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Apr 20, 2013 - 07:05 AM
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Aim Autosport Team Fxdd And RFerri/Aim Motorsport Racing
Posted by: newsla on Apr 20, 2013 - 07:05 AM
Grand Am News
Aim Autosport Team Fxdd And RFerri/Aim Motorsport Racing With Ferrari 458 Italias To Start 3rd And 8th In Saturday’S Road Atlanta Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Race

The No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD and No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari 458 Italias will start tomorrow’s inaugural GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Road Atlanta third and eighth, respectively, after qualifying was rained out Friday afternoon.


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The starting grid was set by official GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Team Championship point standings. That placed the reigning GT Champion No. 69 AIM/FXDD Ferrari of Emil Assentato and Anthony Lazzaro third in the starting field and the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Ferrari of Jeff Segal and Max Papis eighth.

"It is good starting at the front for whatever the reason," Assentato said. "Last year at Road America we had a similar situation where the qualifying session was rained out. We lined up on the front row and really never gave up the lead for long and won. Track position in this series is becoming more and more important as the cars become more and more competitive. The drivers are really on the wheel a lot these days so I am pretty happy, for whatever reason, to be up there."

While the No. 69 team earned the third-place starting spot after a strong points tally in the opening quarter of the 2013 season, the No. 61 squad was hoping to earn a higher place on the grid in qualifying. In Friday’s morning practice session, the No. 61 turned the sixth fastest time, just one position behind the No. 69.

"We had a good result at Barber, we have been building off of that in testing and in practice here and really showing strong pace," Segal said. "Everything was pointing in the right direction but we knew the whole time that the likelihood the last two days was that qualifying was going to get rained out. I hope, sincerely, that this is the last of our bad luck because, for sure, that is all you can call it. It’s just really unfortunate. Track position is everything here, so we have a lot of work to do."

Despite missing out on qualifying, both Ferrari teams have taken advantage of the ample track time in this weekend’s schedule. Friday’s two-hour practice followed a full day of unofficial testing on Thursday.

"So far here at Road Atlanta we have experimented with different things on the car," Papis said. "Right now it looks like we are a solid top five, maybe a podium position. It is going to be a very close battle and it looks like the Porsche this weekend may have a little bit more of an advantage. It looks a little bit more like Daytona where the Porsches are really, really fast.

"I still think we have something to play," Papis said. "We are going to take a look at our aero package and have been definitely maximizing the performance of the car. So far I have been really pleased with the progress of myself and the team."

Race-day Saturday begins with a 45-minute final practice session at 9:15 a.m. EDT. The featured GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race can be seen live on SPEED 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.

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