Conquest Racing with Ferrari has announced plans to contest a full season in the ever-growing GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with driver Manny Franco in a Ferrari 296 GT3. The championship has been without a full-season Ferrari entrant for several years.
Franco currently competes with Conquest Racing in both the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli and GT World Challenge America championships, where he recently scored a pair of victories in the Pro class with Alessandro Balzan at Road America (pictured above). He has also competed in Michelin Pilot Challenge and believes he’s ready for the next step.
“I’m extremely proud and excited for this next chapter with Conquest Racing for the upcoming 2024 IMSA season,” said Franco. “I have learned a great deal over the past few years with the team from racing in a variety of different series and championships, and I’m greatly looking forward to what lies ahead for us as we prepare for this challenge. To be driving the Ferrari 296 GT3 at this level of competition is a big opportunity, and one that we are ready for.”
Conquest Racing’s commitment to participate in the championship will also mark its first full-season return with the IMSA organization in over a decade, as the team previously competed in the full season of the American Le Mans Series in 2012 in the LMP2 class.
“This is a big step for us and it reflects our growing commitment with Ferrari and Manny’s ongoing development as a racing driver,” said team owner Eric Bachelart. “We have been working with Manny since his racing debut back in 2021 and I am very proud of the way he has evolved as a driver in such a short period of time. This program also represents the ultimate upper echelon of our Ferrari ladder system as we’ve progressed from our Ferrari Club Challenge and Ferrari Challenge participation, to now even larger implications. We could not be happier to be joining the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship and to be a part of the success of the series.”
Conquest Racing plans to maintain a presence in Fanatec GT World Challenge America championship next year as well.