It was a challenging weekend at Sebring International Raceway for Conquest Racing W/ Ferrari. The sweltering Florida heat and notoriously rough and bumpy terrain added some additional obstacles for the team, and they did not walk away with results that reflect their true performance and capabilities. Manny Franco and Alessandro Balzan gave it their best efforts in the penultimate round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS championship, but they are eagerly in search of more competitive results on board the #21 Corsa Horizon Ferrari 296 GT3.
Race 1 saw the team starting sixth in the Pro Class and seventh overall on the grid, with Manny Franco completing the opening stint. He gained an overall position on the opening lap, and set his sights on chasing down the cars ahead.
Franco and Alessandro Balzan completed the mandatory driver change and pit stop as soon as the pit window opened. As Balzan took over for the remaining portion of the race, he returned to the track in the same position. As the race progressed and the final laps approached, Balzan further moved up to fourth in class and fifth overall as a Pro Class competitor ran off track following some contact and fell down the running order. However, it was an unfortunate ending to the race for the team, as an issue on the final lap forced Balzan to retire the car.
Balzan completed the first stint for Race 2, taking the green flag from twelfth overall on the grid. A couple of positions were lost on the opening lap following a frantic start, but Balzan was quickly able to recover, running fifth in class. Franco took over from Balzan with 40 minutes remaining, and set his sights on the road ahead.
He further moved up to 10th overall, and went on to move past another Pro-Am class car into ninth overall with 22 minutes left on the clock. He attempted to close the gap to two Pro cars ahead of him but ultimately ran out of laps, finishing the race in ninth overall and fifth in class.
Conquest Racing W/ Ferrari will return for the final round of the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 8 Hour, taking place from October 6th to 8th, 2023.