Level 5 Motorsports has won the first race of the United SportsCar Racing series GTD class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The controversial finish resulted in a battle between Alessandro Pier Guidi racing a Ferrari 458 Italia for Level 5 Motorsport and Markus Winkelhock who was piloting an Audi A8 for Flying Lizard Motorsports. Both drivers were midway through the infield portion of the race when the Level 5 Motorsports entry No 555 was fighting aggressively to maintain the first place position over the Flying Lizard entry No 45. The Audi ended up being squeezed by the Ferrari resulting in the Audi going off-course and losing momentum. International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) officials initially ruled that the Ferrari had made avoidable contact with the Audi and was therefore was penalized resulting in a victory for Flying Lizard. Upon closer review of the video replay, IMSA officials ruled that no contact had been made between the two cars and awarded the victory to Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia.
“A full post-race review of the incident on the last lap of the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona was completed by IMSA Supervisory Officials. The decision has been made to reverse the decision by the race director, rescind the penalty against the No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia team, and reinstate drivers Scott Tucker, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Pier Guidi as the GT Daytona class winners. We regret the confusion following the race, and appreciate the patience by our fans, drivers, teams and the media so we could properly review and subsequently report this decision.
Recently, Formula one driver Fernando Alonso was given an opportunity to take out the still camouflaged Ferrari LaFerrari for a test drive around the 1.86 mile test track with GT driver Andrea Bertolini as his passenger.
“I am always happy to spend a few days in Maranello. Apart from working on the car and being in close contact with the team,” said Alsonso. “Sometimes I’m able to see some of the production departments which are the heart of the company. This time I met up with people who are never in the limelight, but they have an incredible love for their work.”
Three time Formula One Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella will be competing in the inaugural season of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship driving for Risi Competizione in the Ferrari 458 Italia. The veteran F1 driver has competed in 231 grand prix with 3 wins and 19 podiums, making Fisichella the winningest F1 driver to compete in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
The Tudor United SportsCar Championship (USC) is a racing series based in the United States and Canada organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The USC is a result of merger between two existing North American sports car racing series, the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series. The 2014 season will begin with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on January 25-26.
Ferrari has captured the Rolex Series manufacturer Championship for the second consecutive season. Alessandro Balzan’s second place finish at Lime Rock Park was enough to win the Rolex Series GRAND-AM GT drivers championship and secure the Rolex series team championship for Scuderia Corsa. This generates serious momentum for Ferrari leading into the 2014 season where the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM series will merge to become the Tudor United Sports Car Championship.