Jeff Segal reunites with Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell for the 12 Hours of Sebring

Winning Daytona trio back in Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 along with Italian Ferrari ace Maurizio Mediani.

Jeff Segal reunites with Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell for the 12 Hours of Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. – Jeff Segal, the two-time Rolex Sports Car Series GT champion and a driver for Level 5 Motorsports in January’s victorious Rolex 24 At Daytona GTD (GT Daytona) Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, will reunite with AIM Autosport and his winning Daytona co-drivers Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell for this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring.

#555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia: Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler
#555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia: Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Segal has been loaned by Level 5 to the returning AIM Autosport effort that will field a Ferrari 458 Italia similar to the one he, Sweedler, Bell and Alessandro Pier Guidi drove to a convincing and ultimately redeeming victory in the Rolex 24.

Segal, Sweedler and Bell will be joined this weekend by Italian Ferrari ace Maurizio Mediani, a move that competitively addresses IMSA’s requirement of having a second bronze or silver ranked driver in three or four-driver GTD entries.

“I'm very happy to be able to rejoin Bill and Townsend and also co-drive with Maurizio for Sebring and look forward to what I hope will be a strong performance by this entire group,” Segal said. “First and foremost, I need to thank the Level 5 Motorsports team for allowing me to take this opportunity. I have a great history with the AIM Autosport team and the Ferrari 458 over the past two seasons, and the relationship with Bill and Townsend started in the best possible way with our win at this year's Rolex 24.”

Segal’s and the Level 5 team’s Rolex 24 win was hard-earned on and off the track and now sets the stage for a legitimate shot at pulling off a rare Daytona and Sebring double victory.

“Sebring is among the biggest, most prestigious, and certainly the toughest sports car races in the world, right up there with the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Segal said. “I'm pleased to be able to put a 'check' next to Daytona on that list, and now my focus is very clearly on doing the same thing for Sebring.”

Segal’s addition to the team reunites him with his familiar teammates at AIM Autosport with whom he won the 2012 Rolex Sports Car Series GT championship in a Ferrari 458 Italia. Level 5 shifted focus to other motorsports initiatives in the weeks following the Daytona victory and AIM, which was still in the process of finalizing its 2014 plans, stepped in to field a full-season entry for co-drivers Sweedler and Bell.

While AIM Autosport is the team and entrant for this weekend’s Sebring effort and the remainder of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car season, this weekend’s Ferrari is the sister Level 5 car to the one that won at Daytona. Additional Level 5 personnel have also joined the team at Sebring, which is led by AIM Autosport Technical Manager Ian Willis, who joins Segal as now having winning experience with both teams. Willis engineered Level 5’s winning Daytona effort.

“I think that despite the late start for this effort, we have all of the ingredients that we need in order to be a factor at the front of this race,” Segal said. “We are definitely playing a bit of catchup given that this group in total didn't run together at Daytona, and the competition in the IMSA TUDOR GTD class is really fierce, so it's a big task that we have in front of us.”

Sebring’s annual Winter Test took place less than a month ago when current plans were still unknown. Level 5, Segal and its other team drivers did not participate but head into this weekend’s race with some Ferrari familiarity in their corner.

“Sebring is a very complicated circuit, and the fact that we didn't have the opportunity to test prior to the race will make it even more difficult for us,” Segal said. “Fortunately, we know that the Ferrari is a very versatile car, and exceptionally well balanced by nature, and I think when you combine this with our collective experiences of the past seasons at other circuits, we will be able to get the setup figured out in time for the race.

Both Segal and Mediani, who finished fourth in the Rolex 24 in SMP Racing’s similar Ferrari 458, were confirmed to the entry only late Wednesday afternoon. They will join Sweedler and Bell in the entry that is not only the IMSA TUDOR GTD points leader but the commanding, early-season leaders of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

“It’s good to be back at Sebring and have a chance to run the next race in the new IMSA TUDOR series,” said Segal. “I want to help Bill and Townsend in their season-long championship effort and I would love to have the chance to win the NAEC with them as well.”

Noteworthy

- Segal and Willis have been a dynamic duo since the then “GRAND-AM” version of the Ferrari 458 Italia – now in the GTD class – was introduced to North American competition in 2012. They have earned all but one of the 458’s six victories in that time span in addition to the 2012 title.

- The Rolex timepiece Segal earned at Daytona in January was his third. His second came after winning the 2012 title with AIM and Willis in a Ferrari 458, just two years after winning his first GT title and Rolex watch in 2010. Segal is also the 2008 Grand Sport (GS) champion in the series that is now known as the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Jeff Segal

shares
comments
Ozz Negri set for return to Interlagos in Brazilian Stock Car

Previous article

Ozz Negri set for return to Interlagos in Brazilian Stock Car

Next article

JDC-Miller MotorSports commences Prototype Challenge title chase at Sebring

JDC-Miller MotorSports commences Prototype Challenge title chase at Sebring
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020