The great Mario Andretti once said, “Racing is like one big family, ultimately, and when you come back to it, that’s really what it feels like.” EMS Race Team opened the 2018 Ferrari Challenge at Daytona International Speedway by returning to their Boardwalk Ferrari/Ferrari of San Francisco family to begin another season of racing together. Competing in the Trofeo Pirelli pro class, they would eventually put forth a collective effort that was worthy of a pair of podium finishes.
Driver James Weiland and Paris, the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge, raced to finishes of 3rd overall out of a field of 39 cars in both Race 1 and Race 2 at Daytona. After competing for pole position during qualifying, Weiland started each race in the second and third spot, respectively, to give his team a chance at a podium. Cooper Macneil (Ferrari Silicon Valley) was the winner in Race 1 while Peter Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) secured the victory in Race 2. In each race, Weiland held off Joseph Rubbo (Ferrari of Long Island) who finished fourth.
“Jim was bumped up to the pro class again this year and he qualified well throughout the weekend,” Coach Conrad Grunewald said. “He had a really good race going in Race 1, running P3 for most of the race. He made a small mistake, ended up back in P4, but the guy he was racing for the podium also made a small mistake. Jim got back on the podium from there, and finished that way. We were really stoked with the performance, Jim’s racing against guys who raced fully professional for many years, so finishing on the podium is a big success for him.
“Then on Saturday, he drove an even better race. Jim was able to hold onto the two pro guys up front. The car was better balanced for him, and he drove a much more solid race. The guys he was battling on Friday weren’t really a factor in Race 2. He pulled about a 3-4 second lead on them and was able to inch away. Overall, it was a really good weekend, so now it’s on to the next one.”
The next race for Weiland and Boardwalk Ferrari/Ferrari of San Francisco is the Melbourne, Australia Ferrari Challenge in March. But before shifting focus to that one, Weiland reflected on his team’s performance throughout the weekend. He also talked about the opportunity to raise awareness for Cornerstone of Hope, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle and PETA Cruelty Free during the Ferrari Challenge event that served as a support race for the highly anticipated Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
“It was a team effort this weekend and we’re really proud of the way that everyone contributed,” Weiland said. “Our crew had Paris dialed in and she responded well out there on the track. So, big thanks to R3 Motorsports, Boardwalk Ferrari/Boardwalk San Francisco, Nathan Dunning, Ryan Negri, Rudy Courtade, Dave Cameron, Daryl Cameron, our coach Conrad Grunewald, and everyone on the team who helped make it a successful trip. With the Ferrari Challenge fans and everyone pouring in for the Rolex 24, we wanted to represent Cornerstone of Hope, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle and PETA Cruelty Free to the best of our ability and fortunately we were able to accomplish that.”
Cornerstone of Hope is an effort dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving. Guided by Christian values of compassion and service, they welcome and serve all seeking support. Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than three million members and supporters. Products proudly displaying the cruelty-free logo mean that they were produced without testing on animals.
For more behind the scenes coverage from the Ferrari Races at Daytona International Speedway, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
After concluding the 2017 season at the Mugello Circuit in Italy this past November, EMS Race Team will open the 2018 Ferrari Challenge at Daytona International Speedway on January 25-27. It will mark the first of eight races for driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari who will be competing in eight different countries throughout the year. Weiland and company will be racing around the world once again to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and it all begins at Daytona.
2018 Ferrari Challenge Schedule:
January 25-27: Daytona (United States)
March 22-25: Melbourne (Australia)
April 12-15: Hampton Downs (New Zealand)
May 11-13: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
June 8-10: Montreal (Canada)
July 20-22: Brno (Czech Republic)
September 14-16: Barcelona (Spain)
November 1-4: Ferrari World Finals at Monza (Italy)
The trip to Daytona later this month will be the first time Weiland has competed at the world-famous track in Florida since securing the Trofeo Pirelli AM season championship in 2016. It will also be the first time Weiland will be driving the newly redesigned ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge trimmed in red named Paris. Weiland and Paris will look to leverage EMS Race Team’s past success and familiarity with Daytona amongst a competitive field in the Trofeo Pirelli class.
“Daytona is a challenging course to be sure but it’s also one that we really enjoy racing,” Weiland said. “We didn’t get a chance to race here last year, but we did make two trips to Daytona in 2016 so we’re familiar with how we need to drive to be successful. Racing in the Trofeo Pirelli class this season, we know we won’t have any margin for error. But if we control what we can control as a team, put forth our best effort and execute a disciplined race, we will be happy with the results.”
Starting a new season offers a renewed sense of commitment to the causes close to EMS Race Team’s heart. For Cornerstone of Hope, their volunteers and staff spent many hours over the holidays supporting those who were grieving the loss of loved ones. Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation, meanwhile, is in the middle of a school year pouring their collective energy into helping at-risk third-graders with reading and writing. PETA Cruelty Free is working to minimize testing on animals all over the globe. It’s these reasons and others that inspire EMS Race Team to raise as much awareness as possible for those efforts out on the track.
Racing to raise awareness for the following causes:
PETA Cruelty Free: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters. Products proudly displaying this logo are cruelty-free, meaning that they were produced without testing on animals.
Cornerstone of Hope: Cornerstone of Hope is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving. Guided by Christian values of compassion and service, they welcome and serve all seeking support. Cornerstone offers professional counseling for all who are seeking support.
Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation: Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child.
“We’re honored once again to be representing PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation throughout the 2018 Ferrari Challenge,” Weiland added. “The work those three charities do is incredibly inspirational on many levels. Paris’ new design has each logo featured even more prominently this year, and we hope to spread as much awareness as possible by turning in an effort they would be proud of each time out.”
For behind the scenes coverage of the 2018 Ferrari Challenge at Daytona International Speedway, follow EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Over 40,000 fans poured into the Mugello Circuit in Italy during the 2017 Ferrari Finali Mondiali. Those crowds watched drivers from across the world compete over three days of racing in the marquee season-ending Ferrari Challenge event. They were also introduced to the causes that EMS Race Team has competed to raise awareness for all year—PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation. While the racing results weren’t what EMS hoped for, the team took pride in being able to spread the word for those tremendous causes on a global stage throughout the weekend.
“The racing didn’t go the way we hoped,” driver James Weiland said of the results on the track at Mugello. “We had some issues with the car during our first qualifying session and that had us starting P8 for Race 1 which was a tough spot to climb back from. But we were proud of how we competed from there, and we did some things we were happy with during the weekend. Most of all, though, we were proud to represent PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation on a worldwide platform like the Ferrari World Finals in Italy. It was great to be able to interact with fans and drivers from different countries who saw those logos on our car and explain to them what each mission was all about.”
During Race 1, Erin, the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge, started 8th in class (21st overall out of 45) and picked off a couple cars early before driving a steady race from there to finish 6th in class (15th overall). Ironically, that would’ve been good for a podium in the next class up. In Race 2, Erin started 8th again moving all the way up to 5th in class prior to a highly dubious post-race penalty being assessed. On Sunday in the world finals, Weiland started 13th and finished 11th.
“With the Finali Mondiali signaling the end of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge season, I wanted to thank our Boardwalk Ferrari and Rossocorsa Teams,” Weiland added. “I’d also like to thank our coach, Conrad Grunewald, along with Ryan Negri, Rudy Courtade, Dave and Daryl Cameron, and everyone else who helped support everything we were able to accomplish this season. It was a great ride and we’re looking forward to next year already. We also wanted to thank PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation for everything they do for our community. We’re looking forward to representing those missions again next season.”
Last year at the Finali Mondiali EMS Race Team made history. Competing in the 2016 Ferrari World Finals at Daytona International Speedway, driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari clinched the Ferrari Challenge season championship in the North American Pirelli AM class. This year, the marquee Ferrari Challenge event will be held at the Mugello Circuit in Italy on October 26-29. During their trip overseas, EMS Race Team is hoping to lead Erin the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge to another memorable weekend.
“We know that your best effort is required at the Ferrari World Finals if you hope to have a chance at a podium,” Weiland said. “We’ll be racing against the best drivers from around the world and we know we need to execute as a team to be successful. Over the last few races we’ve built some momentum, and hopefully we’ll carry that into the Finali Mondiali. The Mugello Circuit is a track we’ve raced before so we know how challenging it can be to drive. But if we are prepared and focused collectively we’ll be willing to live with the results.”
Road races were first held on public streets around Mugello in the early 1920s. The present-day closed Mugello Circuit was constructed in 1973 and opened in 1974, just east of the original road circuit. Measuring 5,245 km in length, the Mugello Circuit stands out from other fast tracks thanks to the drastic elevation changes and the high-speed chicanes. The main straight, at 1.141 km, is followed by a blind rise into the tight turn one, San Donato, where speeds drop quickly. The front straight is the fastest part of the track, with the rest an exciting mixture of quick direction changes and long corners without any tight hairpins or stop-and-go sections to break up the flow.
“We’re excited to race Mugello again and have a chance to compete against the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in the world,” Weiland added. “But we’re especially proud to be representing Cornerstone of Hope, PETA Cruelty-Free, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation at an event with people gathered from so many different countries throughout the world. It will be a great chance to spread the word about those three missions and we’re hoping to make each foundation proud of our effort on the track. We’re especially excited for Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation who successfully kicked off another school year recently and we’re dedicating the weekend to them.”
Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at-risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Since 2009, Coach Sam’s has been successful in reaching hundreds of children and motivating them to believe in themselves, leading to improved academic performance and self-confidence, setting them on the path toward a brighter future. To learn more about Coach Sam’s watch the video below.
For more on Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and how you can support their effort you can visit their website. You can also visit PETA Cruelty Free and Cornerstone of Hope to learn more about how they are helping our communities. To follow along with behind-the-scenes coverage throughout the 2017 Finali Mondiali, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The great Ayrton Senna once said, “Racing, competing, it’s in my blood. It’s part of me, it’s part of my life.” During Senna’s life, he would become one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all-time. A life that was cut much too short on the same track that hosted the 2017 Ferrari Challenge in Italy. During Race 1 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola, EMS Race Team unfortunately lost control of ERIN the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge on a slick track at 111 mph in the famous Tamburello Corner where the legendary Senna tragically crashed and passed away on May 1, 1994. ERIN’s collision with the inside wall was softer than expected, fortunately, damaging only the car. After the race, driver James Weiland visited a nearby memorial commemorating the life and legacy of Senna and shared a collection of those pictures on Facebook.
“ERIN ran pretty well in practice and qualifying so we were feeling good heading into the race,” Weiland said after qualifying P4 of 22. “Unfortunately, we lost control in the corner. It had been a long time since I lost ERIN like that. It usually takes about three mistakes to have a crash, and unfortunately, I checked all the boxes in Tamburello. But the damage could’ve been much worse. We spent time visiting the memorial to Senna after the race, and feel grateful to have not sustained any injuries. Hopefully we can use this as a learning experience.”
After paying tribute to Senna, Weiland did the same thing Ayrton would’ve done when he got back in the car for Race 2. While the damage to ERIN was too extensive to be repaired in time for Sunday’s race, EMS Race Team used a backup car. As a result of using a new car, Weiland was forced to start in last position—P22 of 22. But EMS Race Team would finish the weekend strong by charging hard during Sunday’s race, picking off 10 cars over 18 green flag laps to finish 12th overall.
“It was great to get back on the track and continue raising awareness for Cornerstone of Hope, PETA Cruelty Free and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle here in Italy,” Weiland said. “Considering we had only one flying lap to set her up, it really was a magnificent job from the team to put us in a position to compete. Big thanks to our European Team Rossocorsa for providing a brand new, three-day old car with one kilometer on the clock for us to drive. Also, special thanks to David Cameron, Ray Banda, Gianluca and others who were in the garage until 3am getting new ERIN prepared.”
EMS Race Team’s worldwide tour continues October 6-8 at the Ferrari Challenge in Imola, Italy. Fresh off a podium finish at Silverstone Circuit in England—which followed a victory at Circuit of the Americas in Texas—driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari is now set to compete in their fifth country outside the United States this season. With races in Canada, Hungary, France and England already in the rearview, Weiland and company will now focus on raising awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope with a podium effort in Italy.
“We had a great trip to England and really enjoyed competing at Silverstone,” Weiland said. “Our goal is to build on that experience and keep making progress as a team while we’re in Imola. We’re also looking forward to spreading the word about PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle and Cornerstone of Hope while we are in Italy as well. Hopefully we can maximize that exposure by doing everything in our power to finish the weekend on the podium.”
Erin the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge will be racing the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari when she arrives in Italy for Ferrari Challenge weekend. The track is located roughly 50 miles east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. The circuit is named after Ferrari’s late founder Enzo and his son Dino who had died in the 1950s. Before Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988 it was called Autodromo Dino Ferrari. Imola, as it is colloquially known, is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. The track has hosted several Formula One Grand Prix races which featured wins by Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and others.
“We’re excited to compete against all of the terrific drivers in Italy and to race an historic track like Imola,” Weiland added. “We will be racing against some of the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in the world so we know the competition will be stiff. We also know that Imola will be a fun but challenging course and we’re looking forward to the test. We’re dedicating the trip to Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation who begins their tutoring work for the school year this week throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The support they provide for third graders in our community is always inspiring so we’re hoping to honor that with a strong performance.”
Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Since 2009, Coach Sam’s has been successful in reaching hundreds of children and motivating them to believe in themselves, leading to improved academic performance and self-confidence, setting them on the path toward a brighter future.
For more on Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and how you can support their effort to help at-risk third graders visit their website. You can also visit PETA Cruelty Free and Cornerstone of Hope to learn more about how they are helping our communities. To follow along with behind-the-scenes coverage throughout race weekend in Italy, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.