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Cetilar in Possible GTE-Am Move; Eyeing IMSA Future

Cetilar Racing evaluating possible Ferrari 488 GTE program, selected IMSA LMP2 races…

Photo: Fabio Taccola/Cetilar Racing

Cetilar Racing could make the switch to the GTE-Am ranks of the FIA World Endurance Championship next season, with a number of options on the table for the Italian squad, including potential IMSA outings, according to team owner/driver Roberto Lacorte.

Lacorte has revealed that discussions have begun on a potential Ferrari 488 GTE program that would see the AF Corse-run team migrate from its current LMP2 operation.

A staple of ACO-run racing, Cetilar joined forces with AF Corse for its maiden season of WEC as the only Dallara P217 Gibson on the grid.

With LMP2 set to be slowed next season due to the arrival of the Hypercar class, Lacorte said it could prompt him to look at the production-based ranks, while remaining with an all-Italian effort.

“We are working on next year’s program. We have two main ideas,” Lacorte told Sportscar365.

“I would like to stay in WEC. But we have to wait for the new [LMP2] rules but at the same time, we [could] start a new project with Ferrari.

“Amato Ferrari has proposed me an idea to have a team in GTE-Am.”

Lacorte said they could also look at an effort in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, likely based around the Michelin Endurance Cup races with its Dallara.

However, the Bronze-rated driver has ruled out an entry for the start of the 2020 season and remains “strongly committed” to the WEC.

“I am watching that championship, mainly the four endurance races,” Lacorte said. “For the future, I imagine to race in Daytona for sure because I’ve never raced there.

“For sure some ideas to race with the prototype in America. I still have this idea.

“But we have to wait for the future. I like to work with Gerard Neveu and the ACO guys. I’ve been committed to them since the beginning. 

“We started with LMP3 when they introduced LMP3. We started with a new-generation LMP2 [in ELMS]. I am following that path.

“We need to decide on the next program. But I don’t know what way, whether it will be with a prototype or with the idea of a Ferrari [in GTE-Am].”

Lacorte, who previously raced a Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, said he is planning a test in the latest-generation GTE car in February prior to making a decision on the 2020-21 season.

Cetilar Hoping for Gains with Dallara LMP2 Package

While being one of only two teams currently running the Dallara in LMP2 competition worldwide, Lacorte said they’re hoping to close the gap to the all-dominant Oreca 07 in the races to come.

“We have a big commitment with Dallara,” he said.

“We’re trying to do our best and to develop the car with what Dallara can give us, and with the best team we can have in AF Corse and Amato Ferrari. 

“I think we have the best conditions to achieve the most we can in the Dallara.

“We have some ideas to develop. We know it’s a very short range of space to work.

“Unfortunately the rules have not changed and there’s no space to develop for the future, so we have to develop this without any [technical] changes.

“We know what we have in our hands and what we have to do.

“We hope to gain some more. I think we can do better in Sebring and mainly in Le Mans.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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