No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia drivers, Matteo Malucelli and Olivier Beretta, share their impressions about Road America.
Risi Competizione arrived in Wisconsin from Texas last weekend in order to test the No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia on Monday. As with all the other tracks this season, it was another new road course for Matteo Malucelli to learn but – just as at the four previous rounds that Risi has competed in – it presented no problems and it only took 5 or 6 laps for him to be up to speed.
Accompanying him to North America for the first time this year are his partner Valentina and his young son, and the family has been able to enjoy some of Wisconsin’s sights in the days leading up to this weekend.
“It’s been difficult for me to adapt to racing with four different classes of car compared to the two classes I’m used to, and the speed differences between the LMP1, LMPC, GT and GTC can be huge, especially at Laguna, Long Beach and Lime Rock. As this track is more like Sebring, I hope we will have a good race here.”
Malucelli has been busy in the weeks since the Connecticut round in July as he competed at the Spa 24 Hours in a Ferrari 458 Italia at the end of July for a satellite AF Corse team, Team Ukraine. Unfortunately, the team’s race was a short one as a wheel became detached in the second hour and the resulting damage resulted in retirement.
Olivier Beretta has been spending the last few weeks near his Monaco home in the South of France, and has been water-skiing and road cycling to maintain the top fitness needed to compete at this level.
He needed no introduction to Road America, having been a three-time winner here, but was enthusiastic about the Risi Competizione team’s recent test. “It was really good to have a test with the team you race with, and all of us found it useful – the drivers, engineers, the mechanics. For us it’s been the first test since the beginning of the year and as we are all a new group together this year, it’s good to do it.
“It’s always nice to spend time on this track, especially as during the race weekend you don’t have much time to try out different set up things or different parts. It was a good call to test!
“It was much hotter today than when we tested but at least we now have a base set up to start from. Things have started well though and I think, as always, it will be very, very close.”
In the two one-hour practice sessions, Risi Competizione finished in p5 and p6 after chasing a rear end stability issue. However, there was optimism for overall performance and speed for the race.
A 15-minute qualifying session will take place on Saturday, followed by the race at 2:00pm ET on Sunday.