RISI COMPETIZIONE PRODUCE CLEAN SWEEP AT MOSPORT A faultless race by the Houston-based Risi Competizione team at Mosport today saw them finish 1-2 in the GT2 class -- a repeat of last year's resounding success at the Canadian track. It was the...
RISI COMPETIZIONE PRODUCE CLEAN SWEEP AT MOSPORT
A faultless race by the Houston-based Risi Competizione team at Mosport today saw them finish 1-2 in the GT2 class -- a repeat of last year's resounding success at the Canadian track. It was the team's sixth win this year, and the result now gives the team and its drivers a firm lead in the Drivers, Teams and Manufacturers Championships.
Jamie Melo completed a superb weekend when he crossed the line in his no. 62 Ferrari 430 GT first in class, followed home by Gianmaria Bruni in the no. 61 Risi Ferrari. The Rahal Porsche of Ralf Kelleners crossed the line in third position ahead of the Petersen White Lightning Ferrari 430, narrowly preventing a Ferrari 1-2-3.
For Brazilian Melo it was the perfect ending to a fantastic weekend. He not only claimed pole position and set a new track record, but he went on to lead every lap in the race (in class) and break the Fastest Lap record during the race by nearly a second.
Inspired strategy by the Risi engineers led to a call for an early pit stop by the leading no. 62 car under the first of two full course caution periods. Mika Salo, who had started the 2 hour 45 minute race, was able to gain a lap over his rivals with clever track positioning after being picked up behind the pace car. He went on to pit for fuel and new Michelin tires and re-enter the race without losing the lead.
The no. 61 car had a slightly more difficult start to the race, with Eric Helary not being as lucky behind the pace car and subsequently being involved in heavy traffic which affected his track position. His Italian team mate, Gianmaria Bruni, now recovered from his bad gastric illness, went on to complete a strong double stint behind the wheel -- helped by further intelligent strategy by his engineering team -- to make up six places and finish second.
Jamie Melo (8th ALMS career win and second consecutive win after Road America): "It was really easy for us today. The car was perfect so I was just careful not to make any mistakes and be consistent. There really isn't much to say -- I just cruised around! It was a great race for Ferrari, and to have Ing. Felisa here today from the Ferrari factory made it a special weekend for everyone."
Mika Salo (9th ALMS career win and second consecutive win after Road America): "We had a good start and our car was really good. I'd say there's no such thing as luck. It was good strategy work from our engineers who told us to push hard when they were expecting yellows and put us in the right place for the pace car, and good pit work from the team. I just had to keep it on the track and not hit anything."
Gianmaria (Gimmi) Bruni: "The second caution helped us a bit to make up some time and we had some good laps which put us into second. After the last splash with the fuel we still managed to stay in that position so it all worked good. The car was really, really good and I'm very happy for the Risi team and for the points towards the Championship. I also have to say a big thank you to the IMSA Medical team who let me drive and helped me to get much better in time for the race today."
Eric Helary: "The start was perfect but we were unlucky with the pace car and I lost positions. The car was good to drive and to finish first and second for Risi was perfect."
Giuseppe Risi, Team Principal: "The team is very happy, especially to repeat what we had last year. Then there were a lot of accidents here but thank goodness we didn't have that this year, with the next race at Detroit being just next weekend. It was another excellent race and all the drivers did very well. We had a bit of a scare with Gianmaria earlier in the weekend with his illness but thanks to the doctors who took care of him. I'm very happy with the results, and we now have a strong lead in the points Championships which hopefully we can build on."
David Sims, Team Manager: "It was a good strategy by the engineers which helped us today. Rick Mayer and Don Shaver did brilliantly on the first stop with the no. 62 car which gained us a lap and from then on it was a case of keeping everything clean and tidy and out of trouble. On the 61 car, Bruni got back up to second after equally good strategy from Mark Schomann, his engineer, and that worked well for us. We had good pit stops and it was a great result all round."
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Saturday, September 1 at 3.15 PM EST. American Le Mans radio will have live coverage of the 2 hour 45 minute race at www.americanlemans.com, which will also feature IMSA Live Timing and Scoring. SPEED will broadcast the race live on Saturday and re-air on Monday, September 10 at 12 noon.