Fisi Fits In.... Making his debut in the American Le Mans Series in Utah this weekend is Ferrari F1 superstar, Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian is really enjoying the experience so far and made the following comments after the unofficial ...
Fisi Fits In....
Making his debut in the American Le Mans Series in Utah this weekend is Ferrari F1 superstar, Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian is really enjoying the experience so far and made the following comments after the unofficial practice session (Promoter's Test Day) held today.
"The first few laps of the circuit, it was difficult to find the right line and braking points. But lap after lap, I was getting better and feeling more comfortable. By the end, I was closer to the laps of the other competitors. I'm very glad to be racing here although it is not easy to find braking and reference points because it is so wide-open. It's also quite hot, but that's part of the job!
"When Ferrari proposed to do this championship with me, I was very pleased. Our main target for the season is to do the Le Mans Series in Europe but I was surprised and happy to do this race.
"The races here are very close, everyone finishes very close to each other; it's more competitive I think than in Europe because there are more manufacturers. Our goal is to have a good qualifying session and to do well, hopefully to go on the podium and help Jaime and Gianmaria in the Championship because they are alone [a single car entry] and there are 2 Corvettes, 2 BMWs and 2 factory Porsches.
"I've had a very good day today. The car feels very positive and consistent and the atmosphere and all the guys in the team are very nice. Everyone is very friendly, in the team and in the paddock. It feels like I have been here in the team for many years but it's my first day actually."
For the first time in several years Risi Competizione will be running two Rosso Red Ferrari F430 GTC cars. To differentiate between the two, the #61 car of Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander is running with neon orange wing mirrors.
The #62 car will continue with the black wing mirrors sporting the logo of team partner, Oakley.
Four weeks may have elapsed since Risi Competizione was in France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but they have been action filled for the drivers. Jaime Melo and Gimmi Bruni have had a particularly busy time recently.
Arriving here at the end of last week for a two day test, the duo will be returning to Italy immediately after the race and will then be carrying out test and development work for Ferrari and Michelotto on the new Ferrari 458 model which is due to make its racing debut in 2011.
The next round of the European-based Le Mans Series is in Portimao in Portugal next weekend so they, together with their AF Corse team mates Fisichella and Vilander, will all be heading for the 1000 Km do Algarve. The latter two, plus team mate Jean Alesi, are currently lying second in the GT Championship standings. Bruni and Melo will be supporting them in their bid to out-perform the championship-leading Porsche; an exact reversal of roles to here in the ALMS this weekend.
The Romance of France...
Although we rarely report areas unconnected to racing, the 'famiglia Ferrari' has been full of good and happy news lately. The romantic country obviously had an effect a month ago as Risi regular Jaime Melo became engaged to his beautiful girlfriend, Claucia, and long-time racing partner Tracy Krohn also became engaged to his lovely lady, Laurie. The entire team wishes them many warm congratulations.
2010 is therefore looking likely to be a year of happy events for those within the Ferrari family. Toni Vilander is due to be married in two weeks time in Finland; Gimmi Bruni in October in Rome, and Giancarlo Fisichella and his wife are expecting their third child in a little less than three weeks' time. Again, best wishes to all.