RISI RETURN TO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND AT MOSPORT Houston, Tx., August 24, 2009. The Risi Competizione team returns to the fast and challenging Mosport track this week with the aim of repeating its North-of-the-border GT successes of the last...
RISI RETURN TO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND AT MOSPORT
Houston, Tx., August 24, 2009. The Risi Competizione team returns to the fast and challenging Mosport track this week with the aim of repeating its North-of-the-border GT successes of the last three years.
Jaime Melo, with his former team mate Mika Salo, last year took their Ferrari F430 GT to the top of every single practice session and qualifying and went on to take the GT2 race win as the icing on the cake. The Brazilian and his Houston-based team are, however, very aware that the challenge and competition provided to Ferrari in 2009 by the likes of Porsche, BMW and Corvette might prevent such an unrivalled run at the time sheets.
Risi's Technical Director and Chief Race Engineer, Rick Mayer, says of the Mosport course: "The track surface is bumpy in an undulating way, not harsh and abrupt like a street circuit. The apex patches will change the grip throughout the corner and the ideal line will depend on where the grip is, and how bad last winter was as this affects the paving. Rain will further complicate the ideal grip line -- it's treacherous in the wet!
"Last year we saw 260 kph (160 mph) on the uphill back strait; this year should be slower with the restrictor and ride height rules changes. You don't want to go off track here as there's very little runoff relative to the speed of the corners. History shows if you go off track the car is usually damaged."
For Pierre Kaffer, Mosport is also a track to savor as it is one of the four ALMS circuits (along with Sebring, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca) at which he has previously raced and therefore has valuable track knowledge to bring to the party. The Canadian track, say Kaffer, reminds him of "a little Nordschleife as it is always going up and down." The historic Nurburgring track in Germany, Pierre's home track, may be a lengthy 13 miles compared to Mosport Park's more compact 2.4 miles, but the rural setting and high speeds attained are very similar.
"I raced at Mosport last year for the first time with the Farnbacher team," enthuses the German Ferrari driver, "and I have to say it is one of my favorite tracks. I like the kind of corners they have, especially Turn Two, and the fast corners will be good for us. The down side for us at the moment is that there's a long strait which I hope we can survive on with our lack of top speed. It's quite a slow corner before you come onto the strait which will make it even harder for the Ferrari.
"Risi has a very good record at this track and I think we can win again but it will be tough and a very close race. With just one long strait instead of several like at Road America, it makes me more confident that we can survive and be successful."
Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Official team sponsors include Motorola, Boardwalk Auto Group, AdShip, Ferrari Financial Services and Ferrari of Houston.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series will be the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport at Bowmanville, Ontario Canada on Sunday, August 30. The race is scheduled for 3:05pm EST and will air live on SPEED TV from 3:00pm EST and on MotorsTV -Tape delayed on Sunday, 6th September beginning at 5:00 pm (UK); 6:00 pm CET. The race can also be followed on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Live Timing & Scoring on www.americanlemans.com.