Late race incident thwarts Risi podium finish at Lime Rock

Risi Competizione classified 10th in the GT category

Lakeville, CT – July 6, 2013. Risi Competizione was within two minutes of a podium finish today at the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, but was classified as 10th in the GT category after Matteo Malucelli had an unfortunate altercation with another car, went off track and ended the race in the barriers in the dying minutes of the race.

In searing temperatures, the Houston-based team started from 4th on the grid and managed to survive a busy first few laps during which there was plenty of close contact throughout the field. Olivier Beretta was running in third place in class, but reported that the “rear was sliding everywhere” and eventually started to lose time and positions. What the team did not realise at the time was that Beretta was driving his stint with a cut left rear tire.

#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia: Olivier Beretta, Matteo Malucelli
#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia: Olivier Beretta, Matteo Malucelli

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Race Engineer Rick Mayer made the decision to bring him into pit slightly earlier than planned. The stop was made 67 minutes into the race and Beretta handed off to Malucelli, with the No.62 Ferrari 458 taking on fuel and four Michelin tires. Unfortunately, just as the car had stopped, the No.7 PC car whose pit box was ahead of Risi’s came into the pits on too tight a trajectory and hit a stationary wheel waiting to be put on the Ferrari with such force that it moved the car, and two of Risi’s mechanics. No one was injured, thankfully, but the impact knocked the car askew, locked up the wheels which prevented them from being removed straight away, and broke both the front fender and splitter. A penalty was served by the PC entry for the incident.

Twelve minutes later a full course caution was called and it was at that point that the team’s strategy was effectively changed. Malucelli was called into the pits again for fuel and tires – enough fuel to see him through to the end of the race. The gamble was paying off handsomely as the race was drawing to its conclusion, with competitors having to pit again for fuel while Risi did not. Unfortunately the gamble came to nought.

Team Principal Giuseppe Risi said afterwards: “I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of the race, but have to praise the Risi team for the job they did to that point. The engineering strategy was superb, and was wholly responsible for us making a return to a potential point-finishing position, and the crew did a perfect job in the pits under difficult circumstances.”

The next round of the American Le Mans Series will be the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport on Sunday July 21st.

Risi Competizione

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Olivier Beretta , Matteo Malucelli
Teams Risi Competizione
Article type Race report
Tags 2013, alms, ferrari 458 italia gt, lime rock, matteo malucelli, olivier beretta, risi competizione