Four Ferrari 458 Grand Am races will start the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Four Ferrari 458 Grand Am cars will start this month at the Daytona 24 Hours race. Two 458 cars are allocated to the Risi Competizione team. Another two cars will be available to AF Corse team. The 458 Grand Am is based on the GT3 version of the 458, the latest in a long line of racing iterations of Ferrari sports cars aimed at the American series. The cars are built to Grand Am regulations and the development of its modifications focused chiefly on the gearbox, suspension, tires, and brakes.
The 458 proved to be very reliable and quick right from the very first test, maintaining the qualities inherited from the road going version on which it's based. The Daytona 24 Hours is regarded as the most grueling race on the American motorsport calendar. The drivers for the Risi Competizione team will be former F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella who will be joined by his Italian countryman Gianmaria Bruni and the veteran Finnish racing driver Toni Vilander. Fisichella and Bruni teamed up last year in the Le Mans Series and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup while the Finnish driver won the Road America race driving a 458 GT2.
The second Ferrari will be raced by Raphael Mato who already won Daytona in 2008. He will be joined by the Monegasque Olivier Beretta and Andrea Bertolini. The drivers for the AF Corse team will Martin Waltrip, Robert Kaufmann, Rui Aguas and North American Rally Champion Travis Pastrana. The 50th annual 24 hours of Daytona will take place the last weekend of January, 2012.