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Risi Competizione, Winward Take GT Class Victories at Daytona

Words by Matthew Boyce. Cover Image by Jake Galstad/LAT Images

After numerous attempts, Risi Competizione Ferrari claimed victory in the GTD-Pro class at the 62nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 was driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Daniel Serra and Davide Rigon. Risi scored the win after a near flawless performance during the twice around the clock classic, with its nearest competitor finishing 34 seconds back.

Levitt/LAT Images

The final caution period set up a dual between the No. 62 Ferrari and the No. 77 AO Racing 911 GT3 R of Michael Christensen, Laurin Heinrich and Seb Priaulx. When the green flag fell after the final yellow, Laurin Heinrich made a valiant effort to real in the No. 62, but to no avail. Completing the class podium was the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, which was Risi's main competitor before the final two hours of the race. Bryan Sellers, while close in second, brought his BMW into the fits for a brake change. The car had to return to the pits a few laps latter after the team had improperly fitted one of the brake discs during the repair. This mistake cost the Paul Miller Racing team a potential GTD-Pro class win on debut. Heart of Racing finished fourth in their No. 023 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo driven by Ross Gunn, Andre Riberas and Mario Farnbacher.

Until the morning hours of Sunday, both brand-new Corvette Z06 GT3.R's of Pratt and Miller Racing were running competitively until gremlins struck both cars. The No. 3 suffered a cracked oil tank which set them six laps behind while the No. 4 lost 17 laps due to a power steering issue. All three of the new Ford Mustang GT3 machines, two by Multimatic and one fielded by Proton Competition, suffered mechanical issues as well. Both Multimatic Mustangs experienced issues with the cars rear wing assembly.

Jake Galstad/LAT Images

In the GTD class, Winward Racing claimed the class victory in their No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG of Daniel Morad, Indy Dontje, Russell Ward and Philip Ellis. Morad closed the race for the team fending off a late race charge by the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari of Miguel Molina. Molina shared the second place winning Ferrari with Kei Cozzolino, Francois Heriau and Simon Mann. As was the case in all of the previous classes, the final yellow flag set up a straight up dual between the top competitors in each class. Morad was able to hold off Molina to grab the checkered almost three seconds clear.

Another Ferrari rounded out the podium as the No. 34 Conquest Racing machine of Alessandro Balzan, Manny Franco, Albert Costa and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli. Yet another Ferrari finished in fourth as the No. 023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari rounded out the top five. The No. 32 Korthoff/Preston Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 of Mike Skeen, Kenton Koch, Mikael Grenier and Maxi Gotz, which held a top three position for a majority of Sunday morning, faded late in the race and finished in fifth.


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