Risi Competizione had a race to forget today in California. Despite starting from class pole position and having a good, fast Ferrari 458 Italia, multiple penalties for track and pit lane infringements meant the end result was 8th place in the GT category for the team and its drivers Olivier Beretta and Matteo Malucelli. Beretta recorded the second fastest GT race lap today which was evidence of the Ferrari’s overall pace.
“Some were for speeding in the pit lane. The ALMS has a new system which was introduced at Sebring involving a 3ft automatic column which clocks the drivers – radar guns are no longer used – and as soon as you pass the column it records your speed. It’s a non-protestable element, and we had three of those.
“We also had two penalties for avoidable contact and we went to Race Control with our drivers straight after the race to look at those again in slow motion to see whether they were unfair or not.
“However, the bottom line is that you have to serve what’s given to you, and that once you have that amount of time in the penalty box, and you lose up to three laps to your competitors, a four-hour race isn’t long enough to come back. The competition here is very high and there was no way back today.
“In order to avoid this happening again, we need to now sit down with the drivers and go through everything that happened and, at Lime Rock, we’ll walk the drivers up to these columns and physically and visually log it into their minds on both the entrance and exit to the pits.”
The American Le Mans Series now takes a break until July while some teams and competitors head to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 22/23rd June. The next round will be the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 5-6, 2013.