Crash mars strong opening performance for Risi at Sebring

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While in the lead of the GTLM category, Matteo Malucelli crashed the No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia out of the endurance race as it approached its fourth hour.

Sebring, Florida - Risi Competizione’s torrid 2014 season continued today at the 12 Hours of Sebring, round 2 of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship.

#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458: Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, Matteo Malucelli
#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458: Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, Matteo Malucelli

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

While in the lead of the GTLM category, Matteo Malucelli crashed the No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia out of the endurance race as it approached its fourth hour. The Italian, who was uninjured in the accident, was on the first green lap after the third full course caution period. Unfortunately, an attempt to re-join the race (in order to get the car back for repairs) was unsuccessful and the Ferrari was involved in further contact.

The damage was assessed by the team as being too severe to repair at the track and the car has been withdrawn from the race.

Gianmaria Bruni had started the race amid the 63-strong field and quickly showed the strong pace of the Ferrari. After a well-judged performance in the opening laps, the team elected to stop for fuel and new Michelin tires during the first full course caution period which fell 20 minutes after the start. The Risi crew did a superb and very speedy job to gain four places in the GTLM order, and the #62 re-joined the race third in class behind one car which had not yet pitted and another which didn’t change tires. As the race went green again, Bruni pounced on the Viper and took the lead – a position the Ferrari was holding until the crash.

The GTE World Champion spoke on behalf of his team mates when he said: “The car was running very well after we switched from our qualifying tires to new ones – like most of our competitors. I was able to pull away when I got a clean lap, into the lead, and the pit stops had been amazing – very, very quick and clean and I think the quickest of everyone in our class. The strategy was also looking good so it’s difficult to find the words to say how we’re feeling now. I feel so sorry for Giancarlo and all the team, especially after they worked so hard to repair the car yesterday. To have this happen again is the last thing we wanted.”

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About this article
Series TUSC
Article type Race reports
Tags gianmaria bruni, matteo malucelli, risi competizione, sebring 12, tusc

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