Risi Competizione press release
BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN IN GT FOR FOUR-HOUR ROAD AMERICA RACE RISI QUALIFY THIRD
Toni Vilander’s qualifying time of 2:05.687, set in Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 Italia in this afternoon’s 15-minute session, broke the existing GT qualifying lap record by six tenths of a second. However, the Finn had to settle for third place on the intensely competitive GT grid for tomorrow’s four-hour Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America in Wisconsin.
Pole position, and a new qualifying lap record, was taken by Dirk Muller in the No. 56 BMW with a time of 2:05.447, just 0.005 of a second ahead of Jan Magnussen’s No. 4 Corvette.
The hard work put in over recent weeks by the Houston-based Risi team’s engineers, drivers and mechanics is showing itself in a positive light and the Ferrari’s performance and handling has improved exponentially since the start of its competitive life in March. Quickest in yesterday’s test session, the Risi Ferrari was comfortably in the top three in each of today’s two practices – all closely contested – despite suffering from a lack of track time this afternoon due to a holed radiator. Loose stones and gravel around the track, possibly as a result of the numerous red flag stoppages during practice for cars off track, was the cause of the radiator problem which was quickly and efficiently replaced by the team.
Team Principal Giuseppe Risi commented: “We are quite happy with that performance. We have made an improvement on the car and worked on some areas which have paid off today. We have split the BMWs and the Corvettes so I think we are in a very good position for a four-hour race as long as we have a good clean race.”
Toni Vilander, whose turn it was to qualify the No. 62 car was happy with his performance, despite being thwarted in his last-lap-bid for pole position by a slower car. Vilander completed six laps, taking his time to search out a gap in the traffic, and set his fastest time on the fourth of them: “We had a small issue near the start of the previous practice session before qualifying, and maybe a mock qualifying would have helped us a little bit set up wise. I was hoping for the pole, but it didn’t come up; I definitely put the effort in so from that side I’m happy and we have a good race car for tomorrow. Risi has a good record in the longer endurance races but it’s going to be tough over a stint on tires.”