Daytona Finale: Washington Ferrari race report

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, NOVEMBER 1. It was a clean sweep for the ...

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, NOVEMBER 1. It was a clean sweep for the #33 Girard-Perregaux / Market Scan / Scuderia Ferrari of Washington team at the Champions Weekend, the GrandAm season finale. The team won the GT Team Championship, drivers Cort Wagner and Brent Martini tied for the GT Drivers Championship, and by winning the GT race the team gave Ferrari its first GT Manufacturers Championship ever in North America. The win also tied the GT record of five consecutive wins set by the team during the 2002 season.

This is the second year for the Scuderia Ferrari of Washington to race in the GrandAm series, and they've produced impressive results. In those two years they've been virtually unbeatable, with team and driver championships both years.

Martini was delighted with the win and championship. "My shift was full of bedlam. There was a lot of crashing down in turn one, oil in the track, trouble getting out of the pits. I was just glad we made it through it. . I'm stunned by winning the championship. It wasn't where my head was at when I started the year, but Ferrari of Washington is a championship team, with Girard Perregaux, and the support from all our sponsors, and they helped me become a champion."

Wagner shared Martini's excitement. "Pretty amazing. I'm still trying to digest it. It's pretty insane -- winning the first-ever North American GT championship for Ferrari. That's one for the record books. I've had a great career in sports car racing, but this tops it all off. It's amazing to win it for Ferrari. We were focused on winning the driver's championship, but we had a one-point lead in the manufacturer's and we had to win to beat Porsche. They kept us on our ties right up until the final checkered flag."

Team Manager had brought some insurance for the race at the famed Daytona International Speedway: two more Ferrari 360s. The team's 360 Challenge driven by Emil Assentato and Nick Longhi finished 6th in the GT class, and Allie Ash and Rusty West drove another 360 GT to an 11th place GT finish.

Girard-Perregaux watches was the Scuderia's primary sponsor in both 2002 and 2003. Their limited edition "360 GT" chronograph was created to recognize the team and its Ferrari racer.

Market Scan Information Systems joined the Scuderia as a major sponsor in 2004. The company, founded in 1988, is an innovation leader in developing financing software solutions for automotive retailers.

Associate sponsors for the Scuderia's 2003 season were the Peris Companies, Putnam Leasing, and Tubi Style. The Peris Companies was founded in 1991 as a tenant interiors contractor, but has evolved into one of Washington, D.C.'s top regional construction service companies. Putnam Leasing, with offices in Greenwich, Connecticut and Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of the oldest specialty vehicle leasing companies in the United States, with extensive experience in the Ferrari market. Tubi Style is the leading after-market supplier of sporting exhaust systems for Ferraris and other exotic cars.

Further information on the Scuderia Ferrari of Washington and the Ferrari 360 GT is available at www.360GT.com on the Internet.

-sfw-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Nick Longhi , Brent Martini , Rusty West , Cort Wagner