The Ferrari World Finals will be held on December 1-4 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. The Ferrari extravaganza begins on Friday night with racing under the lights, and continues throughout Saturday and Sunday. During the first two days of action, Ferrari Challenge drivers from all over the world will compete for season championships in the North American, European, and Asian Pacific series. With more than 40 cars on the track for each race, the competition expects to be crowded and stiff. But EMS Race Team driver, James Weiland, and his crew from Boardwalk Ferrari are looking forward to the opportunity.
“It’s exciting to be hosting the Ferrari World Finals, in a sense, at a North American series location,” Weiland said of the upcoming races in Daytona, Florida. “We’ve traveled to compete in the Ferrari World Finals in places like Abu Dhabi and Italy in the past, and it was amazing. So I think it will be a very fun and entertaining weekend, and a great experience for everyone at Daytona International Speedway. Our team is certainly looking forward to the challenge.”
By Saturday night, a season champion will be crowned for each class and series. EMS Race Team is currently in second place, but has an opportunity to close out the season in first with some solid racing and a little bit of luck. On Sunday, the chance to compete for a world championship during a third race at Daytona will conclude a star-studded weekend of Ferrari racing for EMS and all those in attendance.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will also be driving their Ferrari F1 cars at Daytona during an on-track exhibition for the fans. Meanwhile, former NASCAR champion, Rusty Wallace, will be competing in the Ferrari races at DIS per the following release.
From Daytona International Speedway:
“NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace is going to return to the driver’s seat for the upcoming Ferrari Finali Mondiali on Dec. 1-4 at Daytona International Speedway. The 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will battle the twists and turns of the “World Center of Racing’s” 3.56-mile road course for the Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston team in the North America series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. Wallace will practice on Thursday, Dec. 1 followed by qualifying and racing on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3.
“I hope that I can run strong in it and hopefully win but I’m realistic too,” Wallace said. “I haven’t been in a car in a long time. I’m going to have to knock a lot cobwebs off but I got the passion for it.”’
Wallace’s passion as a driver led to 55 victories and 36 poles during his NASCAR career. He along with Vettel and Raikkonen will infuse an already exciting event with even more energy, during a highly-anticipated weekend of racing.
“The Ferrari Finali Mondiali at Daytona will have a lot of eyes on it this year to be sure,” Weiland added, with respect to the celebrity drivers appearing as well as the Ferrari drivers from many different countries around the globe. “So, hopefully we can represent PETA Cruelty Free and the Cornerstone of Hope as well as we can, and get onto the podium a couple times. If we happen to win a season championship along the way, that’s great too.”
For more behind the scenes race coverage throughout the weekend follow @emsRaceTeam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates. Also check out the Vimeo page as well for on-track footage following the race.
Champion driver Jeff Gordon once said, “When you’re in a race car, you’re going through so many different emotions throughout that race.” For EMS Race Team, while competing in the last regular-season event on the 2016 Ferrari Challenge North American schedule, there were many reasons for emotions to become a distraction at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. A solid showing there would create an opportunity to secure first place overall in the season points standings at the Finali Mondali next month. Meanwhile, a disappointing effort could make that next to impossible. But driver James Weiland and his crew from Boardwalk Ferrari refused to be overcome by those emotions.
While driving Paris, the ems+ Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO trimmed in blue, Weiland got out to a great start in Race 1 on Saturday. Despite some pressure by a collection of talented drivers in the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, he was able to earn a podium finish good enough for second in class and fifth overall. After following that up by earning pole position for Race 2 on Sunday, Weiland and Paris would stand on the podium again after completing another second place finish. The points EMS earned along the way would be enough to remain within striking distance for the overall title which will be decided at the Daytona International Speedway in December.
“We are excited to be in a position to compete for the Trofeo Pirelli AM title next month to be sure,” Weiland said following the race. “But that wasn’t anything we were thinking about heading into the races at Homestead. We knew coming in that if we were going to accomplish our goals as a team, we needed to take this one race at a time. We competed against some great drivers here, and we knew we would need our best effort to get onto the podium. We didn’t win, but we got up there twice and gave ourselves a chance to accomplish something special next month.”
EMS Race Team is now three points off the overall lead behind friend and rival, Steve Johnson (Ferrari Fort Lauderdale). In Race 1 and Race 2 at Daytona International Speedway on December 2-3, a win is worth 20 points for each of the two races. A second place finish is worth 15 in each race, third is 12, fourth is 10, and so on from there. On December 4 at the World Finals, EMS and the Boardwalk Ferrari crew will then compete against the other Ferrari drivers from around the world in addition to the North American series drivers.
“We haven’t spent much time talking about points or standings this season, and we’re certainly not going to start now,” Weiland added. “It may sound cliché, but it really is all about one race at a time for our team, and continuing to find ways to improve. That’s what we’ll do when we come back to Florida next month and we’ll have a great time doing it. But what we’re most excited about is continuing to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free and the Cornerstone of Hope just like we did in Miami. That’s the biggest honor for us each time we compete, and we hope to close the season strong by raising even more awareness for the great work that each of those teams do for our community.”
For more behind the scenes coverage of the Ferrari Challenge at Homestead-Miami Speedway visit @emsRaceTeam on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo.
With only one competition to follow on the North American Ferrari Challenge circuit, EMS Race Team travels to Homestead, Florida this weekend for a critical test. Heading into the races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, driver James Weiland and EMS are currently tied for the season lead in the overall Ferrari Challenge North American points standings. A solid showing on November 4-6 will inevitably put Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari in an advantageous position as the Finali Mondali at Daytona International Speedway in December approaches. But even with all that on the line, Weiland isn’t looking back, or forward, and remains focused on the task at hand.
“We all just watched one of the greatest World Series matchups in the history of baseball,” Weiland, a native Clevelander and Indians fan said. “What is so great about what we just witnessed between the Cubs and Indians—whether your team won or not—is that it reminds us all of the importance of staying focused and living in the moment. For the players and managers in this World Series, it wasn’t about what they had accomplished throughout the season, or even throughout their careers. It was always about the next pitch, the next swing. It’s a lesson that all of us as fans can learn from. Focus on what is in front of you, live in the moment, and put forth your very best effort at whatever it is you are doing right now. We always try our best to have that same approach, and hopefully we’ll be able to bring that to the track this weekend.”
The Homestead-Miami Speedway opened in November of 1995 with a NASCAR Busch Series race. Throughout its history, the Homestead track has hosted many high-profile racing events including NASCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, and the Championship Cup Series. Since 2002, the Miami track has also hosted the final race of the season in all three of NASCAR’s series (Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series). Accomplished drivers like Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart are among the many legendary NASCAR drivers to have earned multiple victories at Homestead over the last 20 years.
“Our team loves to compete and we’re excited to get back on the track here at home in the States,” Weiland added, coming off a podium finish in Fuji, Japan last month. “We’re also looking to help spread the word for the great work that our friends at PETA Cruelty Free and Cornerstone of Hope do for our community by championing those two causes again his weekend. We’re not thinking about anything else other than that. Just getting out there and executing as best as we can for our team and our partners, and accepting whatever results come our way.”
For more behind the scenes coverage of race weekend at Homestead, follow @emsRaceTeam on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo.