Like everybody at Daytona, I’m very anxious to see Ferrari return to the Speedway and hurtling itself around the banked corners,” Cheever said.
“When I started following racing in the 1970s, it was all about Ferrari against Porsche and Ford. I think we’re returning to that era again, and this might be a beginning to some of those great battles we’ve seen in the past with the great manufacturers.
“I know of at least five groups that are seriously entertaining racing a 458 – and I might even be one of those.”
Wednesday’s test session, which runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is open free to the public with free access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of the DIS Ticket Office.
Jul 20 | Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am car testing Daytona July 26-27
The Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am race car is scheduled to test the historic 3.56-mile road course of Daytona International Speedway next week.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Ferrari’s heritage in the Rolex 24 At Daytona dates back to 1962, when Phil Hill and Ricardo Rodriguez co-drove a Ferrari Dino 246SP to a second-place finish in the inaugural Daytona Continental.
The famed Italian marquee is looking to build on that tradition, debuting a Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am built specifically for Rolex Series competition at a two-day private test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 27.
Factory drivers Jamie Melo and Toni Vilander are expected to be in attendance for the closed session, which is the first step in Ferrari’s participation for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29 and additional 2012 Rolex Series events.
Fans can watch the test from the Oldfield Grandstands, which will be open free to the public through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office. The test will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with a lunch break.
Ferraris have raced in 47 of the 49 editions of the Daytona classic, winning overall five times among 15 class victories.
Four Ferraris finished in the top 10 of the 1962 event. Stirling Moss finished fourth overall and won the GT 3000 class in a Ferrari 250GT, while NASCAR superstar Fireball Roberts finished 12th overall in a Ferrari 250GT.
Ferrari scored a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1967 Rolex 24, while Mario Andretti and Jacky Ickx won the 1972 event in a Ferrari 312PB.
For more information on the Ferrari 458 Italia Daytona test, click here.
Jul 02 | 2011 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Results
Results from the 2011 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Results from Saturday's Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway: 1. (5) David Ragan, Ford, 170. 2. (16) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 170. 3. (37) Joey Logano, Toyota, 170. 4. (13) Kasey Kahne, Toyota, 170. 5. (38) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 170. 6. (4) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 170. 7. (31) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 170. 8. (10) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 170. 9. (30) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 170. 10. (9) A J Allmendinger, Ford, 170. 11. (19) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 170. 12. (20) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 170. 13. (36) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 170. 14. (25) Kurt Busch, Dodge, 170. 15. (26) Brad Keselowski, Dodge. 16. (39) David Gilliland, Ford, 170. 17. (15) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 170. 18. (17) Greg Biffle, Ford, 170. 19. (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 170. 20. (8) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 170. 21. (12) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 170. 22. (18) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 170. 23. (11) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 170. 24. (28) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 170. 25. (23) David Reutimann, Toyota, 170. 26. (21) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 169. 27. (7) Andy Lally #, Ford, 169. 28. (41) Terry Labonte, Ford, 169. 29. (27) Travis Kvapil(i), Ford, 169. 30. (43) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 169. 31. (24) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 168. 32. (32) Casey Mears, Toyota, 164. 33. (1) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 164. 34. (42) Robby Gordon, Dodge, 163. 35. (34) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 162. 36. (3) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, Accident, 162. 37. (14) Carl Edwards, Ford, 144. 38. (35) Geoffrey Bodine, Chevrolet, Wheel Bearing, 143. 39. (40) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, Accident, 47. 40. (29) Mike Skinner(i), Toyota, Wheel Bearing, 5. 41. (2) Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, Accident, 4. 42. (33) Michael McDowell, Toyota, Electrical, 2. 43. (22) Kevin Conway(i), Toyota, Rear Gear, 1.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 159.491 mph. Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 39 Mins, 53 Secs. Margin of Victory: Caution. Caution Flags: 6 for 21 laps. Lead Changes: 57 among 25 drivers. Lap Leaders: M. Martin 1-15; D. Earnhardt Jr. 16; Kurt Busch 17-18; C. Edwards 19; Kurt Busch 20-23; J. Gordon 24; K. Harvick 25-26; P. Menard 27; D. Ragan 28; R. Smith 29-30; M. Truex Jr. 31-36; D. Ragan 37-40; K. Kahne 41; M. Truex Jr. 42; M. Kenseth 43-48; K. Kahne 49; Kyle Busch 50; T. Kvapil(i) 51; K. Kahne 52-53; M. Truex Jr. 54-57; R. Smith 58-59; M. Kenseth 60-63; K. Kahne 64; P. Menard 65; K. Kahne 66-69; T. Stewart 70; M. Truex Jr. 71-73; K. Kahne 74; C. Mears 75-76; J. Nemechek(i) 77; K. Kahne 78-85; Kyle Busch 86-88; K. Kahne 89; P. Menard 90-92; Kyle Busch 93; C. Mears 94; J. Burton 95-97; C. Bowyer 98-99; M. Truex Jr. 100; Kyle Busch 101-102; M. Truex Jr. 103; D. Ragan 104-105; R. Newman 106; D. Hamlin 107-110; B. Keselowski 111; G. Biffle 112; J. Montoya 113-114; K. Harvick 115; J. McMurray 116; K. Harvick 117-121; C. Bowyer 122; R. Newman 123-130; Kyle Busch 131-134; K. Harvick 135-142; R. Newman 143-153; M. Kenseth 154-157; R. Newman 158-162; D. Ragan 163-170. Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): R. Newman 4 times for 25 laps; K. Kahne 8 times for 19 laps; K. Harvick 4 times for 16 laps; M. Truex Jr. 6 times for 16 laps; D. Ragan 4 times for 15 laps; M. Martin 1 time for 15 laps; M. Kenseth 3 times for 14 laps; Kyle Busch 5 times for 11 laps; Kurt Busch 2 times for 6 laps; P. Menard 3 times for 5 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 4 laps; R. Smith 2 times for 4 laps; C. Mears 2 times for 3 laps; J. Burton 1 time for 3 laps; C. Bowyer 2 times for 3 laps; J. Montoya 1 time for 2 laps; J. McMurray 1 time for 1 lap; T. Kvapil(i) 1 time for 1 lap; T. Stewart 1 time for 1 lap; G. Biffle 1 time for 1 lap; J. Gordon 1 time for 1 lap; B. Keselowski 1 time for 1 lap; J. Nemechek(i) 1 time for 1 lap; D. Earnhardt Jr. 1 time for 1 lap; C. Edwards 1 time for 1 lap. Top 12 in Points: K. Harvick - 586; C. Edwards - 581; Kyle Busch - 576; Kurt Busch - 570; M. Kenseth - 564; J. Johnson - 564; D. Earnhardt Jr. - 534; J. Gordon - 519; C. Bowyer - 505; R. Newman - 498; D. Hamlin - 495; T. Stewart - 494.
Jul 02 | David Ragan Wins the 53rd Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola
David Ragan found redemption at historic Daytona International Speedway Saturday night picking up his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in a thrilling green-white-checkered finish in the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – David Ragan found redemption at historic Daytona International Speedway Saturday night picking up his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in a thrilling green-white-checkered finish in the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
Ragan’s No. 6 UPS Ford was in a familiar position on the final restart. He was in the same spot earlier this year in the Daytona 500, but changed lanes before crossing the start/finish line and was black-flagged – losing his chance at winning the richest and most prestigious race in NASCAR. This time, Roush Fenway Racing teammate and drafting partner Matt Kenseth was lined up behind Ragan, keeping him out front for the last eight laps and helping him become the seventh driver whose first-ever win has come in the mid-summer classic.
“There’s not a better place to do it than Daytona. It couldn’t be any better,” said Ragan from Gatorade Victory Lane. “We’ve been so close so many times and finally we’re here. Daytona means a lot. It is a special race and we’re very fortunate to get our first win here.”
Despite racing well on the 2.5-mile tri-oval, circumstances have kept Ragan from finishing well and his previous best finish of fourth came back in 2007 in the ARCA series.
Kenseth held on to second and Joey Logano, winner of last night’s SUBWAY Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, finished third. After capturing his 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole this week, veteran Mark Martin had a strong run, but was involved in an incident during the first green-white-checkered attempt and finished 33rd.
Carl Edwards entered the race as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader, but spun exiting Turn 4 on lap 23 and sustained damage to the No. 99 Subway Ford, enabling defending race winner Kevin Harvick to take over the points lead.
Similar to the Daytona 500, the new racing surface created a passing-friendly environment setting new race and track records. A track-record 25 drivers exchanged the lead a race-record 57 times; the previous record of 49 lead changes was set back in 1974. Ryan Newman paired with Denny Hamlin and was able to lead a race-high 25 of the race-extended 170 laps.
The Independence Day holiday classic opened with a pre-race concert by country music star Martina McBride and a tribute to four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. DIS also recognized NASA’s Space Shuttle program and the final flight – which is scheduled for July 8 – with United States Navy Commander and Astronaut Dominic “Tony” Antonelli serving as Honorary Starter.