Daytona II: Ferrari race report

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, JULY 5. The Scuderia Ferrari of Washington 360 GT, sponsored by Girard-Perregaux watches, took its second consecutive win late last night in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The new 360 GT, driven by...

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, JULY 5. The Scuderia Ferrari of Washington 360 GT, sponsored by Girard-Perregaux watches, took its second consecutive win late last night in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The new 360 GT, driven by Bill Auberlen and Cort Wagner, won the GT class and finished eighth overall, in front of all the faster GTS and AGT entries. Only seven sports-racing prototypes finished ahead of the Ferrari in the 250 mile race, part of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car series. The SFoW factory 360 GT has now won both races entered.

Auberlen was excited with the Daytona win: "Cort [Wagner] and I both won the big one twice. Now we won the short one, which seemed to be harder to win than the long one."

Wagner agreed: "It was a great race for us. It was a nail-bitter until the end. We got a lap down in the middle under a yellow flag situation and gained it back. Billy [Auberlen] had an awesome stint in the car and I had a good drive and it all went really well. The whole team did a great job."

The Ferrari had qualified third in class, behind a Chevy-powered Mosler and a Porsche GT3R. The Mosler took an initial lead, gaining a lap on the Ferrari when the pace car, on track after a crash, split the pair. A later full course yellow brought out the pace car again, allowing the Ferrari to close up on the Mosler. Auberlen took the lead at the restart, and finished one lap ahead of the Mosler in second. A Porsche GT3R which had won both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of LeMans finished third, a further two laps back.

The weekend was not an easy one for the Washington team. A torn gearbox seal required a lengthy repair, and cost the team the first two practice sessions. Wagner qualified the car with limited practice time, but the team was not satisfied with the setup. Auberlen explains what happened: "We were at the mall shopping earlier today and we came up with this brainstorm -- lets put these springs on, because we think that is what it is going to take. The team put on different springs, a different shock setup and you couldn't of hit it much better. We guessed the perfect setup."

Girard-Perregaux, founded in Geneva in 1791, is a highly respected and dynamic watch making company, one of the last true Manufactories in Switzerland. The company recently announced a limited edition chronograph commemorating the Ferrari 360 GT.

Further information on the Scuderia Ferrari of Washington (including team gear) and the Ferrari 360 GT is available at their web site (www.360GT.com).

The Daytona win moves the SFoW team into second place in the GrandAm GT championship.

-sfw-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Cort Wagner