Toni Vilander qualified the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari GTLM on the second row, in fourth position on the grid, for the 55th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 28-29, 2017, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
His best lap time of 1:44.121, at an average speed of 123 mph, was achieved on his sixth lap of the 15-minute qualifying session for just GT Le Mans (GTLM) class cars. The Risi Ferrari will start 18th overall with the combined 55-car field of four classes (Daytona Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD)
The Risi Comp driver lineup includes fellow Ferrari factory drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and James Calado for the first race of the 2017 International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) season during the 70th anniversary year of Ferrari.
Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"Obviously it's good to have one full season of working with the car with the whole team. It feels like a really small transition from the end of last year to coming to the opening race of 2017. We did some testing prior to the race, the mid-December test, and we did the Roar (Test). I spent quite a lot of time in the car. But it's difficult here, the track condition changes a little bit each time. The session before qualifying I felt a little bit more confidence in the car. In qualifying the balance changed a little bit so we will do a little setup work, with the engineer, as it is all part of preparing for the race. We are quite happy with P4. We will keep analysing the data. We see what we could have done differently. We'll give more track time to Giancarlo and James in the night session, and we can see how the car is handling with a little bit cooler conditions, and tomorrow we have another session, and then we are ready for the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"This morning I did just three laps so I can't say a lot about the car. We are fourth on the grid, which is not bad. The car looks competitive. Ford looks a little bit too strong maybe with three Fords in front of us. Obviously, we tried to do our best and we're fourth, but we also qualified on our race setup. We will try to improve the car a little bit more for the next two sessions and just keep the car on the ground for the race and go to the end of the race."
James Calado, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"It's the first qualifying of the year so it's not too bad to be starting P4. The balance of the car changed a little bit during qualifying compared to this morning, so we need to investigate that now and see what we can do to improve the car for the race. Ford seems to be quite strong so it gives us a challenge. Giancarlo and I will get a few more laps under our belt and then see where we are. You know, it's not a bad place to start and it's a long race so the key thing is just to make sure the car finishes and keep the car in one piece to fight for the end."
Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
"Fourth is about where we thought we'd qualify. The balance changed a little bit between sessions unfortunately, but we have what we have and I think we have a good race car. We didn't make any qualifying adjustments or changes so we basically have our race setup. We're quite happy with that and we'll continue, maybe make a couple small tweaks in night practice and be ready for the race on Saturday."
Practice session on Friday, January 29 runs from 10:00 a.m. EST for one hour. The race starts Saturday, January 28 at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Live timing and scoring is available for all on-track sessions at IMSA.com and the IMSA Smartphone app.
Risi Competizione Press Release
Photos: Michelin Media