RISI COMPETIZIONE GOING FOR A THREE-PEAT AGAINST STRONG ODDS Houston, Texas, June 2, 2010. Risi Competizione has been the winner of the GT2 class at the 2008 and 2009 editions of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, the jewel in the crown of ...
RISI COMPETIZIONE GOING FOR A THREE-PEAT AGAINST STRONG ODDS
Houston, Texas, June 2, 2010. Risi Competizione has been the winner of the GT2 class at the 2008 and 2009 editions of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, the jewel in the crown of international sports car racing.
The Houston-based team, together with its racing partner Krohn Racing, will be returning in a matter of days to the storied track in north-west France with two Ferrari F430 GTC cars entered into the ever-more competitive GT2 class. It goes with the firm intention of attaining a third successive class victory, but in the knowledge that the odds against it are more firmly stacked than ever.
"We are, once again, under no illusions about how difficult the task ahead is going to be," says Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. "The level of competition and the number of top line entries is higher than ever before, and we all know there will be no room for error either on or off the track. This is our final year of competition with the Ferrari 430 -- a car which has enjoyed, and which has brought Ferrari and Risi Competizione, an enormous amount of success. There would be no better way to sign off its Le Mans history than with victory against the best GT teams and drivers in the world, but it won't be easy.
"We've had this amazing run of success in the major endurance races," continues Risi, "winning the last six consecutively. But nothing lasts forever. That doesn't mean we're prepared to relinquish our grasp on the winners' laurels, but it does mean we are realistic about the challenge ahead.
"We are, as always, delighted to have Tracy Krohn and his colleagues back within the team. With two-car entries from Corvette, BMW, AF Corse and multiple Porsche factory-supported entries, we will of course be stronger with two than with a single-car entry and I know Tracy, Nic and Eric will be hoping for another strong finish."
In order to achieve this aim, Risi Competizione has once again put together all the elements it knows are required to succeed in the toughest test for man and machine, the twice-round-the-clock French classic due to take place on June 12/13.
The supremely reliable and race-proven F430, created by Ferrari SpA with final build by Michelotto, will be in the hands of six drivers who are all experienced at Le Mans, and all of whom have stood on the podium in front of the hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic sports car fans.
In the No. 82 'Rosso' red 430, two-time winner Jaime Melo will be teamed with his ALMS regular driving partner, Gianmaria Bruni, and 2009 team mate Pierre Kaffer. Both Bruni and Kaffer have won with Melo, the Ferrari and Risi at Le Mans in 2008 and 2009 respectively and together at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March of this year. The Brazilian-Italian pairing has arguably spent a greater number of development and racing miles in the F430 than any other drivers in the world, although Kaffer is working hard to catch them up -- racing the Berlinetta in three different series this year. The trio has developed a strong bond, and all know what it takes to succeed at La Sarthe.
Sporting the distinctive green and blue livery of Krohn Racing, the No. 83 Ferrari 430 will once again be driven by 2007 and 2009 podium finishers Tracy W Krohn and Niclas Jonsson. They will be joined, as last year, by the hugely experienced Belgian driver, Eric van de Poele. Krohn Racing achieved its best ever result (4th overall) at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year, and has profited from the earlier scheduling of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca round of the ALMS as an extensive pre-Le Mans familiarization session, and the team mates are raring to go.
Running on the extremely consistent and successful Michelin tire package, and with Shell Helix as the official lubricant of the team, the Risi Competizione team is as well prepared as ever. With a largely unchanged pit and pit wall crew, consistency, slick pit work and smart strategy will be key factors in the team's contribution towards achieving the much desired third GT2 Le Mans victory. As they say at the start of the Olympic Games, "Let the games begin."
The 78th running of the world's most famous sports car race, which begins at 3.00pm (local, 9.00am CDT) on June 12, will be seen by over 230,000 spectators, up to 350 million TV viewers worldwide, and reported on by 1,800 journalists from over 35 nations. For regular updates and information on the Risi Competizione team's quest for success, go to www.risicompetizione.com or www.krohnracing.net
Risi Competizione victories at 24 Hours of Le Mans
1998 Ferrari 333 SP (LMP1) -- W Taylor/E van de Poele/F Velez (Doyle Risi Racing)
2008 Ferrari 430 GT (LMGT2) -- Jaime Melo/Mika Salo/Gianmaria Bruni
2009 Ferrari 430 GT (LMGT2) -- Jaime Melo/Mika Salo/Pierre Kaffer