Risi Competizione posted a strong performance during the first six hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, despite early difficulties. Ralf Kelleners started the No. 35 Ferrari 360 Modena GT from fourth on the GT grid, but dropped to 20th when the car...
Risi Competizione posted a strong performance during the first six hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, despite early difficulties. Ralf Kelleners started the No. 35 Ferrari 360 Modena GT from fourth on the GT grid, but dropped to 20th when the car stuck in second gear. The problem cleared and he charged back to fifth in class before handing off to Anthony Lazzaro just past two hours of the 24-hour race. Lazzaro flat-spotted two tires trying to avoid traffic, but moved up to third in GT. Johnny Mowlem took over at 4h15 and moved to second in class, third overall, before Kelleners returned to the car at 6h25.
"Any time you're in the pit lane on lap two it's a problem," Lazzaro said. "My first stint wasn't really that good. I had to tone down my pace a little bit because I had a vibration and I knew if I pushed on the tires too hard, I'd have to pit early. My second stint went pretty much according to plan. The Risi Competizione crew is just incredible when it comes to car preparation and taking care of us during the race. We made some adjustments after the warmup and everything's going pretty good, so I'm happy about that."
The No. 34 Ferri Competizione Ferrari also had a good start to the race, with Mauro Baldi starting, followed by Justin Keen, Eric van de Poele and Ryan Hampton. A tire puncture required an extra pit stop for van de Poele, but the car was sixth in class after six hours.
"Traffic sometimes seems like it's less than talented, but you've got to contend with it all," Hampton noted. "The track's good, starting to get slick a little bit. The car is fantast and handling perfect. I think we're just going to keep gaining positions.. [how did he move up so many positions?] Just put your head down and drive."
Fans can distinguish the Risi Competizione and Ferri Competizione cars after dark. The No. 35 Risi Competizione car features three green lights on the rear side panels, while the No. 34 Ferri Competizione car has a single inside yellow light.
Risi technical director Jeff Braun noted the importance of accessories in a driver briefing this weekend. "We were trying to get some wisdom from the guys who have done this before and I I said, 'Okay, guys. here's what we have to do to figure out who to listen to here. Look at your left wrist and see what kind of watch you're wearing. Now look at Mauro's - he's wearing a Rolex, he got that here and he's got two of them. So we know who we should listen to'." [The winning drivers of the Rolex 24 at Daytona receive Rolex watches.]