THE RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI F430GT IS EMBROILED IN A FEROCIOUS BATTLE FOR GT2 VICTORY WITH FOUR HOURS TO GO Sebring, Florida - After 8 hours of racing - 2/3rds distance - the 54th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring is seeing a truly enthralling ...
THE RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI F430GT IS EMBROILED IN A FEROCIOUS BATTLE FOR GT2 VICTORY WITH FOUR HOURS TO GO
Sebring, Florida - After 8 hours of racing - 2/3rds distance - the 54th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring is seeing a truly enthralling battle for the GT2 lead with less than three seconds separating the top two cars on the track. As the dusk moved in and the 8 hour marked ticked by Sebastien Bourdais in the #50 Multimac Motorsports Panoz Esperante GTLM was just 2.826 seconds ahead of Anthony Lazzaro at the wheel of the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT. Third placed Marc Lieb, in the first of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR entries, was 25 seconds further back.
This has been the story of the race thus far: the Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT and the surviving Panoz Esperante GTLM, continually swapping positions at the front of the GT2 pack as a truly frenetic pace has been set at the front. Several highly-touted car/driver combinations have been left trailing, quite simply unable to keep up with the race leaders' pace.
As darkness rolls in, the temperatures are starting to drop under the cloudless skies, ideal conditions for the four hours night racing that loom up ahead of the waving of the chequered flag. "The car is going great. It's very solid, no problems to report," says Risi's new Brazilian driver Jaime Melo who is in his first race with the team. "It's very easy to drive, the finish is going to be a quite a battle," he adds.
"The car is going quite superbly," says Chief Engineer Rick Mayer, "we really couldn't have asked Ferrari to deliver us a better package. With a brand-new car it is always a concern getting it set up, especially in this case with the car arriving just in time to compete here, but we have had no worries, it's really flying, he says. "We expect to be quick during the later hours of the race, and our drivers were very fast in Thursday evening night practice, so the whole combination looks to be very strong. We are likely undertake a routine brake change shortly which will set us up nicely for the fight to the finish.
The GT2 class has seen several fancied runners failing to keep up with the hectic pace. The #51 Multimac Motorsports Panoz Esperate GTLM, the sister machine to the car involved in the lead battle, dropped out after 71 laps while the BMW Team PTG BMW M3 departed from the fray after 114 laps. 12 GT2 cars remain in the running.