Balzan and Westphal look to repeat podium performance on Belle Isle, while Chris Cumming joins Kyle Marcelli in second Ferrari
May 28, 2014 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Looking to jump start their bid for a GT-Daytona class championship, Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal are aiming for another run to the podium at this weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race on the temporary circuit of Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan.
At last year’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Belle Isle, Balzan and Westphal drove the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia to second position while applying heavy pressure to the car which ultimately won the race. After finishing in seventh position in April’s TUDOR Championship race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the drivers are aiming for a return to their form from last year’s race in Detroit. Balzan and Westphal are in currently in tenth position in the GT-D drivers’ championship.
“For sure, we want to be back to finishing on the podium,” said Balzan, who won last season’s Rolex Series GT drivers’ championship. “In each race this year, our no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia has been in a position to win but for one reason or another, things have not gone in our favor. We know the Ferrari, with its great balance and braking, will do very well at Detroit so I am excited to get back in the car and try to get our first win of the year. The Detroit circuit is really challenging, and the opportunities to pass are very limited, so it will be important to qualify well and to have good pit stops to keep our Ferrari up front.”
Detroit will also see another race for the no. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, as Kyle Marcell will be joined by Chris Cumming for the race. Cumming, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a full-season competitor in the Prototype Challenge class. After scoring three wins in 2012 when partnered with Marcellli, he narrowly missed the Prototype Challenge championship.
Marcelli drove with Stefan Johansson in last month’s TUDOR Championship race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the no. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, with the car running as high as second position before finishing in tenth.
“While we didn’t get the result that we wanted at Laguna Seca, it was great to spend my first weekend behind the wheel of the no. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia and work with the team through a full weekend,” said Marcelli. “Scuderia Corsa is a great organization and I am really enjoying working with them. It’s clear to see that the results will come, and I am really thrilled that my friend Chris Cumming will be in the Ferrari this weekend. We have enjoyed a lot of success together, and I think he will really enjoy racing the Ferrari on a challenging street circuit like Detroit.”
The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will be shown live on Saturday, May 31 at 1:30 PM ET on FOX Sports 1. Qualifying will be streamed live on Friday, May 30 at 5:25 PM ET on IMSA.com.
Scuderia Corsa Press Release