Scuderia Corsa Ferrari awarded podium finish at Laguna Seca after review


September 13, 2013 – Beverly Hills, California.  After a race filled weekend in the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, drivers Leh Keen and Alessandro Balzan followed up their recent Kansas Speedway victory by being awarded third place in Sunday’s Rolex GT race.  Grand-AM officials spent the week reviewing a series of incidents during the race that badly damaged the #63 Ferrari 458, confirming Friday that Scuderia Corsa had earned a podium finish.

Team principal Giacomo Mattioli, who launched his Scuderia Corsa team at Laguna Seca last September and considers it his home track, said “every team deserves a fair chance to compete and the process that maintains this was appropriately implemented by officials. We ran a fantastic race on Sunday and are now focused on getting ready to go for the championship at our last race of the season at Lime Rock.” 

Keen, a two-time Rolex GT champion, put the #63 Ferrari 458 Italia in third position on the grid during Saturday’s qualifying and drove the race’s opening stint.  Fuel and tire management on this notoriously hot and twisting track were key as teams battled for grip and passing opportunities.   On lap 22, Keen handed the car over to Balzan on a lightning quick pit stop that enabled the #63 to take the GT lead.  Balzan would hold a commanding lead for 37 laps. 

I was very happy with the balance of tires and our fuel strategy during the first half” said Balzan before adding “Near the end is when everything happened.  The cars behind me were not able to pass in a clean way, so I got hit a few times, one which completely destroyed the rear diffuser and closed the exhaust system. The #63 458 Italia got difficult to drive and lost some efficiency with the engine.  My second hit from behind was so hard that I thought I would have to retire the car, but I kept fighting to finish.  I want to thank our team who did an amazing job with the pit stops, especially our first pit when they got me out in P1.  All the guys did such a good job today.” 

Co-driver Leh Keen added, “we ran a good steady, no risk strategy and led much of the race, but if you look at the first and second place cars, they risked it all by needing about 15 minutes of caution time and today they got it.” 

Scuderia Corsa currently sits in second place in the GT team and driver championship standings, just four points out of the lead.  Ferrari currently maintains a healthy lead in the manufacturer championship.

Tune in for the final race of 2013 at Lime Rock Park on Sept. 28 at 1:30pm ET Live on Fox Sports 2 and rebroadcasted on September 29, 12:00PM ET, FOX Sports 1