jeudi 30 mars 2017
Stellar line-up for Risi Competizione at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The Houston, Texas-based Risi Competizione today announced the driver line-up for the 85th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race, scheduled for June 17-18. The team's 2017 season regulars, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander, will be joined by former Risi Competizione driver Pierre Kaffer.
The trio will take on the twice-around-the-clock French endurance road racing classic in the beautiful Ferrari 488 GTE, which made its debut last year. Risi Competizione gave an outstanding battle to the finish in last year's Le Mans race to finish second in the GTE-Pro class against the highly-funded Ford GT factory team, who finished on either side of the Risi drivers on the podium.
The team will once again compete with the No. 82 Risi Competizione-entered Rosso Corsa (racing red) 488GTE in the GTE-Pro class for Team Principal Giuseppe Risi at the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO)-sanctioned race.
"Pierre Kaffer will be our third driver for Le Mans this year," said Team Owner Giuseppe Risi. "He's an excellent match because he has a first-rate history with the team, knows how to work with the engineers and crew, knows the other drivers and has had success driving for us in Ferraris. He should be able to step right in to the role without any issues. We're glad to have him back with us as we challenge Le Mans for the 13th time."
In its 12 previous attempts at the twice-around-the-clock sports car endurance race in the center of France, Risi Competizione has celebrate three victories and four additional podium finishes. Fisichella, has seven previous Le Mans appearances, and Vilander has eight, including their combination to teammates in two victories (2012, 2014). Kaffer will be making his 11th appearance at the Circuit de la Sarthe, four times in Ferraris and in 2009 with Risi Competizione.
"Returning to drive a Ferrari for Giuseppe and the Risi Competizione team at Le Mans is an honor," said German Pierre Kaffer. "We won together in 2009 at Le Mans with Jamie [Melo] and Mika [Salo] in a Ferrari 430 GT, and we had success in 2014 and 2015. I am very comfortable with the team and know all the guys so it will be very good to back with my old team. I'm looking forward to it."
The first appearance of the Risi team at Le Mans was in 1998 when Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele and Fermin Velez won the LMP-1 class in the Ferrari 333 SP. Risi Competizione collected back-to-back victories in the Ferrari 430 GT in 2008 with Jamie Melo, Mika Salo and Gianmaria Bruni and again in 2009 with Melo, Salo and Pierre Kaffer. The team also made appearances in 2003, 2007, 2010 and their most recent entry last year. Risi Competizione entered two cars at La Circuit de la Sarthe five of the seven years it competed, once with a double podium.
Risi Competizione Press Release