lundi 2 mai 2016
Top five finish for Risi Competizione at Laguna Seca
The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM of starting driver Toni Vilander and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella drove to a hard-fought Top Five finish in today's Continental Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.
The fourth round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship featured only the Prototype (P) and GTLM classes in a two-hour sprint format. Vilander had qualified the car on the third row, in the fifth starting position, and drove a strong first stint.
On the second of three full course cautions, Vilander pitted for a driver change to Fisichella, along with new tires and fuel at approximately 40-minutes into the race and while in fourth position.
The Risi Competizione pit crew, known for their legendary pit stops, did not disappoint and managed to get the car out before several other pitting GTLM cars and into second-place, just behind a BMW that was out of the pit cycle. Eventually Fisichella was the race leader for five laps just past the halfway point of the race, as some cars pitted and some strategized to stay out.
The Risi Prancing Horse had to pit one additional time in order to satisfy the needed fuel to finish the race. The team elected to just do a 'splash-and-go' fuel stop only in just eight seconds and without a tire change 50 minutes from the race end and were back on track at approximately 12:25 p.m. EDT. In the end the lack of new tires did not play in their favor as well as the team had hoped and they had to settle for a Top Five instead of the desired victory or podium finish.
The Risi Competizione is now (unofficially) tied for fifth place in both the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Driver and Team Championships after fourth of 11 races.
The new Michelin GTLM 'Le Mans tires' that all the GTLM mid-engine teams used for the first time proved to suit the Ferraris well. The Houston, Texas-based Ferrari team is hopeful this will be a positive factor as the Risi team heads to Le Mans, France next month for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 18-19.
Risi Competizione Press Release