For Hometown News
The Ferrari Challenge, the longest-running single auto brand racing series in North America, has been added to the schedule of events for the Rolex 24 weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
The Ferrari Challenge North America, which will feature Ferrari 458 Italias, will race the 3.56-mile road course at 11:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, and 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, prior to the start of the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona. Each race will be 15 laps in length.
"The Ferrari Challenge is a great addition to an already exciting schedule of events during the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend," DIS President Joie Chitwood III said. "Having an iconic car manufacturer, such as Ferrari, showcase its power and excitement in two events prior to the Rolex 24 further solidifies Daytona International Speedway as the World Center of Racing."
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari North America and its authorized dealers, and is sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association.
The three-day Preseason Thunder test session for the 55th annual Daytona 500 concluded Saturday, Jan. 12, at the speedway.
Teams and drivers were able to test the new "Gen 6" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The new race car has greater brand identity for the manufacturers and will make its debut in The Sprint Unlimited, the non-points event on Saturday, Feb. 16, that will feature the previous season's pole winners and past champions of the race.
For the majority of the three-day test, teams conducted single-car qualifying runs. On Saturday, teams participated in an afternoon drafting session where speeds topped near 200 mph.
NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton expects another classic Daytona 500 finish. "When it comes down to the trophy, the check and the trophy queen, all bets are off," Pemberton said. "I expect them to run hard at the end (of the race) and make sure they are around for the end of the race and make sure they are positioned where they can get (to the checkered flag). There is no telling what you'll see."
The fastest lap was turned by Greg Biffle at 194.936 mph followed by returning Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth with a lap speed of 194.717. Kyle Busch was third at 194.578.
For more information and tickets, call (800) 748-7467 or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.