WeatherTech Racing will embark on the upcoming IMSA season with a new Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO to use for Cooper MacNeil and Toni Vilander as part of their ongoing relationship with Scuderia Corsa.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona effort will also make use of Jeff Westphal, who continues in his role as the third driver for the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds, and the returning Alessandro Balzan, who captured two titles with Scuderia Corsa, for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“We just completed a successful shake-down test of our all-new WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo race car at the Fiorano racetrack in Maranello Italy,” said MacNeil, who will debut the car stateside on January 3 at the Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona.
“It is a big step forward from the last generation and should be a good car for Daytona next month. I am looking forward to 2020 teamed with Toni again. We have a good shot at the 24 this year. Our goal is to win. It takes teamwork between the drivers, Scuderia Corsa and Ferrari to make that happen. The Corsa guys have been working hard on their end to fine tune the team and I have a lot of confidence going into the Roar in just three weeks.”
MacNeil and Vilander combined to earn four podium finishes in 2019 — more than any team that missed out on securing a win — and with the new Ferrari in hand, they hope to reach Victory Lane.
“I am looking forward to Daytona,” Vilander said. “The work started today at Maranello putting some laps on the new WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 Evo. It was great to run the very first Evo produced at the Ferrari test track today. We have a strong package for the 24. We have good drivers, a good team and will have a very good car. The drivers all know each very well. It is going to be another competitive year in 2020 with some new cars coming into GTD and strong drivers and cars returning. I am looking forward to the season and strong a start at the Rolex 24 next month.”
Balzan, who replaces Dominik Farnbacher for the Rolex 24, continues his efforts to make a full-time return to IMSA.
“Daytona will be very special for me coming back and racing with Cooper and WeatherTech Racing,” said Balzan. “We will have the new Ferrari 488 Evo which is a brand-new car. This will be my second Rolex 24 with Toni and Jeff as well as Cooper. We have a great energy among the team and drivers, and it will be a great event. I am training hard and focusing on being ready for the race next month.”
Westphal’s continuing role with the team for IMSA’s long WeatherTech Championship races will complement his efforts to earn back-to-back championships in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge series.
“I am extremely excited to be running the Rolex 24 again with WeatherTech Racing and Scuderia Corsa,” he said. “After a strong 2019 North American endurance campaign with Cooper and Toni, and now with Alessandro, I like our chances at Daytona. I think we are looking for some redemption from last year.”