AIM announces drivers for Rolex 24
Team principals Andrew Bordin and Remo Ferri announced today the complete driver lineups for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 24 – 27, where the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari F458 will be driven by Emil Assentato, Anthony Lazzaro, Nick Longhi and Guy Cosmo while the all-star squad of Jeff Segal, Max Papis, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander will drive the debuting No. 61 R.Ferri AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari F458.
AIM Autosport Team FXDD won the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Team and Driver Championships with Segal and Assentato driving the No. 69 Ferrari. The team will defend its titles with a pair of Ferraris this season with the No. 61 entry being added to the AIM stable in a new partnership with Remo Ferri and R.Ferri Motorsport.
“We quickly moved from celebrating our first championship last year to expanding AIM to a two-car effort to lead Ferrari’s GT campaign once again in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series,” said Bordin, AIM/R.Ferri Sporting Director and a co-owner of both entries. “Although last year was our first full season in GT and with the Ferrari, we proved ourselves with three victories and the team and driver championships. We are more than up to the challenge of the two-car team and look forward to the partnership with Remo and racing and winning with both cars.”
“I am really looking forward to the Daytona Rolex 24 this year,” said Ferri, owner of the No. 61 and the Ferrari Ontario, Ferrari Toronto and Ferrari Alberta dealerships in Canada. “I have been to the race many times but this time I feel I have chosen the right partners to race with. With the support of AIM and others I feel we have the best chance to win it.”
The Rolex 24 and season-long at-track and day-to-day operations of the two-car Ferrari effort will once again be led AIM/R.Ferri Chief Technical Officer and co-owner Ian Willis and AIM/R.Ferri Team Manager and co-owner Keith Willis.
“I am looking forward to testing in preparation for the Rolex 24 as we ramp up our 2013 two car program,” Ian Willis said. “The addition of Toni, Giancarlo, Guy and Nick to our regular driver lineups will no doubt put both AIM/R.Ferri Ferraris in the strongest position for victory.”
Segal and Assentato co-drove to their second GT championship last season after first taking the title in 2010. This year the duo will split for the first time in six seasons with Assentato joining experienced Ferrari driver Lazzaro as fulltime teammates in the No. 69. Segal and Papis, the 2004 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype co-champion, bring a season-long All-Pro combination to the new No. 61 effort.
Longtime FXDD teammate Longhi, who partnered Segal and Assentato in their first career victory together in the 2008 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, returns to the No. 69 for the Rolex 24. Cosmo is another competitive addition to the No. 69 lineup and first raced with Segal, Assentato and FXDD in the 2011 Sahlen’s Six Hour race.
The championship duo of Segal and Papis will be more than capably supported by former Formula 1 driver and current Ferrari stalwart Fisichella. He recently joined Vilander and their teammate Gianmaria “Gimmi” Bruni for a GT Pro class victory in a Ferrari in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Papis and Fisichella are from Italy while Vilander is a native of Finland.
Team preparations for the day-long Daytona race begin this weekend, January 4 - 6, with the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 Test Days on the road course at Daytona International Speedway.