Mid-Ohio: Risi Competizione preview

THE TIDE HAS TURNED FOR RISI COMPETIZIONE Houston, TX, July 16, 2008. Boosted by a hard-fought and well-deserved podium finish at Lime Rock Park last weekend, its first of 2008 in the American Le Mans Series, the Risi Competizione team has...

THE TIDE HAS TURNED FOR RISI COMPETIZIONE

Houston, TX, July 16, 2008. Boosted by a hard-fought and well-deserved podium finish at Lime Rock Park last weekend, its first of 2008 in the American Le Mans Series, the Risi Competizione team has had little opportunity to savor the moment.

The Le Mans winning GT2 team left Connecticut on Sunday morning to head for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which is set in scenic hills near Lexington some 60 miles north of Columbus, Ohio. Also hosting the Indycar Series next weekend, the 2.25 mile/13-turn permanent road course has been venue to many classic sports car races in the past and, in the eyes of many, is a driver's track.

Repaved in 2006, the layout is technical with a mixture of medium and low speed corners. The surface is smooth, with big, flat curbs which give a gain if they can be used. "It's very hard to pass other like-speed cars here," said Harrison Brix of San Jose, California. "Getting through and off the low speed corners is where the lap time comes from and the only real passing zones are under braking into the Keyhole and into the right hander at the end of the strait. Qualifying will therefore be important. It's the first time here for Patrick but it's one of the few tracks on the ALMS schedule that I've raced at before so I hope that experience will help us in setting up the car."

Jaime Melo put the Ferrari 430 GT on pole position in the GT2 class last year, setting a new qualifying lap record of 1:19.951 in the process. After an eventful race, the Brazilian -- who also set a new race track record - and his team mate Mika Salo went on to finish in second place, joined on the podium by their team mates Eric Helary and Gianmaria Bruni who finished in third. Current Drivers Champions, Melo and Salo, will be chasing their first win of the season hard, and if both cars finish on the podium, as last year, it will be a more than satisfying result for the whole team.

The Official Sponsors of Risi Competizione, 2006 and 2007 ALMS GT2 Team Champions, are Boost/Motorola, Michelin, Freescale, Ferrari of Silicon Valley, Ferrari Financial Services, Boardwalk Autogroup, Delphi and Ferrari of Houston.

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge, scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 19 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. NBC Sports will televise the race from noon to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20. XM Satellite Radio will air the race from 5 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage on americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.

-credit: rc

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Mika Salo , Jaime Melo , Eric Helary , Harrison Brix
Teams Risi Competizione