Mid-Ohio: Risi Competizione qualifying report

POLE POSITION FOR MELO AT MID OHIO Risi Competizione's Brazilian driver, Jaime Melo, was at his brilliant best in a thrilling GT qualifying for tomorrow's Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid Ohio, claiming GT2 pole position on the last lap of ...

POLE POSITION FOR MELO AT MID OHIO

Risi Competizione's Brazilian driver, Jaime Melo, was at his brilliant best in a thrilling GT qualifying for tomorrow's Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid Ohio, claiming GT2 pole position on the last lap of the 20-minute session. His best time of 1:20.025 edged out the competition in what turned out to be an extremely close-fought session.

Patrick Friesacher of Austria, who was qualifying the team's second Ferrari 430 GT, will start from 6th place on the grid, setting a best time of 1:20.844.

It is Melo's first official pole position of the season, although not the first time that he has set a pole-winning time. His Sebring time was negated when the prototype qualifying session was abandoned, and at Salt Lake City he set exactly the same lap time as one of his competitors but, as it was later in the qualifying session, he missed out on pole.

In blisteringly hot temperatures, Jaime put his Risi Ferrari, which is carrying a new suspension package from Michelotto, on the front row of the GT2 grid after just four laps and then came into the pits to make a small adjustment to his tire pressures. When he got back on track, he was pushing hard for another hot lap and briefly went off track in Turn 13. Knowing he could still go quicker, but with only four minutes remaining in the session, he returned to the pits for a quick clean up of the car and returned to the action -- still with the same tires.

"I love this track!" said a very hot, but very happy Melo afterwards. "We had some problems with the car in the last practice session and I didn't know if I could do pole. I tried my best...and got it. The team did a very good job and also the Michelin tires. I got the pole on my last lap and the tires were still there."

Patrick Friesacher, despite being only tenths of a second away from the front of the grid, was slightly disappointed in his sixth place. "It wasn't a bad session, but on my quickest lap I lot the rear end of the car briefly and lost about three tenths of a second. In front of us are some fast Porsches and two other Ferraris, so I think our position is about where we could hope to be. I always want to be faster though."

-credit: rc

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jaime Melo , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Risi Competizione