EMS Race Team will bring significant momentum to Daytona International Speedway to begin the 2016 Ferrari Challenge Schedule on January 28. Driver James Weiland and the Ferrari of San Francisco crew closed out the 2015 campaign by securing two victories in Mugello, Italy during the Finali Mondiali in November. This served to bookend a season that began on the track at Daytona with a Race 1 victory last January. Competing for the second-straight year in the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, Weiland is excited to continue raising awareness for the charitable efforts he holds close to his heart by racing at a high level in Florida.
“We felt good as a team about the way we finished in Italy last season and we’re looking forward to building on that success in Daytona,” Weiland said. “The competition will be increasingly stiff, and we know how hard we’ll have to work to get back onto the podium. But we’re excited about the challenge along with the opportunity to race at a great track against the best Ferrari drivers in North America.”
Weiland will continue racing to raise awareness for the PETA Cruelty Free Campaign along with the Cornerstone of Hope Foundation throughout the 2016 circuit. Those decals will once again be proudly featured on the ems+ Ferrari Challenge 458 EVO, which will also hit the track with an updated design on a new car named Paris. The name was chosen in honor of a beloved family dog that passed away. It may even be in action at times alongside EMS Race Team’s original car, Erin.
“We’re definitely excited to get Paris onto the track during her first race at Daytona,” Weiland added. “Paris features a newer design, with a royal blue theme throughout the car. Erin will continue to feature more of the red-themed design. In either case, we’re hoping the PETA and Cornerstone logos can keep helping us run a little faster whenever we need that extra boost.”
Paris made an unofficial debut at Daytona in early January for a practice session following a shakedown run at The Thermal Club. During her second lap of the morning, Weiland lost her for a brief instant at 120 mph+ in the LH Kink. Fortunately, however, with 180 degrees of wheel he was able to keep her on the road and moving forward. There’s nothing finer than a good save, and once she let her feelings be known and got realigned, Paris ran great for the rest of the day. Hopefully she keeps that going for Weiland and company when the season begins for real later this month.
For updates throughout the Ferrari Challenge weekend along with live-timing race results, follow @EMSRaceTeam on Twitter and Facebook. Also be sure to check out EMS Race Team’s Vimeo Page for behind-the-scenes action following the competition.
The Ferrari of San Francisco team had Erin, the ems+ Ferrari Challenge 458 EVO, ready to race as the 2015 season began at Daytona International Speedway. The competition was stiff, as expected, but the season started off well for the team from Cleveland, Ohio who left Florida with a Race 1 victory.
The No. 18 car driven by James Weiland qualified 2nd in class and 7th overall before winning a hard-fought battle with competitor Robert Herjavec. The 007 car driven by Herjavec finished in second place during Race 1 before winning on Sunday. The No. 518 car driven by Arthur Romanelli finished in third.
During Race 1, Weiland took the lead in the first corner. He was able to maintain that lead the entire race despite intense pressure, and it was the ems+ car that brought the PETA Cruelty Free Bunnies across the finish line first.
“Nothing is more fulfilling for me and my team than to see the PETA Cruelty Free Bunnies cross the finish line in first place,” Weiland said. “Those are the days we always get the most questions about PETA and about what the Cruelty Free campaign means. It’s always fun to reply by saying that the bunnies helped us win, too, because they did.”
Prior to the start of Race 1, the Ferrari Challenge competitors gathered on the Daytona track for a group picture. The lovely Erin was also asked to be included in the official shot.
During Race 2 on Sunday, an unscheduled pit stop on the warm-up lap caused the ems+ car to begin in 29th position. Weiland was able to pass a significant amount of cars early on, however, and managed a respectable 5th place finish (9th overall).
(EMS Race Team via Vimeo)
“We did have an electrical problem on the pace lap which required a pit stop during Race 2,” Weiland said. “But I was proud of my team, how quickly they resolved the issue, and we were able to rejoin the race and pick off some cars and run well from there. All in all, there were a lot of positives during our first weekend and we’re looking forward to building on that in Homstead.”
(EMS Race Team via Vimeo)
The next Ferrari Challenge race on the schedule will be in Homestead on March 6-8. For more racing action check out ems+ racing team’s page on Vimeo.
EMS Race Team is powered by EMS+ and driven by Chairman JW to raise awareness for the PETA Cruelty Free campaign. This past weekend, EMS Race Team competed in the Ferrari Challenge at Daytona International Speedway.
After qualifying third the day before, EMS Race Team finished second-in-class when the checkered flags came out on Saturday for Race 2. The finish was also good for seventh overall in the Ferrari Challenge competition that included 13 pro class and 14 amateur drivers among the field of 27.
Photos and video from race weekend at Daytona are included below. Our digital team at EMS+ was lucky enough to make the trip and enjoyed the opportunity to provide live updates on Twitter @emsRaceTeam throughout the weekend.
Recapping our trip to Daytona International Speedway
EMS Race Team’s car, Erin, heads out to the track with Auto Gallery Motorsports teammate Carlos Gomez from Axis of Oversteer.
We shot this video of Erin driving toward the track just before snapping the above still-shot from the back of our golf cart.
Competing in the Coppa Shell Class, EMS Race Team ran strong enough to conclude the trip with a podium finish.
Our photographer, Merrell, captured the above action along with the scene surrounding the Ferrari Challenge podium after the race.
The EMS+ card swiper was looking great in the Florida sun, along with the EMS Race Team Twitter handle (Follow @emsRaceTeam if you’re not already!)
The Cruelty Free Bunnies looked great too, featured on both the hood and rear bumper of the car.
Unfortunately, most of the drivers weren’t close enough to see the bunnies when Chairman JW crossed the finish line in firm command of second place.
It was a fun race all around and great experience to watch from The Pit Road Patio at Daytona.
We watched the qualifying lap from a different vantage point, and here’s some video of the car and track from that spot on Friday.
You can check out EMS Race Team’s Vimeo page for footage of Race 1 on Friday. A technical issue prevented Saturday’s video from recording.
Always fun to end the weekend with a trophy. Congrats to EMS Race Team for doing just that and raising awareness for the PETA Cruelty Free Campaign along the way!
Follow EMS Race Team on Twitter: @emsRaceTeam