DAYTONA BEACH – Two-time reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Champion Jeff Segal officially kicked off his title defense Friday at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the on track debut of the new No. 61 R.Ferri AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari F458.
A native of Italy, Papis is the 2004 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype co-champion and 2002 Rolex 24 overall winner. Segal and Papis will co-drive the No. 61 R.Ferri AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari entry through new partnership between AIM and Remo Ferri.
“The collaboration between AIM and Remo Ferri has huge potential and I’m really excited for the full season with Max Papis,” said Segal. “That’s a name that’s been around for a long time in sports car racing, IndyCar, Formula 1 and NASCAR.”
Segal and his No. 61 AIM/R.Ferri teammates elected to sit out Friday’s first practice session because of steady rain showers. Assentato, who is a lead driver in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari, also joined his team in passing on the wet session.
“A little bit of a slow start today,” said Segal. “Like everybody else the weather didn’t do us any favors. Nobody wants their first laps with a brand new car to be in the rain. So we waited a bit and then in the afternoon we went out and worked through the agenda that you would have with a brand new car.”
The weather improved and Segal took to the track for Friday’s second practice. After he and his teammates turned 18 laps in the session, the No. 61 R.Ferri AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari team will shift its focus in the next two days of the test to improving the car before the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“We got a lot of things done, which I’m very happy about,” Segal said. “There’s still a lot of work to do before we are really ready for the race and that’s why we are here.”
Segal and Papis will co-drive the No. 61 AIM/R.Ferri with Ferrari with top European talents Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.