Long Beach, Calif. – It took a daring maneuver on a restart, but Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge ended just as the other ones this season – with Martin Fuentes holding the trophy as the winner of the GT-A class.
Fuentes, driving the no. 07 HUBLOT / Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, had qualified on pole in GT-A and a strong seventh overall for Sunday morning’s 50-minute sprint race. Under sunny, clear skies, the PWC field took the green flag but as the field streamed into the first corner, Fuentes was pushed wide and fell down the order. Before long, a full course caution flew for an incident.
Now in second position in GT-A but with the leader directly in front of him, Fuentes seized an opportunity on the restart to retake the lead with a pass into narrow “Fountain” corner that is one of the hallmarks of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. Leading the race again, Fuentes steadily moved forward through the field winning GT-A by over thirty seconds and finishing in eighth position overall.
With his fifth victory in five races, Fuentes maintains his commanding GT-A championship lead.
“This is a very challenging place to pass, and unfortunately we lost some spots at the start,” said Fuentes. “I had a chance to retake the lead on the restart, because I came out of turn one with more speed, and I had to try it. It wasn’t a 100% move, but it worked. I could have settled for the points for second, which would have still been a great day for us. But I saw an opportunity to make the pass, and we are here to race, so I went for it. The Ferrari was great here at Long Beach, and many thanks to the entire Scuderia Corsa crew for giving me the chance to win here today.”
Bill Sweedler, in the no. 11 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, ran as high as third position in GT-A before retiring from the race.
In Saturday afternoon’s IMSA SportsCar Championship race, Daniel Serra and Alessandro Balzan put in a consistent effort to finish in sixth position in the GT-LeMans class with the no. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE. After starting in ninth position, the team opted for an aggressive strategy to go for the win that unfortunately didn’t paid off and team settled for sixth place.
“It was a wonderful experience to do my first race at Long Beach with Scuderia Corsa,” said Serra. “We raced a strategy that would allow us to use the balance and consistency of the N. 68 Ferrari 488 GTE the most. We had great pit stops from the team and made the most out of the car at Long Beach. This car is still new and we are always learning, and we’ll be able to use what we learned here when we compete in the other races this season.”
“I am extremely proud of the way that Martin has driven this season,” said Roberto Amorosi, Scuderia Corsa Technical Director. “He has obviously improved his championship lead. At the start, when he lost the lead, he stayed calm and kept the car out of trouble, and took the lead back as soon as he had an opportunity. It was a pleasure to have Bill Sweedler again with us this weekend – he did a great job considering the limited track time. In the GT-LeMans class, we learned quite a bit for the other races that we have planned for this season and will come back stronger! Thank you to Daniel and Alessandro whom did the best they could in such challenging conditions”
Fuentes and Scuderia Corsa will compete in only a few days with Pirelli World Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park in Barber, Alabama. Scuderia Corsa’s GT-LeMans and GT-Daytona next IMSA round will be at Laguna Seca on April 29-May 1.
About Scuderia Corsa:
2015 24Hours of Le Mans Podium, 2015 IMSA GTD and 2013 Grand-AM Rolex GT championship-winning team Scuderia Corsa was founded in 2013 by Giacomo Mattioli and Art Zafiropoulo. Giacomo Mattioli is the owner of Ferrari Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and South Bay and partner in Ferrari Maserati Silicon Valley with Art Zafiropoulo.
Follow Scuderia Corsa on Twitter @Scuderia_Corsa, on Facebook at Scuderia Corsa, Instagram at #Scuderiacorsaferrari and ScuderiaCorsa.com
Ferrari Beverly Hills / Los Angeles / Silicon Valley / South Bay – North America’s premiere Ferrari dealership group specializing in new and pre-owned sales, Classiche designation work, collision repair and factory trained service and original parts. Pacific Western Bank is a Los Angeles-based commercial bank with over $21 billion in assets. Pacific Western provides commercial banking services, including real estate, construction, and commercial loans, to small and medium-sized businesses through 80 full-service branches throughout the state of California. Pacific Western Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW).. Ferrari Palm Beach – Providing the exclusive Palm Beach market with a premium inventory of new and pre-owned Ferraris, state-of-the-art facilities and technicians for expert maintenance and repair. Wide World Ferrari – Located in Spring Valley, New York, offering Ferrari customers a premium selection of new and pre-owned Ferraris, expert authorized service and exclusive Ferrari certified body repair. Zonin USA -Zonin USA is wholly owned by Casa Vinicola Zonin S.p.A. in Italy, a company of seven generations of wine makers with eleven estates located in the most prestigious wine growing areas in Italy. Hublot – A champion of innovation, Hublot revolutionized the watch industry with the introduction of the Big Bang, a multiple award winning timepiece created using a combination of precious metals with rubber. Since then, the Swiss brand has become universally known for the concept, “Art of Fusion.” From in-house watch complications to world-class collaborations such as Ferrari and the Los Angeles Lakers, Hublot is constantly evolving and looking to the future. Passtime – Is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of wireless GPS telematics devices for the global automotive industry in the vehicle finance and fleet transportation sectors offering a web-based software portal with a complete end-to-end software solution designed specifically for the automotive industry. SONIC Tools – SONIC Tools is the North American subsidiary of Sonic Equipment, the world’s market leader in premium hand tools and tool box systems for both commercial and consumer use. The company’s mission is to elevate efficiency in the professional workshop through its premium hand tools and unique tool organization solutions. Sonic Tools’ precision-crafted tools, toolboxes and wall systems are found in the world’s most progressive automotive enterprises, and personal garages.
Motegi Racing – through technical partnerships with leading professional racing teams, Motegi Racing Competition and High Performance Tuning wheels are designed and engineered for performance. Motegi Racing is a Wheel Pros brand. Wheel Pros products are sold worldwide in more than 20 countries on four continents and through a U.S. network of more than 10,000 active dealers. AERO Advanced Paint Technology is the world’s only ultra-durable, film-based paint appliqué. AERO is 50 percent lighter than traditional paint, has 100x superior durability, is strip-able, and has virtually zero carbon footprint. AERO the future of paint. Sabelt – leading manufacturer of seat belts and safety harnesses for production and racings cars, race suits, shoes and helmets, carbon seats for automobiles and child restraint systems worldwide. AllState – Allstate Roadside Services strives to provide the industry’s best roadside experience for our partners, their customers and our service providers.
For Media Inquiries, please contact:
Picture Credit to Bob Chapman, Autosport Image