Laguna Seca: Risi Competizione qualifying report

RISI LEAD ALL FERRARI GT FRONT ROW AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA Monterey, California. May 21, 2010. The red ...

RISI LEAD ALL FERRARI GT FRONT ROW AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

Monterey, California. May 21, 2010. The red #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT of Jaime Melo claimed a convincing pole position in qualifying today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, leading an all-Ferrari front row. He will be joined on the front row of the GT grid by the #01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F430 of Johannes van Overbeek.

The sister Risi car, running in Krohn Racing colors, will start the six hour American Le Mans Series Monterey Presented by Patron race on the sixth row of the grid, after Tracy Krohn turned his best laps of the weekend so far.

The Houston-based team had been struggling to cure excessive under steer during the practice sessions earlier in the day, but everything came together for the Brazilian when the flag dropped for the 20-minute qualifying. He was straight out onto the track as the green flag fell, and completed just five laps, four of which were 'hot'. His last, and quickest, with a time of 1:22.752, was enough to secure Melo his 17th career ALMS pole position, and his second successive pole in the 2010 series.

"I didn't expect to be that fast, to be honest," said Jaime afterwards. "We were struggling with under steer in the practices and we tried many things and got it right just at the end. We have always been close to pole here, but only managed to get it once before [in 2007] so it feels good to get it today.

"You need to go easy on your tires at this track because it's so slippery and you need as much grip as possible, so I decided after my quick lap that was enough and I'd come in. The race will be difficult because of the tricky and slippery surface, but we just need to keep calm and see what we can do. We have improved the platform of the F430 a lot over the winter and in the races so far, and done a lot of work on the dampers, and it's paid off today."

Melo will be sharing the #62 Ferrari with Gianmaria Bruni who, despite only making his debut at the track yesterday, set the fastest GT time at the end of the official promoter's test session.

Tracy Krohn enjoyed a very consistent and trouble-free qualifying run, with his fastest time of 1:26.708 being set on his eighth and final lap. Thoroughly enjoying participating in the highly competitive GT class, and using every moment as valuable pre Le Mans practice, the Texan was pleased with how qualifying went.

"The car is pretty good and the weather conditions are also pretty good today. It's a little windy and you feel it going up the hill a little bit. Turn in on the car was precise and pushing a little in some of the corners. Other than that it was very controlled and feels like a car you can drive all day." He will be sharing the #61 F430 GT with long time regular team mate, Nic Jonsson.

-source: risi

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About this article
Series ALMS
Teams ESM Racing , Krohn Racing , Risi Competizione