Scuderia Corsa and the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 arrive at Round Two of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition after a strong showing in Round One at Daytona International Speedway. Behind the wheel for the Twelve Hours of Sebring are WeatherTech Racing Driver Cooper MacNeil, Ferrari Factory Driver Toni Vilander and Scuderia Corsa veteran Jeff Westphal.
Sebring International Raceway is known for being physically demanding and having a harsh, uneven topography. Before race day the team will have to find an optimal vehicle setup for the Ferrari 488 capable of conquering the long straights and 17 turns, of which a majority can be taken at speeds well over 75 MPH. For this reason, downforce is critical for high-speed vehicle transition. Beyond aerodynamics, the mechanical grip will be tactfully decided for low-speed sections of the circuit.
Tires are another essential piece to finding the optimal setup. For 2019, all GT Daytona competitors are using Michelin Tires compounds. The greater average grip achieved under acceleration and cornering compared to previous compounds used should lead to quicker lap times. However, the rough asphalt at Sebring increases the amount of wear the rubber experiences. Scuderia Corsa engineering will take special consideration on wheel camber and toe settings to give the drivers the most available grip without sacrificing a set of tires before their stint closes.
For Team Principal Giacomo Mattioli the preparation for such a prestigious race as Sebring includes a balance of understanding engineering of the car and track.
“We have an advantage with the Ferrari at Sebring because the car is durable,” Mattioli said. “This is a very technical course and a very physical one for both car and driver. The car must be engineered to near perfection to handle the rough terrain while staying capable enough to maintain speed through turns. You cannot compromise one or the other. Our crew and drivers are well prepared to handle the challenge and competition.”
Sebring International Raceway hosts the Super Sebring weekend in part with the 67th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advanced Auto Parts. The weekend begins Thursday, March 14 with a day of practice, qualifying takes place Friday, March 15 and finally, Round Two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starts Saturday, March 16 at 10:40 a.m. The race is broadcast on CNBC, NBCSN, NBCSports and IMSA.tv.