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Apr 21, 2013 - 04:43 PM
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R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport And AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing Finish Sixth & Eighth
Posted by: newsla on Apr 21, 2013 - 04:38 PM
Grand Am News
R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport And AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing With Ferrari 458 Italias Finish Sixth And Eighth In Competitive Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Race At Road Atlanta


The No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport and No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari 458 Italias finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in Saturday’s rough but competitive debut GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Road Atlanta.

 

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Starting driver Jeff Segal shared the No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Ferrari with closer Max Papis and both drivers ran in the lead pack all day. Papis led a lap as the field cycled through for final pit stops while earlier in the race Segal literally ran side-by-side with the leaders in a thrilling battle just after an earlier round of stops.

“It was good, starting eighth and getting up to third and then second, and for a period there we were able to battle pretty hard for the lead, which was a fantastic,” said Segal, who started his first GRAND-AM Rolex Series sprint race since 2005. “We knew it was going to be hard to pass and it was but it seemed to work out well and the car handled really, really well. The only time we got separated from the lead pack was in traffic, but we clawed our way right back to it.”

Segal pitted the No. 61 for his second and final stop in second place, handing off to Papis with little over an hour remaining.
“I am really happy for the performance of the car, we were fast,” Papis said. “We had a lot of speed, a lot of pace, but the strength of the car is under braking and in the handling, so as soon as we got caught a little bit in any kind of traffic, our lap times dropped dramatically. That’s what cost us a lot of speed. The result was not what we were expecting but the performance for all of us was excellent. We had fast laps and consistent speed.”

Anthony Lazzaro, running at his home track at Road Atlanta, set the fastest GT race lap of 1:23.699 (109.249 mph) on the race’s 72nd circuit despite dealing with a damaged No. 69 AIM/FXDD Ferrari. Rolling off third on the grid after a qualifying rain out set the starting field by championship points, opening driver Emil Assentato got caught up in some first-lap contact action. Quick pit work by the AIM Autosport kept Assentato and the No. 69 Ferrari in the race but the team went two laps down and had to fight back to the finish.

“It was difficult, the car got damaged a little bit and the left side of it was really bad, but these races seem to be going green lately,” Lazzaro said. “It was a flat-out sprint race, we made a change with the rear downforce on a stop and the car was actually better balanced. We showed we had the fastest car, we set the fastest race lap and we did improve one position over our Barber result, but you can’t really do anything about the bad luck. You just have to move on the next race and do your best.”

Despite the second tough race outing in a row, the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari team, and Lazzaro and Assentato, are still in the hunt for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Championship. The No. 69 team is tied for fourth in the standings with 101 points while Lazzaro and Assentato rank fifth in the driver championship with the same points total.

The No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari team, and Segal and Papis, have 90 points. That ranks the No. 61 seventh in the team championship and Segal and Papis eighth in the driver standings.

Next up for R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari, AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200 at Belle Isle on Saturday, June 1. The race can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT.

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