Second consecutive podium and third of the year keeps the No. 69 AIM/FXDD Ferrari team and drivers in the thick of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports car series GT championship.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia, and team drivers Emil Assentato, Anthony Lazzaro and Leh Keen, scored a GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season-best second-place finish Saturday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International.
The No. 69 Ferrari rolled off from ninth on the starting grid and the drivers soon realized that some overnight changes by the AIM Autosport team did the trick in improving the Ferrari’s handling. Assentato steadily moved up the running order in his race-opening stint and the No. 69 was a high as second place just past the race’s opening hour.
“We had a lot of confidence yesterday, going into last night, that the team was going to make the right decisions on the car after qualifying,” Lazzaro said. “I did the first few laps in my stint and came on the radio and said the car was awesome. We made one Gurney flap change in the middle of the race to make it perfect, the team did a great job and we got another podium. Now we need a win.”
Assentato and then co-driver Jeff Segal drove the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia to last year’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Championship.
“Obviously, coming in second helps our championship chances,” Assentato said. “We have had a real tough start to the season, hopefully this starts the turn around and we thought had this one won today. Just a couple of bad breaks and we got second, which we can’t hate, we like second, and hopefully we can get a few more podiums and get back in this championship hunt a little closer.”
The No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari 458 Italia team, and Assentato and Lazzaro, now rank fourth in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Team and Driver Championship standings. Their current points total of 187 is just six markers behind the two teams that are tied for second and third and just 12 points shy of the GT class leader.
Two-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Champion Keen joined the No. 69 squad this weekend and more than proved his value as a solid endurance race closing driver. He set the fastest GT race lap of 1:51.866 (109.417 mph) as he tried to chase down the eventual winners in the race’s late stages.
“I have to thank AIM Autosport for getting me in this FXDD Ferrari,” said Keen, who also led seven race laps on Saturday. “It was absolutely great, a pleasure to drive and now I know why they are such a good championship team. Emil and Anthony just did a perfect job and it was a pleasure.
We had good pace there at the end but the late rain shower that came kind of hurt us a little bit. Before the rain we were better but then the rain kind of ‘greened up’ the track and we weren’t perfect any more but we still had a great race.
Next up for AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the 2nd Annual Brickyard Grand Prix on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 25 – 26. The race can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED, Friday, July 26, at 7:30 pm. EDT/4:30 p.m. PDT.
AIM Autosport Team