Risi ready to run with the pack at Sebring After many hours of practice at Sebring International Raceway this week, run mostly under cool and windy conditions, the Florida sun finally shone brightly for this afternoon's 25-minute GT/GTC...
Risi ready to run with the pack at Sebring
After many hours of practice at Sebring International Raceway this week, run mostly under cool and windy conditions, the Florida sun finally shone brightly for this afternoon's 25-minute GT/GTC qualifying session.
Jaime Melo set a fastest lap time of 2:01.236 in his #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GTC to take fourth place on the grid for tomorrow's 12 Hours of Sebring, the opening round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series. Pole position was claimed by Dirk Muller in the #90 BMW ahead of the Flying Lizard and Falken Porsches.
In the sister Risi-Krohn #61 Ferrari, Tracy Krohn set a fastest time of 2:06.680, hampered by differing track conditions and a less-than-perfect set of tires in his attempt to match his fastest time (2:04.166) of the morning practice session.
Melo, together with his team mates Gianmaria Bruni and Pierre Kaffer, has worked hard all week to find a good set up for the race and the team has overcome a minor track excursion and a multitude of red flag interruptions to achieve it. All are now confident that the well-balanced and comfortable race car will allow them to run at a race pace similar to all the front-running cars. The GT race is likely to be both riveting and intense for the entire 12 hours.
Jaime Melo commented after qualifying: "The track is much warmer this afternoon than in this morning's practice and the car is pretty much the same; our lap time just wasn't there, it wasn't quick enough. But I think fourth place is okay and we've got a very good race car. During the week we tried some long runs and we were pretty consistent so I am confident for tomorrow. Of course I'm a bit disappointed because this morning I was quickest (2:00.914) -- but maybe the others have got something more than us.
"I was a bit surprised at the pace of the Porsches to be honest -- I don't think anyone expected to see them up there -- but that's Porsche; they are always there and competitive. I think they will be during the race, together with the BMWs and the Corvettes will also be tough. It's very open so we need to keep calm, don't panic and see how the race works out for us."
Tracy Krohn was somewhat disappointed by his qualifying performance, especially after a small spin at the start of the qualifying session. "I've had a lot of help here this week from Nic and Eric and I was all ready to go out and put in a good time in qualifying today. I just screwed up in the exit of the pits there. I put a little too much power down and shifted gears at the wrong time and the car lurched left. Fortunately I kept it on the track and kept on going, but that pretty much wrote off the tires. I still did an okay time but I had a couple of second left in me there left out on the track with a knackered set of tires. We'll deal with that and get ready for the race. I think Risi and his team has done a great job and I think everybody is right on top of it. I feel very confident for the race."
Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Official team sponsors include Krohn Racing, Ferrari of Houston, Boardwalk Auto Group, Pennzoil, Motorola, AdShip and QT Technologies.
-source: risi competizione