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Ferrari: Daytona Bid With 499P Not on Radar for 2024

Italian manufacturer won’t look to add another major 24-hour race win next year…

Photo: Ferrari

Ferrari has ruled out a GTP entry into next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the manufacturer’s sports car racing director stating a preference to concentrate on the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Like the other manufacturers of LMH cars, Ferrari only competes in one of the two series where such machinery is eligible and that approach will remain in place for 2024.

Its global head of endurance racing Antonello Coletta told Sportscar365 that Daytona and other IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races are “not on our radar” next year.

When the Ferrari 499P made its debut at the 1000 Miles of Sebring in March, Coletta said that the subject of a potential WeatherTech Championship involvement would only be considered after the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ferrari went on to win Le Mans at the first attempt with its new hybrid-powered LMH car, adding to recent GT racing successes in the major 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.

“I believe that all the 24-hour races have a different importance, attitude and strategy,” said Coletta.

“They are all different. Le Mans, Daytona and Spa are not at the same point. After winning Le Mans, my dream is to re-win Le Mans.

“At the moment, it’s not on our radar to go to Daytona. We will go to Daytona with the GT3, but this is another issue. The World Endurance Championship is our dream.

“We won probably the most important race in the world, in a special edition. This is fantastic. But the world championship, for us, is another target that we have.

“For this matter, all our efforts will be, next year, on the world championship and the 24-hour [at Le Mans].”

Coletta indicated that it could be feasible for Ferrari at some point to bring its factory team to Daytona, but not next year.

Its works team AF Corse already has a facility in Florida that it uses for its North American GT racing activities including its Michelin Endurance Cup entries in LMP2 and GTD.

Coletta also raised concerns about the homologation process that Ferrari would need to go through on IMSA’s side in order to be eligible for WeatherTech Championship races.

LMH cars like the Ferrari 499P are homologated using Sauber’s wind tunnel in Switzerland and would need to go through the Windshear wind tunnel in North Carolina to be approved for IMSA competition.

Coletta indicated that he would prefer a more unified approach to wind tunnel testing for homologation purposes.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t understand why we need to go in a different wind tunnel and why IMSA and the FIA have a different approach to the data,” he said.

“For me, the data is completely similar. I know that in LMDh [cars] that participated in IMSA, they have a different body with respect to the LMDh in WEC.

“We speak of convergence and then we have the cars [being] completely different. I believe that we need to have some work in front of us to have a real convergence.

“At the moment, for us, it’s no problem. I hope that when we take the eventual decision to go in the U.S., the problem of the convergence will be resolved.

“At the moment, I see just a little confusion. At the end, it’s the same issue for many years with the GTs. Because the BoP of GT3 in Europe is completely different to the BoP in the U.S.

“The approach is completely different. The ideas of the people to manage the BoP is completely different. I believe this is the first matter that we need to resolve.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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