Jeffery Segal Racing press release
Jeff Segal Returns To His Ferrari Roots for Full 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Season with Emil Assentato and AIM Autosport Team FXDD
Segal Shooting for Third GRAND-AM Road Racing Championship in Six Years with New Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am Program
MIAMI (October 27, 2011) – Jeff Segal will be racing back to his roots in the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in the all-new AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am that he will co-drive with teammate Emil Assentato in an all-out assault on the GT class driver and team and manufacturer championships.
Segal and Assentato co-drove to the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT Championship and will be looking for their second set of GT class titles in three years in 2012 in their first season with both the new AIM Autosport Team FXDD collaboration and at the wheel of a Ferrari. Segal also captured the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS class championship in 2007, GRAND-AM's youngest ever driver champion at the time.
For Segal, 26, the return to the legendary “Prancing Horse” marque takes him back to where his racing career began as an emerging talent nearly a decade ago. Segal began his overall career as a race-winning teenager in Ferrari Challenge competition and made some of his earliest GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT starts in 2003 in Ferrari race cars.
“I am definitely excited about returning to the Ferrari family with our racing effort for 2012,” Segal said. “In many ways it feels like a return to home. I have a lot of history and experience with the brand over the years, and it seems fitting that I'm going to be fortunate enough to play an important role in bringing Ferrari back to GRAND-AM competition this year.”
Segal was the first active GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT driver to test the Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am this past summer at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He left that test determined to put a program together based on the Ferrari 458 Italia for the full 2012 season.
“The moment that Ferrari announced their intention to return to the Rolex Series for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Segal said. “It has been a project that was a long time in the making for a lot of people involved. Ferrari has worked hard with GRAND-AM to adapt the 458 Italia to the Rolex Series GT class, and without the cooperation of those two entities, this opportunity could not happen.”
Part of Segal’s intense preparation has taken him to Italy in recent months to meet with key project personnel from Ferrari race car constructor Michelotto. He and long time teammate Nick Longhi visited Michelotto headquarters earlier this month to work with project engineers on the early design plans for their new Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am race car. Segal left for yet another visit to Europe Wednesday afternoon where he will join some of his new associates from AIM Autosport Team FXDD in Maranello, Italy, next week in preparation for the Ferrari 458 Italia’s first shakedown run. Besides the anticipation of the maiden run for the new Ferrari race car, Segal is also eager to begin working with the established AIM Autosport team.
“Ian Willis and the entire organization at AIM Autosport have always been an impressive team when they competed in the Daytona Prototype class over the past several seasons,” Segal said. “It was clear to see that they were always able to produce big results even when they were outgunned by bigger teams with more resources. They've got a careful, methodical, precision engineering philosophy that I think will really pay dividends as we work to develop the Ferrari to the GRAND-AM rules package. Everyone on the team seems to be relishing the opportunity to compete at the front of the GT class in 2012, and they seem especially excited to represent a brand as iconic as Ferrari.”
AIM Autosport Team FXDD will make its on-track debut in its new car at Fiorano – the official Ferrari test track near Maranello – this Tuesday, November 1. The team’s official GRAND-AM Rolex Series debut is scheduled for December’s final test of the year at Daytona International Speedway. AIM Autosport Team FXDD’s debut race will be the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26 - 29, in addition to running the entire 2012 season schedule. The full driver lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be announced in the coming weeks.