Jul 17, 2014
By Adam Martin-Robbins
Remo Ferri is optimistic about his team’s chances of reaching the podium at this weekend’s Honda Indy in Toronto — despite the fact his top-placed driver is racing in a rebuilt car following a devastating crash last month.
“We knew we had a perfect car … now we’re starting from zero because we had to rebuild the car completely,” said Ferri, team principal of R. Ferri Motorsport Racing with Ferrari, who has a two-car team competing in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Series. “I think we’re still going to have a very competitive car. I mean, the car has been competitive all year. This will be the sixth race and, except for the last race, every other race we’ve been on the podium.”
Veteran driver Anthony Lazzaro, who currently sits in fifth spot overall, was involved in a collision with McLaren driver Alex Figge in the second race at the Road America track in Wisconsin, June 21.
Lazzaro was not injured, but his No. 61 Ferrari 458 GT3 sustained a lot of damage, Ferri said in an interview Tuesday.
“We have worked day and night and the car is finally back together,” he said. “We were able to do a shake down yesterday, so I think we’re ready to go.”
Nick Mancuso, driver of the team’s No. 16 Ferrari 458 GT3, currently sits in seventh spot overall.
He also posted disappointing results at Road America, his home track, finishing in 11th and 7th in the weekend’s two races.
“That was a track that we had all the cards in place to win,” Ferri said. “That weekend was not our weekend. It turned out to be one of the worst weekends we’ve had.”
Ferri says his team is familiar with the Honda Indy Toronto track and, given it is in his back yard, a victory there would be very meaningful.
“One of the reasons we left the Grand-Am (series) and we came to the Pirelli World Challenge is because we wanted to have a home race, in Toronto,” he said. “This is my home. This is where we do business. This is where we get the sponsors. It means a lot to me.“
Ferri is hopeful, not only about this weekend’s race, but also about the remainder of the series.
“We believe we’ve still got a very good chance,” he said. “There are still four more races, so I think we’ll fight until the end. That’s for sure.”
But there are often a lot of crashes at the Toronto race, so a repeat of what happened to his team last month is always a possibility, he added.
“There will be a lot of flags and there’s going to be some mess there. We’ve been there before and that’s usually what happens,” Ferri said. “The goal is — and my drivers will have a very clear message from me — we need to score points, we need to win and we need to save the car. That’s what we need to do.”