RISI COMPETIZIONE ELECTS TO CHANGE TIRES; MOVES TO THE REAR OF THE GRID
Sebring, Florida - Risi Competizione, the ALMS GT2 Champions of 2006, has elected before the start of today's 12 Hours of Sebring, to change the tires on their Number 62 Ferrari 430GT, the car which on Thursday captured the pole with a new qualifying record. The change, per ALMS/IMSA rules, will require that the pole-sitting car must now start from the back of the grid, as the regulations state that a racecar must start the race on the tires it qualified on, or go to the back of the grid.
"This is not a new situation for us," said Team Managing Director Dave Sims. "We're actually quite comfortable starting from the back, as last year, we won two races in a row when various circumstances forced us to either start at the back of the grid (Utah Grand Prix) or come from the very last position due to an on-course incident (Portland Grand Prix)." Smiling, Sims continued, "We have more experience going from last to first than anyone in the field so we're not worried at all. Sebring is a 12 Hour race and we believe we have plenty of time to work our way to the front. We are totally comfortable with the decision."
The decision, made just before race time, was necessitated by an on-course incident at the close of qualifying on Thursday. "We have checked the race car over," noted Rick Mayer, Team Engineer, "it's in great shape and suffered no damage and the Michelin tires are fine. But we just do not want to take any chances at the start of the race. The car is fast enough for it not to be a worry. Actually, since our record when starting from the back of the pack is so good, it could be more of a worry for our competitors."