The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring was less than an hour old when the #64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari found itself eliminated from the race, with Frankie Montecalvo upside down after contact with the #52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier at turn seventeen.
Montecalvo was aiming to make progress after starting ninth in class, and was on a charge when he came across the spinning #52, and despite making efforts to avoid the car, he found himself clipped, jumping into the air before hitting the barrier and ending upside-down.
The driver was able to get out of the car under his own steam, but was taken to the medical centre as a precaution, but the #64 he was sharing with Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler was out of the race on the spot, becoming the races second retirement after the earlier retirement of the #2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi.
“It’s a very unfortunate end to our day. We definitely had a car that had the potential to run at the front of the pack, so I’m just disappointed to see it end this way,” said Montecalvo.
“When I saw the prototype losing control in turn 17 I tried to go left to avoid him. I thought I was going to make it by him, but unfortunately the right side of his car clipped the right side of mine and sent me flying into the air.
“That was probably one of the hardest hits I’ve ever felt when the car eventually landed on its roof, but it’s definitely a testament to the safety of the Ferrari. I’m so grateful to have been in such a solid race car and to be able to walk away from an incident like that.
“I’m really bummed for Townsend and Bill and all of the crew because everyone has been working so hard to give us such a great car for the race. Thank you to Ferrari for making a car that can withstand that type of impact, and thank you to the entire Scuderia Corsa team for an outstanding job all weekend.
“I know we’ll get all the pieces back together and be back stronger than ever for The Glen.”