RISI COMPETIZIONE -- A CLASS ACT IN SPORTS CAR RACING
Houston, TX. The engines have cooled, the driving suits have been hung up, and the GT2 class winning trophies have been carefully packed into the eleven tonnes of freight which are now on their way back from Le Mans in France to Risi Competizione's home base in Houston, Texas.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is without doubt the greatest sports car race in the world. It brings together the very best of the world's GT competitors; teams that are highly respected and ultra professional come together in Europe to see who will reign supreme, who is the best in the business. The answer today is Risi Competizione.
Team Principal Giuseppe Risi, who has been at the head of his own team for 11 years now, achieved one of his lifetime ambitions with the win this weekend. "I was extremely pleased with the performance of our team and the victory is what I have always strived for. Professionalism always shows out in an endurance race because it's a true team effort by not just drivers, but also engineers, mechanics, tire technicians, and every single team member.
"Our years of racing the Ferrari 360s and 430s have paid off with this win. The many years' experience we now have in preparing and racing these cars has rewarded us with this greatest of victories. We particularly value the contribution of Maurizio Nardon of Ferrari's Corse Clienti department for his constant advice and support."
[IMAGE]Risi Competizione's brilliant Brazilian, Jaime Melo, put his demons behind him before coming to Le Mans and was at his Championship-winning best behind the wheel of the F430. He showed his true ability under extreme conditions -- at the start amongst the 55 starting cars, in the dry, at night and in the wet when conditions were at their most challenging -- and didn't put a foot or wheel wrong. He was supported equally well by former F1 star Mika Salo and one of Europe's brightest young sports car talents, Gianmaria Bruni.
"Talk is cheap," continues Mr. Risi. "But there's no talking here, just actions. Our entire team performed superbly, under the leadership of our veteran crew chief, Richard Taylor, whose many years of loyal service has been rewarded with a second win at Le Mans in a decade. Chris Riggs and his team of mechanics prepared a car which completed 326 laps of the 8.5 mile (13.6 km) track -- without a single mechanical problem or concern. That's over 2700 miles (over 4000 kilometers) at an average speed of 166 kp/h a lap under varying conditions. I can't praise them enough."
[IMAGE]Risi Competizione recognizes that every single element of a racing package has to be correctly aligned and in place to ensure success, and tires choice is especially critical for Le Mans. "My faith in the Michelin brand of tire has been fully rewarded with this win," said the Houston-based team owner. "Risi brought them to Ferrari and its GT program, and we now look forward to benefiting from even more new development from the Le Mans race's most successful tire company."
Michelotto in Padova provide Ferrari clients with a fantastic base car, but Risi Competizione proved at Le Mans that they are the greatest GT2 team in the world at racing the Ferrari 430 GT to success. The reassuring presence of Christiano Michelotto and his small team of engineers were seen throughout the 24 hour event, servicing the seven GT cars that were entered for the 2008 race, and Risi is grateful to them all for their support.
At the same time, the team is all too aware that it doesn't expect the level of competition to become any easier when it returns to the American Le Mans Series championship in the USA. This was evident by the presence in France of a strong contingent of Porsche Competitions Department engineers. Forty people were present on behalf of the German marque to service two Porsche LMP2 Spyders and three 911 RSR GT3 cars. The fight for supremacy is on -- next stop for Risi is Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 12.
May the winning continue.
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.