RISI'S QUALIFYING BID THWARTED BY CRASH Bowmanville, Ontario, August 29, 2009. Risi Competizione is facing a fight against time to repair its Ferrari F430 GT for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Mosport after a heavy crash in this afternoon's ...
RISI'S QUALIFYING BID THWARTED BY CRASH
Bowmanville, Ontario, August 29, 2009. Risi Competizione is facing a fight against time to repair its Ferrari F430 GT for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Mosport after a heavy crash in this afternoon's practice session. It was not able to take part in today's qualifying and will start the race from the back of the grid.
After being quickest in the intensely competitive GT2 class in yesterday's Promoter's test session, the team was confidently looking forward to today's track time. Fog, mist and rain hampered this morning's hour of practice, but the skies had cleared and the sun had even begun to show itself in time for the final hour of practice prior to the crucial 20-minute qualifying session.
Pierre Kaffer set his fastest lap time of the session, placing him (at that time) at the top of the timesheets, and handed the wheel to team mate Jaime Melo for the second half of the session. The Brazilian was on his sixth lap, with 15 minutes still to run to the checkered flag, when he went off in Turn One causing extensive damage to the left side and rear of the car. While the Ferrari can be repaired here at the Mosport track, it will be a long night for the Risi Competizione mechanics.
"I had some understeer going into the corner," explained an uninjured Melo. "I went off line, got onto the grass and then there was nothing I could do to stop the car before it hit the wall. I tried to keep the car on the grass to keep it straight but there is very little run-off here and unfortunately, with all the rain we've had, the grass was very slippery."
Pierre Kaffer had been enjoying a good weekend in Canada until the accident and, together with Melo, had worked on the Ferrari's set up to ensure a fast and well-balanced race car. "The car felt good," said the German. "Unfortunately we now have to start from the back of the grid but this is racing. I am not angry or sad, but a little upset for the team and Ferrari as we were hoping to have a good result here. It could still happen, but it's going to be much more difficult to pass everyone from the back with our lack of speed. We will have to do our best and see what happens."