lundi 20 mars 2017
Risi Competizione collects another podium at 12 Hours of Sebring
The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM pulled off a stunning last lap podium finish in the 65th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida race at Sebring International Raceway.
British Ferrari factory driver James Calado, who stayed in the Ferrari to finish the race and was on his third stint, had a last lap battle with Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 Ford. The Ford tapped the rear of the red Ferrari and spun himself out of podium contention and elevated the Risi Competizione team to their second third-place finish in a row, having captured the same at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.
The surprise podium finish makes it the third endurance podium in a row, having won the 2016 season finale at Petit Le Mans last October. The Houston, Texas-based team also captured a podium at the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans last June, adding to their outstanding endurance finish record.
The 2017 Sebring podium is the team's eighth at the central Florida circuit, which celebrated its 65th running of the once-around-the-clock enduro. The history includes three victories (in 2007, 2009, 2010) and four additional podiums (2006, 2008, 2013, 2015) in 14 years and 19 entries since their inaugural race in 1998.
Italian former Formula 1 star Giancarlo Fisichella started the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 and the team regularly rotated to Toni Vilander and then Calado, who counts Sebring as his tenth podium finish in a row. There were six total cautions during this year's famous endurance race.
The Risi Competizione Ferrari F488 team was awarded the DEKRA award for the 11th time since the award commenced in 2015. The team most recently won at Round 1 at the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona and at the 2016 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The team also was honored in 2016 at Road America, Lime Rock Park, Continental Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport) and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The team won the award four times in 2015, including at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Long Beach Grand Prix, Monterey Grand Prix, and Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America. The award is determined through green racing protocols established by the United States Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and the Society of Automotive Engineers International as part of their alliance with IMSA and is a huge honor for the Risi team who takes a great pride in the team's pit stop efficiency, race pace and most efficient fuel usage.
Giancarlo Fisichella, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"It was a great race, a tough race. We had an issue on one of the pit stops and lost some positions, but apart from that everything went well. The entire crew did a fantastic job as usual. The pace was much better than yesterday in the qualifying session, but I think we were not the quickest car out there. We achieved the best result today, both Toni and, especially James at the end, did a fantastic job. I'm very happy with the result. It's very important to score a podium here, especially for the championship points. So, we're looking forward already to the next race."
Toni Vilander, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"It was a great end to the race with P3, which almost feels like the maximum for today. We did a really good job. Drivers and the whole team did a fantastic job. There were slight things in the course of the race, refuelling and such, that makes our race always very hard. I had quite a few good battles on the track and, as always, I think GTLM was the most interesting class out there. I'm really, really happy. We started the season with two podium finishes and finished last season at Petit with a win, so it's good momentum. We just keep going on. The next track is different, a street track at Long Beach, but let's enjoy this podium today."
James Calado, driver, No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"We did it. The team did a great job. We were in a car that wasn't as fast as the others, but we managed to pull something out. We kept out of trouble the whole race. Toni and Fisichella did a great job and Lady Luck turned up on the last lap when we got a run on the Ford. It was a great fight and I literally I have no energy left. I'm quite tired now and just over the moon. It's good points with two third place finishes and it's nice to see some positivity in the team. I'm really happy."
Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
"The race turned out better than we thought because I don't think that our car was that competitive. We hung in there. James did an excellent job at the end with his three-hour stint and salvage a third, which is a win considering how we started the race and the week. So, we're happy with that and we'll try to improve and go on to Long Beach. The team did a fantastic job and the pit stops were all nice and clean. The drivers did a good job and stayed out of trouble and that's what it takes to do well in these races."
The next race on the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule is Round 3, the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach, in Long Beach, California on Saturday, April 7-8.
Risi Competizione Press Release