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
EMS Racing competed in the North American Ferrari Challenge this weekend. On Monday, we caught up with Chairman JW, who raced to raise awareness for PETA, after his return from Montreal, Canada.
“The first practice session was wet,” JW recalled. “But I finished first in class by a second and 6th overall in a field of 35 split between the pro class and amateur. We were very pleased with the start. The second practice was dry and I finished second in class, 10th overall.”
The official qualifying session was scheduled next, but Mother Nature had other plans. The second practice times for all racers were used for positioning in Race 1 as a result of the qualifying lap being rained-out.
“They thought Race 1 would be wet,” JW explained. “We were on rain tires because of that. It ended up being dry, which was quite difficult. It was the same challenge for everyone, though, of course.”
Rain tires, for those who don’t know, have very little grip when it’s dry.
Despite the track conditions, EMS Racing got out to a great start in Race 1. On Lap 4, however, a move for the top spot ended up creating some adversity.
“I was running 2nd in Class, 6th Overall, on Lap 4 when I spun trying to chase down the car running in first,” JW said. “We kept the car on road but the blue, something-big-is-wrong, light lit up the dash. Apparently, the anti-lock brake computer frazzled while I was rolling backwards at the end of the spin.”
This sequence, eventually, would end EMS’ day.
“I had maintained position in second,” he explained, while recovering from the initial spin. “The next car was way behind me. But going into the next corner, as I braked, the front tires both locked. Amid giant puffs of smoke, I was tossed left into wall.”
“The worst part was that Race 2 slots were determined by Race 1’s final positions.”
Race 2, however, was a new day for JW and EMS.
“It was sunny and the stands were packed with around 200,000 people,” he said, recalling the scene surrounding Race 2.
“We got a storming start from 30th and worked up to 4th in Class, 14th overall, before I made one mistake where I got passed. Then I had another spin trying to pass and ended up 6th in Class. The second race was big fun, though, a great experience.”
JW added that the Ferrari Challenge weekend, overall, provided valuable racing lessons he can build on moving forward.
“The biggest takeaway on the positive side was that I showed I have the speed in practice,” he added. “The negative is that I am not closing the deal yet in races.
I very realistically should have podium’d or even won both races in Class. But it was only my second race weekend of my life and all these guys are way more experienced. Overall, it really was fun, fun experience.”
EMS Chairman JW was featured in an Autoweek article written by Mike Larson on Thursday for our support of PETA at the upcoming Ferrari Challenge.
An excerpt of that article is below:
“One of the cars in the North American Ferrari Challenge — which heads to Montréal’s Canadian Grand Prix on June 7 — boasts logos never before seen on a pro raceway, courtesy of PETA.
Amateur Ferrari driver Jim Weiland will be driving for a cause, supporting PETA’s campaign against blinding rabbits and poisoning other animals by plastering two “PETA” signs and one “cruelty-free” bunny, which the group licenses to companies that don’t test their products on animals, to the car. Weiland will race the PETA car throughout the remaining four races of the series.
“By putting PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo on his Ferrari, Jim Weiland is helping racing fans across North America learn how easy it is to help animals simply by shopping cruelty-free,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA’s bunny logo makes it easy to find the thousands of companies who sell top-quality personal-care and household products that were never tested on animals.”’
EMS is honored to be racing on behalf of PETA. Big thanks to Autoweek for spreading the word on PETA’s campaign against blinding rabbits and poisoning other animals. For more information and how you can help, please visit PETA.org.
Full Article: PETA to show logo on North American Ferrari Challenge car in Montreal