Ferrari 296 GT3 achieves podium in second SRO race

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Ferrari 296 GT3 achieves podium in second SRO race

Just .336-seconds shy of 296 first victory in Sonoma thriller

SONOMA, CA (2 April 2023) – The new Ferrari 296 GT3 scored its first podium finish in international competition on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, placing second in the Pro class in GT World Challenge America competition in a race that came down to a pair of last-lap passes and a sprint to the checkered flag.

Starting at the back of the Pro field, Alessandro Balzan took the No. 21 Conquest Racing up to the lead in the 90-minute event. Balzan made a pass for the lead shortly after the pit window opened, and then stayed out to build up a margin over his competition.

Manny Franco returned to the race in second – right behind the leader – and was involved in a terrific four-car battle for the remainder of the race. In danger of falling off the podium with less than 15 minutes remaining, Franco rallied with a pass for second and then ran down the leader in the closing minutes. Coming up short after several runs, Franco then made a last-lap pass with slight side-to-side contact. Ashton Harrison retaliated, though, coming up with a pass to regain the lead with two turns remaining. Franco held tough, coming up only 0.336-seconds short of giving the new Ferrari its first victory.

Conquest Racing finished fifth in Saturday’s season opener, the debut of the Ferrari 296 in international SRO competition. Ferrari’s new six-cylinder race car made its debut earlier this year in IMSA action at Daytona and Sebring in the Florida endurance classics.

Ryan Dalziel and Justin Wetherill drove the No. 33 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 to 11th in Pro-Am, two positions lower than their finish on Saturday. Dalziel started 10th but worked up to sixth before his pit stop at the midway point.

Next up for the SRO GT World Challenge America with be at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, with races on April 29-30.