One11 (“one-eleven”) Competition will stage a two-car campaign with a pair of Ferrari 488 GT3 entries in the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America Championship.
Drivers Chris Cagnazzi and Brian Kaminskey will compete in the Am class as they share the driving duties in the No. 19 Ferrari 488 GT3 that carries support from NEBR, Plycar Group, Presidio, Steinberganna, and American Portfolios & Valueworks.
The New York-based team will also compete in the Pro-Am class with drivers Alfred Caiola and Matt Plumb in the No. 99 Ferrari One11 Competition 488 GT3.
The effort will be spearheaded by One11 Competition team owner Peter Spinella, who has developed the infrastructure and assembled the driver line up for the all-new Blancpain GT America program.
Spinella first started at the club level with Ferrari Challenge amateur drivers, and then moved to the Ferrari North America Challenge Series with driver Alfred Caiola in 2013. Building the Long Island Ferrari-backed team into a seven car multi-class operation, the team generated significant success with two team championships, two driver championships, and one World Championship in the last four seasons alone.
With a long-term view for One11 Competition, Spinella has cultivated Ferrari drivers starting from the Ferrari Corso Pilota driving program and developed them in Ferrari Challenge competition, with some of those racers continuing that progression in the even more capable Ferrari GT3 machinery.
Growing their long respective histories with Ferrari, the move to the SRO ranks represents a strong move up the competition ladder for Spinella and three of his drivers.
“This driver line up is well-tenured in Ferrari Challenge, with a lot of good results there, and this is a new step up for them and it is really exciting for us as a group,” said Spinella. “We are a new team, but we are pulling resources from all over the world and have a lot of very experienced people on board. Not only the crew, but also engineers with us who have experience with this specific (GT3) platform. We were able to go to the factory, get training with the car, and actually go test while we were there so that gave us a very big jump in our progression. So far, the car has been amazing.”
Cagnazzi started his racing career in 2014 in the Ferrari Challenge series in a Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO impressing with 10 podiums and five race wins in his first full season. He went on to claim a dominating victory on the international stage with his victory in the Finali Mondiali World Finals at Mugello Italy.
The Cagnazzi-Kaminskey combination grew out of a friendly rivalry in Ferrari Challenge competition as both drivers now look forward to sharing the driving duties on board the Ferrari 488 GT3 platform.
“I met Chris (Cagnazzi) racing in (Ferrari) Challenge, and when we started to talk about this opportunity to race a Ferrari 488 at the GT3 level, I have to admit it was kind of a dream come true for me,” said Kamiskey. “I feel really comfortable with Pete’s (Spinella) guidance and he’s already built a family environment with his team. I wanted to take the next step, and Ferrari has been great to us so it is very exciting to be racing this car. This is a big step for me as a driver with the level of competition and the pit stops and everything that goes into racing at this level, so I know it will be a big learning process. I have to admit the new challenge is incredibly exciting for me. We have to take everything step by step, you have to know what your expectations are, and to have a plan.”
Beyond having the relationship already in place, there was another advantage for Cagnazzi and Kaminskey as they decided to pair up.
“He’s the same size as I am, so we don’t have to change anything for the driver changes!” said Kaminskey with a laugh. “Driving the 488 GT3—wow! is really all I can say. From a balance point of view, the aero, power delivery; it’s just an amazing car. I am thrilled to be racing it. This (GT3) is a natural progression from the (Ferrari) Challenge car. The balance, power, it’s just an amazing machine. Growing up I was a big Ferrari enthusiast, and I’m happy to be taking this to the next level.”
Caiola has over two decades of experience in motorsport competition, having raced in the Ferrari North American Challenge Series, Challenge Club Racing, Global Mazda MX-5 Cup and earned multiple class wins, podiums and top-five results at tracks like Daytona, Montreal, and Road Atlanta.
He has also had the opportunity to experience a range of Ferrari machines including the legendary Ferrari 333SP and F40LM, and still emerged from his first laps behind the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GT3 impressed.
“I was able to drive (the Ferrari 488 GT3) at Fioarno, and this car was so well balanced, had great grip and aero, it was just such a pleasure to drive,” said Caiola. “It is like a fighter jet, just a pure race car. It’s incredible to be racing a Ferrari 488 GT3 at this level, particularly with co-driver Matt Plumb, and team owner/manager and friend, Pete Spinella at ONE11 Competition. We have a great group of drivers and crew who are used to working together. There is still so much to learn, and we plan on putting our best foot forward in making good progress this year. A big thanks to Ferrari for giving us one of the best cars on the grid, and to ONE11 Competition for putting it all together.”
With experienced multi-time IMSA champion Plumb returning to race a Ferrari once again in GT competition, his co-driver Caiola is looking forward to making the move to the SRO Blancpain GT ranks.
“I have already run spec series in the past, so this is really my first time racing among several different marques and types of cars, and I think that’s going to be really exciting as well,” said Caiola. “The biggest thing is that I can bring race craft experience, knowing were to leave room, and driving smart. Running with pros, you hope you run with people that have that same awareness.”
Spinella is encouraged by the progress he has seen both from his team as well as his drivers.
“Based on the testing we’ve done, and the way that I’ve seen each of them progress in their careers, I think they will be in the fight straight away,” said Spinella. “Their progression with Ferrari is important to me. I’m proud of what these guys have done to get to this point and it is really important that I’ve got all the pieces in place to support them.”
The campaign will launch at the Circuit of the Americas March 3rd.