Gabriele Rafanelli Sets Podium Goal for Team Olive Garden Ferrari At Mosport ALMS Bowmanville, ON, Canada (August 11, 2003) - Last year's Mosport round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) marked the end of a string of three consecutive ...
Gabriele Rafanelli Sets Podium Goal for Team Olive Garden Ferrari At Mosport ALMS
Bowmanville, ON, Canada (August 11, 2003) - Last year's Mosport round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) marked the end of a string of three consecutive top-three finishes in the GTS category for high-powered, production-based sports cars. This season, Team Olive Garden Ferrari drivers Emanuele Naspetti and Mimmo Schiattarella hope to launch a podium run here.
Just over a week ago in Quebec, the team scored its first top-three finish of the season, advancing Naspetti and Schiattarella to fifth in GTS driver point standings. Now, with some new assistance from Pirelli the team looks forward to the Mosport podium.
Team boss Gabriele Rafanelli put it this way, "Our goal was to raise a bottle of Coke on the Trois Rivières podium and we did it. One could say it took some luck, but in fact we were prepared for any opportunity that might come our way from the high-pressure battle between the Corvettes and the ProDrive Ferraris. Trois Rivières won't be the last such battle the fans will see and we will be right there to take full advantage. We expect some important new tires from our partner Pirelli - these are the first direct result of an intensive test program earlier this year at Road Atlanta.
Our engine partners at Élan have worked tirelessly and we expect some more improvements for Mosport. We also have new underbody aero pieces we have confidence in. Remember, until we suffered problems in the race at Road Atlanta, we showed we were pretty much on pace with the leaders. Mosport has fast straights but it's also very bumpy and our chassis is very good over the bumps, so let's see what we can do against the so-called big dogs."
Team Olive Garden has completely revised last year's Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS and created a 2003 evolution model. The V2003 car is both stiffer and lighter and features new diffusers front and rear which substantially improve aerodynamic efficiency. Both front and rear suspensions have been replaced with improved designs with new mounting points, all-new components and sharply improved kinematics. Hewland has provided a lighter evolution gearbox, now with sequential shift. Elan Power Products have provided a much more powerful Ferrari V-12 engine than the team used in the 2002 ALMS.
Watch Team Olive Garden's performance on NBC Sports TV beginning at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. The race can also be followed via live timing and audio play by play by logging in to Radio Le Mans at the ALMS web site, www.americanlemans.com. In addition, Radio Le Mans will GT and GTS category qualification on Saturday, August 16 starting at 2:35 pm Eastern Time.