Houston: Risi Competizione race report

Risi Competizione F430GT Takes Third in 1st Lone Star Grand Prix. Jaime Melo posts Fastest Lap in GT2 Class Houston, Texas - The night was cool, the racing was hot, and, at the end of the 2 hour 45 minute inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix staged...

Risi Competizione F430GT Takes Third in 1st Lone Star Grand Prix. Jaime Melo posts Fastest Lap in GT2 Class

Houston, Texas - The night was cool, the racing was hot, and, at the end of the 2 hour 45 minute inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix staged in Houston, Texas on a tough, bumpy road course created especially at the Reliant Park and while comfortably leading the highly-competitive GT2 class, Mika Salo in the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT at 10:24PM suffered what appeared to be minor collision with another car, which put the car briefly into the pits; no fuel and no driver change. A yellow flag at 10:27PM tightened up the field, but Salo then ran out of time to close up on the leaders and the F430GT Ferrari finished the race in third place in GT2, another podium finish - two out of two - for the team's 2006 season. They also finished in an excellent 9th place overall.

The Ferrari 430GT ran flawlessly for the entire race, leading for 61 laps, and only a stroke of bad luck with less than 21 minutes left to go, preventing the Risi Competizione team from finishing the race in 1st place. "I am very pleased with the team and the way it performed" said Team Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. "The car ran extremely well, the drivers were quick and worked well together, and the team work in the pits was excellent. The incident was unfortunate but we handled it totally correctly. Unfortunately, that's a part of racing-not one that any team enjoys, but it goes with the territory. I am very pleased that we made the podium and very grateful for the support for this team from the local fans and the media. The organizers did a great job putting this event together and I hope we return next year."

The #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430GT had set the pace throughout the entire meeting, setting the fastest lap in the first and second practice sessions, as well as in qualifying. The F430GT also posted the fastest lap in the race, a 1:11.383 set on lap 44 by Jaime Melo.

The inaugural Lone Star Grand Prix - the second round of the prestigious 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) - was held in near-perfect warm and sunny conditions, and attracted a huge amount of racing fans each day, while the inhabitants of Houston also turned out 'en masse' and instantly took this new glamorous new event to their hearts.

With two rounds of the 2006 ALMS (Sebring and Houston) now completed, and with two podium visits already under his belt, Risi Competizione's young Brazilian star driver Jaime Melo (32 points) is in a very strong fourth place in the GT2 drivers' championship, and stands just six points adrift of series leader Johannes Van Overbeek (38 pts). Multimac Motorsports Panoz Esperante drivers' Scott Maxwell and David Brabham (both on 34 pts) sit in between Van Overbeek and Melo in the standings.

-rc

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