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Jul 24, 2016
October 26, 2011 | By GRANDAM MEDIA
WOODBRIDGE, Ont. - Winning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series team AIM Autosport has joined forces with FXDD and 2010 GT Champions Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal to form AIM Autosport Team FXDD for a season-long campaign in pursuit of the 2012 Rolex Series GT Championship in a new factory-built Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am.
Assentato and Segal will co-drive the new Ferrari in their fifth full season as teammates but their first in a Ferrari and with AIM. The AIM Autosport Team FXDD collaboration brings together two multi-race winning GRAND-AM Rolex Series efforts-AIM in Daytona Prototype competition and FXDD in GT since 2008-as the first effort to officially announce a 2012 program in a new Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am.
AIM Autosport Team FXDD will make its on-track debut in its new car at Fiorano, in Maranello, Italy-the official Ferrari test track-next Tuesday, November 1. Team personnel are presently in Italy at the Michelotto facility in Padua where the new AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia is in its final stages of assembly and preparation.
AIM Autosport Team FXDD's official GRAND-AM Rolex Series debut is scheduled for December's final test of the year at Daytona International Speedway. The team will run its debut race in the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26-29, in addition to the entire 2012 season schedule. The full driver lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be announced shortly.
The new Ferrari program with AIM is the latest initiative by FXDD in what has been a successful international motorsports partnership program over the last several years. In addition to winning five career GT races to date and the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT Driver and Team Championships with Assentato and Segal, FXDD has also been a partner of the two-time reigning World Champion Red Bull Racing Formula One Team. Additional AIM Autosport Team FXDD sponsor and technical partners will be announced in the coming weeks.
"FXDD is excited to announce our title sponsorship of AIM Autosport Team FXDD and our commitment to the Ferrari 458 Italia GT Grand Am racing program in the Rolex Sports Car Series," said John Corbett, FXDD Director of Marketing. "We are very proud to partner with a team that exemplifies the precision and dedication we provide to our clients every day."
The AIM team began as a successful collaboration between Andrew Bordin, Ian Willis and Keith Willis and made headlines in the 2008 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season when drivers Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins scored back-to-back Daytona Prototype race wins at Watkins Glen and Montreal. The Canadian victory remains the closest finish in GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype history.
"I'm invigorated by this program," said Bordin, AIM Autosport Sporting Director and Team Principal. "I have been a Ferrari fan since I was little and it's tremendously exciting to now be involved with a Ferrari racing program."
Ian Willis is among the team personnel currently working in Italy at Michelotto.
"I have been involved in racing all my life and one name personifies racing cars like none other: Ferrari," said Willis, AIM Autosport Race Engineer and Team Principal "As a boy growing up, I watched Ferrari Formula 1, Can-Am and sports cars at Mosport, so to be campaigning a Ferrari in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24, and chasing the 2012 Rolex Series GT championship, is like a dream come true. The Rolex Series GT championship is fiercely contested with many different teams and cars all capable of winning. I can't wait to get started!"
The 458 Italia GT Grand Am is the product of a two-year project to have Ferrari produce a race car specifically for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The new 458 Italia was built in Italy by Ferrari and Michelotto specifically with GRAND-AM racing in mind.
"The big significance for this car is that it was conceived and produced by Ferrari and built specifically for the Rolex Series," said GRAND-AM Managing Director of Competition Mark Raffauf during the initial test run for a Ferrrari 458 Italia at Daytona this past summer. "This car comes here straight from Maranello, Italy, right from Ferrari, and it's also significant that this is really a GRAND-AM car."