Alessandro Balzan says it’s “back to business” this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as the Italian makes his long-awaited return to the wheel of a Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
Balzan, who was sidelined for nearly a year due to a medical procedure that required him to be placed on blood thinners, recently completed his racing comeback in the Italian GT Championship.
Saturday’s pair of GT World Challenge America season-ending rounds, however, will mark his first race in the U.S. and with the Giacomo Mattioli-owned squad in nearly 17 months.
The three-time IMSA champion, who earned all of his titles with Scuderia Corsa, has teamed up with Bret Curtis in the GT3 Pro-Am class entry, a deal that was only finalized a few weeks ago.
“It was a last-minute call for this race, from Bret and from Scuderia Corsa,” Balzan told Sportscar365.
“It’s back to business with the team, where I’ve had a lot of victories and a lot of fun.
“I’m super happy and excited.
“A lot of guys we had in 2017 and 2018 [are here]. I know a lot of them.
“We have a couple of new guys for this race but it looks like they’re already mixing good with our core team.
“For sure it’s easier to debut back with the same family. I’m happy.”
The No. 64 Ferrari that Balzan is sharing with Curtis this weekend is the same chassis that took he and Christina Nielsen to the 2017 IMSA GT Daytona class championship.
Prior to that it was utilized as a GT Le Mans class car in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship before being converted to GT3-spec.
“There’s lots of love for this car,” Balzan said.
“I drove this car a lot. We started using this car in Sebring in 2017. Then we finished second and second at The Glen. It was our championship-winning car.”
Balzan admitted that options in GTD are limited for next year, which could put the IMSA veteran in prime position for a full-season drive in GT World Challenge America instead.
“I would love to sign now because I don’t have anything lined up yet for next year,” he said.
“But for now I must stay very focused and do the best I can here and let’s see if we can make this a full-time program for next year. I would be very happy.
“I really do love IMSA but the possibilities to be full-time there is very low. This would be a great program for me.”