STEPHANE ORTELLI AND MARIO DOMINGUEZ TO DRIVE RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI F430GT AT ROAD AMERICA THIS WEEKEND Houston, Texas - Giuseppe Risi, Managing Director of American Le Mans Series team Risi Competizione has announced that Stephane Ortelli...
STEPHANE ORTELLI AND MARIO DOMINGUEZ TO DRIVE RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI F430GT AT ROAD AMERICA THIS WEEKEND
Houston, Texas - Giuseppe Risi, Managing Director of American Le Mans Series team Risi Competizione has announced that Stephane Ortelli and Mario Dominguez will be the team's drivers for this weekends' Generac 500 at Road America, the 7th round of the 2006 ALMS series. Ortelli and Dominquez will replace Jaime Melo and Mika Salo, who had piloted the team's Ferrari F430GT to back-to-back wins at the Utah and Portland ALMS races, the first team in the ALMS series to do so in 2006.
"These gentlemen, both superb drivers, will step into a very challenging situation with Risi Competizione. Jaime and Mika have given the team and the fans some spectacular performances on the track this season. I am absolutely confident that our fans will continue to see more of the same from Stephane and Mario, who are both extremely quick and very seasoned competitors," said Risi.
Stephane Ortelli and Mario Dominquez will be the fourth driver pairing to be used in seven races by Risi Competizione this season. Dominquez is a Champ Car single-seat race driver; while Ortelli is one of the most accomplished GT and endurance racers of his generation.
Stephane Ortelli has been an overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1998, Porsche 911 GT1); 2nd Overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Audi R8); Overall Winner at the 24 Hours of Spa (2003, Porsche 911 GT3 RS); and double FIA N-GT World Champion in both 2002 and 2003. He has also been the Porsche SuperCup championship winner, and placed 3rd overall three times; In 2006, Ortelli has already won the GT1 class at the LMS 1000 km of Spa and finished 2nd in the FIA GT Championship 24 Hours of Spa in the GT2 class. In 2005 he was the outright winner of the LMS 1000 km of Silverstone while 2nd overall in the 1000 km of Nürburgring and Istanbul; and winner of the GT1 class during the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Mario Dominquez first raced for Risi Competizione, with Marc Gené as team mate, at the ALMS race in Lime Rock, where he made an impression on the team and the fans by being fastest in the pre-race practice despite it being his first time in a 430GT and his first time at Lime Rock.
Meanwhile Mario Dominguez has risen quickly through the ranks of single- seat racers. He won in Indy Lights at Homestead in 1998 and was the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year in 2002 in Champ Car racing. In 2004, he was fifth in the series Championship. He has nine podium finishes in 64 starts; while at Lime Rock, driving for Risi Competizione in July 2006, he brought the car all the way back to fifth position after two on-course incidents dropped the Ferrari F430GT as far back as ninth.
"These two drivers, from different disciplines and different world circuits, have come to the team at a very good time. Our competition is very tough and we will need every ounce of their ability to continue our good showings, "noted Team Manager Dave Sims. "We feel good about the team after our last two races, but those races are in the past. We now have to concentrate on the races that are in front of us."
The Generac 500 at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin) gets underway tomorrow (Friday 18th August) with a practice session from 1305-1435 (the final 30 minutes reserved for the LM GT1 and LM GT2 entries exclusively). The final qualifying session takes place on Saturday (19th August) from 1515-1535, after a final practice session is held in the morning from 1000- 1100. The 2 hour and 45 minute duration Generac 500, the 7th round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), will take place on Sunday 20th August, starting at 1400.