Austin, Texas - Houston-based Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 Italia today came through from the back of the 33-strong grid to finish in 6th place in the highly competitive, manufacturer-led GT category of the American Le Mans Series.
It was the team’s best result since the opening round of the Series at Sebring in March, and some reward for the many, many hours of hard work put in by the Risi crew to re-build the No.62 entry after the start crash in Baltimore three weeks ago.
The car had originally qualified in 8th place in class but, due to an administrative omission concerning minimum driving time for the team’s two drivers in the official practice sessions, the challenge presented to Risi was higher than anticipated.
Malucelli scythed through the field in a decisive but clean manner and rose to the head of the GT class as the first round of pit stops began. The Risi crew did their usual excellent and rapid turnaround, but the ultimate faster pace of some of Risi’s rivals saw it drop back slightly while Olivier Beretta was behind the wheel.
While Malucelli was able to match his competitors on lap time in his second and final stint, the opportunity to climb further up the order had passed and he came through to finish in 6th after spending a total of two hours and 12 minutes at the wheel. The GT race was won by the No.3 Corvette ahead of the No.93 SRT Viper.
Team Principal Giuseppe Risi said after the race: “Matteo did an outstanding job in the car, and drove for over two hours, passing everyone in the GT class on the track. The guys in the pits were absolutely on the ball; they did a superb job and couldn’t have been quicker turning around the car.”
Matteo Malucelli said: “It was difficult to come through from the back because we had all the GTC cars in front but the car was fast with the new restrictor. I didn’t want to make any mistakes so I kept calm and got up to third position. We got up to third and then first when the pit stops were happening. We did a great job but it wasn’t quite enough today.”