Sebring 12 Hours
After two days of unofficial practice on Monday and Tuesday, and two official practice sessions now completed, the Risi Competizione team and its drivers are starting to get to grips with the beautiful, all-new F458 Italia GT.
The Houston-based team had just four days to learn about and race-prepare their new car in the workshop before it was transported to Florida, and it has been a battle against time for the Chris Riggs led crew. Yesterday was another in a long line of extended working days for the Risi mechanics as they fitted a single vent fuelling system, removed and checked the gearbox, fitted the auxiliary lights necessary for night running, re-shimmed the clutch and checked the geometry of the car. Florida’s warm temperatures are the hottest in which the F458 Italia has ever run, so the drivers were anxious to include additional cockpit cooling to the job list.
The 56-strong field has inevitably led to many red flag interruptions to practice, and some endurance running is top of the ‘wish list’ for this evening’s night practice once Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Toni Vilander have each completed their mandatory three laps.
Toni Vilander set the quickest GT time in this morning’s practice (2:02.251), which was not bettered during the slower afternoon session. As well as tonight’s 1 hour 45 minute practice, there is an additional hour tomorrow (Friday) before qualifying in the afternoon.
To celebrate the international racing debut of the F 458 Italia GT, Risi Competizione and its fellow Ferrari entrants will be delighted and honored to welcome to Sebring Ing. Amedeo Felisa, CEO of Ferrari SpA and Marco Mattiacci, CEO of Ferrari North America.
Up to 80 Ferrari customers and guests will be at the track both Friday and Saturday to witness the four Ferrari 458s and three Ferrari 430s entered in the historic and storied 12 Hours of Sebring race. Many of those will be able to take their own Ferraris to the track on Friday evening for a special parade. They will experience first-hand the notoriously bumpy surface, fast corners, twists and turns of the 3.7 mile, 17-turn track which will be testing the latest evolution GT cars to their limits during the once-round-the-clock event on Saturday.
Learning The Code...
Observers of the Risi Competizione F458 Italia GT at Sebring will notice a new symbol on the hood of the car and the rear. That same symbol can also be seen Risi Competizione team shirts.
The symbol is called a QR code, and it’s a very advanced form of bar code. The QR code is a slick way to get information out, and is geared to the modern smart phone. If you take a photo with your smart phone of the QR code on the Risi Competizione F458, that photo can be translated into a direct link to the Risi Competizione web site. If you’re using a “smart phone”, you will need a QR code reader to decipher the symbol, which is easily obtainable and downloadable (free) in App stores.
Here’s how it works. Take a photo of the QR Code; a software program will decode the QR symbol and then provide you with information (typically a website address). Tap the website address and you will be transported to the Risi Competizione site, where you can get race updates, shop at the Risi Competizione store for official team merchandise, or see the latest team videos and photos.