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Apr 18, 2013 - 05:59 AM
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Road Atlanta Not All New For Aim Autosport Team Fxdd
Posted by: newsla on Apr 18, 2013 - 05:57 AM
Grand Am News
Road Atlanta Not All New For Aim Autosport Team Fxdd And R.Ferri/Aim Motorsport Racing With Ferrari 458 Italia Teams


Ready to race on a "new" circuit that is more than familiar, the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD and No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia teams will bring a bit of a home-track advantage to this weekend’s inaugural GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race, April 19 - 20, on the legendary Georgia road course.

 

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Georgia resident Anthony Lazzaro will race on his home circuit at Road Atlanta with codriver Emil Assentato in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari while Jeff Segal and Max Papis bring ample experience on the Peach State road course in the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing Ferrari.

The debut GRAND-AM Road Racing event weekend at Road Atlanta, the featured GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race can be seen live on SPEED this Saturday, April 20, at 4:30 p.m. EDT/1:30 p.m. PDT. The timed 2-3/4-hour sprint is Round 4 of 12 races on the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series calendar.

"I always enjoy driving at Road Atlanta," Lazzaro said. "It seems to bring a little extra confidence from me. I first went there in 1974 and have been racing there since 1981. The main thing is to get Emil to that same confidence level as it has been some time since he was there. I know what I need from the car and the team and I will work together to get it."

The reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Champions, the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari entry comes to Road Atlanta solidly positioned in its title defense. The No. 69 has 73 points to rank third in the GT Team Championship, just five points shy of first place. Assentato and Lazzaro rank fourth in the GT Driver Championship standings with the same points tally, also just five markers out of first place.

"It is great to be back at Road Atlanta," said Assentato, who last raced at the Georgia track in 2002. "When anyone talks about iconic road courses in North America, Road Atlanta is always included. Being a real test of skill and guts, Road Atlanta will bring out the best and the worst in all of our competitors. As is the case at every race this season, the competition will be fierce, but I am really looking forward to it!"

Segal and Papis come to Road Atlanta on the heels of the first-year No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Ferrari team’s best performance to date one race ago at Barber Motorsports Park. Shaking off disappointing finishes despite encouraging performance in the year’s opening pair of races, Segal, Papis and the No. 61 team finished a solid fourth at Barber.

"Finishing Barber in the top-five was definitely a step in the right direction, but it still isn't everything that we wanted from the weekend," Segal said. "No doubt, it was a pretty good result for the points, and it was also nice that some of the cars at the head of the standings had lackluster finishes, but we've still got more to come from this team. I'm sure that we've got podiums and wins in store before too much longer."

The fourth-place result at Barber moved the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari team into the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT points race. The No. 61 comes to Georgia seventh in the GT Team Championship with 65 points while Segal and Papis are ninth in the GT Driver Championship with the same points total.

Segal has raced Ferrari Challenge cars in the past at Road Atlanta and also competed in last year’s Petit Le Mans in the GTC class. Papis has raced several different types of sports cars at Road Atlanta over the years in addition to testing top-tier NASCAR stock cars on the multi-configuration road course.

"I'm really looking forward to racing at Road Atlanta again," Segal said. "I think that it should be a great event for the Rolex Series, and an enjoyable track to drive in the Ferrari 458. My first taste of Road Atlanta was actually when I competed there in the Ferrari 360 Challenge in 2004. I hadn't been back to race there until Petit Le Mans this past year. So while it isn't a new track for me, I know we've got a lot to learn in the promoter test day and official practice sessions to make sure we're fully prepared for the race."

The Road Atlanta GRAND-AM Road Racing weekend is a two-day Friday and Saturday event preceded by unofficial track testing on Thursday. Practice and qualifying takes place on Friday while race-day Saturday begins with a 45-minute final practice session at 9:15 a.m. The featured GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

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