STORMY LIME ROCK HALTS RISI CHARGE FOR POLE In intensifying rain and extremely poor visibility at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, Jaime Melo qualified the Risi Competizione ...
STORMY LIME ROCK HALTS RISI CHARGE FOR POLE
In intensifying rain and extremely poor visibility at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, Jaime Melo qualified the Risi Competizione #62 Ferrari 430 GTC in third position for tomorrow's Northeast Grand Prix. His best time of 1:04.391 was just two hundredths of a second from a front row position, and he will start the race behind the pole winning Flying Lizard Porsche of Patrick Long and the Falken Porsche of Wolf Henzler.
Former Risi regular, Mika Salo, coped admirably with the difficult conditions on his return to ALMS competition to place the #61 Ferrari in 5th position on the GT grid. His quickest lap time of 1:04.929, set on his fourth flying lap, sees his 'Rosso Red' Ferrari sandwiched between the two yellow Corvettes.
The weather has played a crucial role in all the sessions so far this weekend, and each of the two one-hour practice sessions have been wet. Hoping to emulate the time sheet for the first practice session, which saw the Risi Ferraris in a front row lock out, a red flag stoppage 8 minutes and 32 seconds into the qualifying session effectively prevented Melo and Salo from making a further bid for pole position this afternoon. Despite a final five minutes of green flag running, the conditions were so wet and treacherous that none of the runners were able to improve upon their times.
Jaime Melo: "It was wet in every session, all day. At the end of the last practice session we normally we do a pre-qualifying run but this time we didn't so we were on completely new tires at the start of qualifying. It took a few laps to get them up to temperature but just as they were at their optimum, the red flag came out. It's quite disappointing as we had a very good car in all sessions, and I think we could have been on pole or at least firmly on the front row; the circumstances were just against us.
"Lime Rock is so narrow and difficult to overtake at so we really have some hard work ahead of us to get back some positions. Tomorrow is supposed to be a hotter day and hopefully it will be dry so we will have to put 100% into everything to try and win."
With tomorrow's forecast being for dry weather, but still with the threat of thunderstorms, it appears the race will be a lottery and luck will play every much as big a part of the outcome as skill and strategy.