AT THE TWO HOUR MARK RISI COMPETIZIONE LEAD GT2 AT SEBRING HAVING BATTLED THROUGH THE FIELD AFTER STARTING FROM THE BACK Sebring, Florida - After the first two hours of racing in the 54th 12 Hours of Sebring the ...
AT THE TWO HOUR MARK RISI COMPETIZIONE LEAD GT2 AT SEBRING HAVING BATTLED THROUGH THE FIELD AFTER STARTING FROM THE BACK
Sebring, Florida - After the first two hours of racing in the 54th 12 Hours of Sebring the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT has taken the lead of an enthralling battle for advantage in the GT2 class. With 57 laps covered by the two-hour mark Jamie Melo had built up an 8 second advantage in GT2 over the #50 Multimac Motorsports Panoz Esperate GTLM of Scott Maxwell, with Tim Bergmeister in the #30 Peterson/White Lightening Porsche 911 GT3 RSR more than a minute and a half adrift of the lead battle.
The race had started two hours ago with a real sting in the tail for Risi Competizione after the #62 Ferrari F430GT was forced to line up at the tail of the field. However, a stunning opening lap's driving from Ralf Kelleners saw the German scything through the field to end the first lap fourth in class, and by the end of the opening hour, he had moved up to second place in GT2. "It was a good clean start to the race, no problems, everything is as expected...the car looks very good but we have a long, long way to go..." commented Chief Engineer Rick Mayer after half an hour of race action. With ambient temperatures climbing to 84 degrees, and track temperatures around 105-110 degrees, heat is now starting to become a factor in the race.
Jaime Melo took over the car from Kelleners, rejoining on fresh tyres in 8th place in GT2. And by lap 50, after 1 hour and 45 minutes of racing, the Brazilian youngster had snatched the overall class lead from Scott Maxwell's Panoz, and was under team instructions to start opening up a cushion. Melo has also set the fastest GT2 lap of the race during his stint, a 2:04.238.
After qualifying had taken place on Thursday afternoon and mandatory night practice was held that same evening, yesterday saw no track action for the ALMS teams, allowing them to spend the day making final preparations and adjustments to the cars for the start of the 12-hour race today. Today dawned with thick fog rolling across the historic Sebring circuit, but this quickly lifted and the weather became bright and sunny, ideal racing conditions prevailing. There was a 20-minute track warm-up session for all the ALMS teams this morning from 8:00am.