PRACTICE PATTER... The team arrived at the scenic Mosport track in southern Ontario early in the week to prepare for a day of testing prior to the race weekend. Jaime Melo did all the driving, and completed over 150 laps of the super-fast...
The team arrived at the scenic Mosport track in southern Ontario early in the week to prepare for a day of testing prior to the race weekend. Jaime Melo did all the driving, and completed over 150 laps of the super-fast 2.46 mile circuit. There were big smiles all round at the end of the day as the brilliant Brazilian unofficially beat his own lap record from 2007 by a second.
On Friday's promoters' test day, there was due to be 90 minutes of practice for the GT cars but the session was brought to a premature close as the track surface was breaking up in the middle of Corner Four, one of the fastest sections of the course. While everyone was pleased to see the sunshine and the high temperatures (Canada has suffered its wettest summer for nearly a century), it affected not only lap times but the pavement too.
Repairs using quick-crete were carried out, and the prototypes were out on track again an hour later for a further 30 minutes of practice, but the GT cars were done for the day.
"It was a long time to wait around for only ten laps," smiled Jaime. "But we ended up quickest -- I guess we can't complain too much. It's such a fast part of the track so I hope the repairs work. We will see tomorrow."
The Risi Ferrari F430 GT was fortunate not to suffer any damage because of the holes which appeared in the track -- a fate which befell one of the Audi prototypes.
SALO SKATING STAR...
Risi's Finnish driver came into Canada a day early this year in order to take part in the Ron Fellows-Mosport Hockey Challenge, in support of the Canada Hemophilia Society.
The charity match was held at the Campus Ice Centre (on the grounds of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology) in Oshawa, ON on Wednesday evening and featured a mixture of pro, semi-pro and amateur players.
Salo, who has in the past played for a second division team in the Swiss Ice Hockey League, really enjoyed the game despite unfortunately being on the losing side.
"I haven't been on skates for about six months so I'm feeling really stiff now," commented Mika the following day. "It was really good fun though, and I scored a goal so I'm pleased with that but I should have got a second so I'm also mad with myself!"
POND HOPPING ...
Jaime Melo will be seeing plenty of Briton Rob Bell over the next few weeks so it was lucky that they got along so well when they met for the first time at Road America.
Rob will be returning to the States next week to renew his driving partnership with Harrison Brix in the #61 Risi Ferrari 430 at the Detroit round of the American Le Mans Series. It is a race that Bell is very much looking forward to.
Melo will then, a week later, be traveling to Great Britain to take part in the 1000 Kilometres of Silverstone, the fifth and final round of the Le Mans Series....more news of that to come.
-credit: risi competizione