Le Mans winner Jeff Segal (pictured), from Miami, Florida and Ferrari Challenge veteran Wei Lu from Vancouver, British Columbia will contest the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship, driving the No. 31 Ferrari of Vancouver Ferrari 488 GT3 in the GTA class.
While Pirelli World Challenge is a new series for Segal, he has made his mark in international sports car racing in Ferraris with victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans. He is also a two-time Grand-Am Series champion, with one of those championships also coming at the wheel of a Ferrari.
Lu’s path to SprintX has been through the Ferrari Challenge North America series, where Segal has been his driver coach for three seasons. Lu, who began club racing in 2013, has also competed in PWC’s Touring Car B-Spec class and now arrives to the GT class after spending four seasons in Ferrari Challenge. In the 2017 Ferrari Challenge season, Lu scored five victories and seven pole positions on his way to finishing second in the championship.
Ferrari of Vancouver is British Columbia’s only official Ferrari dealer and is making its first foray into professional racing. The No. 31 Ferrari of Vancouver Ferrari 488 GT3 will be operated by TR3 Racing.
“I learned many valuable lessons and had a great time racing in Ferrari Challenge, but it was time for a new challenge and fortunately Pirelli World Challenge has the SprintX class,” said Lu. “When I first tested the Ferrari 488 GT3 I found the connection between it and the Challenge car and felt quite comfortable. I’m excited to be in the same car with Jeff, because it is a great learning opportunity and a perfect way to bring myself to the next level.”
While Segal is very familiar with the Ferrari 488 GT3, the type of car he co-drove to victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Six Hours of the Glen, as well as endurance races of longer duration than the one-hour SprintX formats he is mindful of the challenges of this championship.
“This is a new series for both of us, so there are lots of unknowns ahead,” said Segal. “We did some testing in the off seasons and Wei was really impressed with how he adapted to the GT3 car right away. Of course, we expect the level of competition to be very high, but that isn’t necessarily a huge change from the series that Wei or I have experienced previously. I’m very excited for us to get the season started next weekend in Austin.”
The first two rounds of the SprintX championship will be held at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on March 24-25. Both races will be streamed live at world-challenge.com, with Saturday’s race starting at 4:45 p.m. ET and Sunday’s at 2:20 p.m. ET.