COMPETITION DAMPENS RISI RUN AT MID OHIO The Houston-based Risi Competizione team today retained its hold on second place in the highly competitive GT2 standings of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, despite a disappointing fifth place result...
COMPETITION DAMPENS RISI RUN AT MID OHIO
The Houston-based Risi Competizione team today retained its hold on second place in the highly competitive GT2 standings of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, despite a disappointing fifth place result today at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The race was won by the Flying Lizard Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister and Pat Long.
Melo drove a storming double stint, particularly in the latter stages of the race, passing two cars in the final twenty minutes of the 2 hour, 45 minute race and setting his fastest lap of the race along the way. However, losing track positions at the beginning of the race, lack of top speed, and going a lap down on the class leader, when the safety car slotted in between the first two GT2 cars and the remainder of the field during the second of the two full course caution periods, effectively put paid to any chance of victory for the Ferrari.
Pierre Kaffer, who was making his debut at the Ohio track, had to contend with low grip levels and a car which was lacking in top speed compared with all its leading competitors. It was a tough baptism for the German on the 2.25 mile road course.
Melo, who, like the rest of the Risi Competizione team, is used to finishing much nearer the top than this, was naturally disappointed with the end result. "Our lack of top speed showed; we have less power than anybody, even though our lap times and consistency on the tires and wasn't bad. The car is at the limit so I don't know where we can find any extra power."
The Brazilian's two passes in the late stages of the race included one on German Wolf Henzler in one of the faster Porsches. "I think he was over taking a Challenge Cup car," said Melo, "and I went inside him. He was very fair about it, didn't shut the door, and let me through so I thank him for that."
Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Official team sponsors include Motorola, Boardwalk Auto Group, AdShip, Ferrari Financial Services and Ferrari of Houston.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series will be the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series at Road America, Wisconsin on Sunday, August 16. The race is scheduled for 2:05pm CDT and will air live on SPEED TV (from 3:00pm EST) and on MotorsTV - Tape Delayed on Sunday, 23rd August beginning at 5:00 pm (UK) / 5:00 pm CET.