Road America: Risi Competizione commentator notes

ROAD AMERICA COMMENTATOR NOTES -- FRIDAY, AUGUST 8 SAFETY FIRST AND FOREMOST... Since the fiery pit incident in Mid Ohio, Risi Competizione -- like the majority of teams up and down the pit lane -- has given serious consideration to the ...

ROAD AMERICA COMMENTATOR NOTES -- FRIDAY, AUGUST 8

SAFETY FIRST AND FOREMOST...

Since the fiery pit incident in Mid Ohio, Risi Competizione -- like the majority of teams up and down the pit lane -- has given serious consideration to the safety of its pit crew. HJC Motorsport and Racing Plus are two companies which specialize in helmets and auto racing safety gear and they stepped up to the plate in record time to help the Houston-based team.

Risi has been provided with new helmets for the refueling crew, which all feature safety skirts for added protection in the event of a fire and fresh air filters. All refueling crew will wear Oakley Carbon-X fireproof underwear and balaclavas, and all crew members going over the wall will wear a Carbon-X shirt and balaclava.

The company that made the customization to the HJC helmets was Racing Plus, based out of Mira Loma, CA.

GET WELL SOON PATRICK...

A recent testing accident at the French Magny Cours track in the new A1 Grand Prix powered by Ferrari car has put Patrick Friesacher out of action for the immediate future. He was left with three crushed vertebrae and will now have a period of enforced rest and recuperation before he can drive again -- and we know how much race car drivers love doing nothing!

Everyone wishes him a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him again soon Stateside.

AND WELCOME ROB ...

Risi is fortunate to have the very capable services of 2007 Le Mans Series GT2 Champion Rob Bell as a replacement for Friesacher. The Briton will be with the team at Detroit but an FIA GT Championship race the same weekend as Mosport precludes him from being in Canada.

It's the first time here for the 29-year-old but he's quickly found his way round the popular Road America track. "The track is very good but the tricky thing is that there are a lot of track surface [paving] changes," says Bell. "At the apex of the corners there's a lot of grip on a certain line...there's time to be had there and I'm just beginning to learn how to find that now. It's quick, a bit like Spa, but the wall is only six foot away rather than 60 meters! You can't afford to make any mistakes. I'm having fun, really enjoying it."

TALKING TURKEY...

Harrison Brix last raced here at Road America in 2004 in the Skip Barber National Series -- a series he won comprehensively with 9 victories and 9 pole positions.

His memories of the track are, however, tempered by an incident which unfortunately befell one of his competitors. It was pouring with rain and hailing, so conditions weren't ideal, and then a turkey crossed the track just in front of Brix as he was going into Canada Corner...

He just missed it but the guy behind him wasn't so lucky as the impact with the bird sheared off the left side of his car and left him with a new perspective on turkey at Thanksgiving.

-credit: risi

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