Melo, Salo Capture AARWBA First Team Honors
Jaime Melo and Mika Salo, who captured the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 championship for Risi Competizione in their Ferrari F430 GT, took first team At-Large honors on the 2007 All-American Racing Team as voted by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters (AARWBA).
Melo and Salo won eight of 12 races in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class last season, winning a second consecutive team championship for Houston-based Risi Competizione. The duo started the season seemingly invincible, winning the first four races including a scintillating last turn bump and lead swap at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring against year- long nemesis Flying Lizard Motorsport in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. It resulted in the closest finish in the history of that legendary endurance classic (just .202 of a second). After a mid-season Risi dry spell propelled the Lizards back into the championship race, Melo and Salo closed the season with another four wins in their last five races.
"Mika and Jamie had an extraordinary year," said Risi Competizione owner Giuseppe Risi. "They fought back from adversity and delivered a typical Ferrari-like performance the last part of the season. I applaud them and the entire Risi racing team and operation. This is a wonderful honor for an exceptional season."
Melo and Salo were not the only American Le Mans Series AARWBA winners, however. Earning second team honors were LMP1 champions Allan McNish and Dindo Capello of Audi Sport North America and LMP2 champs Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas of Penske Racing in their RS Porsche Spyder. Corvette Racing's Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin also earned second team honors for their dominating GT1 class title.
The AARWBA annual awards dinner will be held Jan. 12 in Indianapolis, IN.
Risi Competizione (www.risicompetizione.com), the 2007 American Le Mans Series GT2 Champion, is a Houston, Texas based racing team sponsored by Boost/Motorola, Michelin, Forza2Motorsport, Putnam Leasing, Tessera, Boardwalk Autogroup, Ferrari of Silicon Valley, and Ferrari of Houston.