Risi experience the mean streets of St Pete A second consecutive race win in the American Le Mans Series wasn't to be for Risi Competizione today, as a left front suspension failure brought the Houston-based team's challenge to a premature end...
Risi experience the mean streets of St Pete
A second consecutive race win in the American Le Mans Series wasn't to be for Risi Competizione today, as a left front suspension failure brought the Houston-based team's challenge to a premature end just 35 minutes into the 1 hour 55 minute race.
The red Ferrari F430 of Pierre Kaffer of Germany took the start in pole position -- set by his Brazilian team mate, Jaime Melo, yesterday -- and led for the first ten laps before having to yield to the fast-lapping Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche of Wolf Henzler.
Kaffer continued to run in a steady second place in class, never out of touch with the GT leader, until being forced to pit on lap 27 with the suspension problem. It was not possible to make repairs in the time available so Melo did not have an opportunity drive today at St Petersburg.
Pierre Kaffer: "We don't know yet what happened; we'll have to figure it out but it looks like it's something on the suspension. We'll have to analyze this later. It's a shame for the team and the mechanics because we were in a good spot for the race and the championship, and to stop the race is a shame for us and for Ferrari. There was no contact, nothing, with the wall or other people but I felt after 2 or 3 laps that something was wrong with the car. It felt like a slow puncture but I was thinking, "oh maybe I have [tire] pickup or sometRihing like this". I kept trying to continue until our pit stop, and we had Jamie ready to jump in the car, but it turned out to be a bigger problem than we could deal with during the race."
Jaime Melo: "The car was going really well and I think Pierre was happy with the balance so the result is a big disappointment. We need to look forward one more time. The good thing though is that Pierre was happy with the set up as he didn't have much lap time in practice and we didn't really have a warm up this morning [because of delays and red flag interruptions] so we didn't know how the situation was. We lost first place in class but we were catching the Porsche so I think we could have won this if we hadn't had the problem."