IN HIS OWN WORDS: GIANMARIA BRUNI Welcoming one of Ferrari's best for a full-season run with Risi Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni is one of the world's best GT pilots, and he will compete full-time in the American Le Mans Series for the first time ...
IN HIS OWN WORDS: GIANMARIA BRUNI
Welcoming one of Ferrari's best for a full-season run with Risi
Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni is one of the world's best GT pilots, and he will compete full-time in the American Le Mans Series for the first time in 2010. Teaming with fellow Ferrari standout and former GT2 champion Jaime Melo, the duo is eager to bring the American Le Mans Series GT championship back to Risi and Ferrari. Oh, there's also the matter of a third straight class title at Le Mans for the team.
Question: How much easier will it be rejoining Risi Competizione full-time having competed with the team in 2007 and 2008?
Answer: The first race I did with the Risi team, I immediately felt at home. This is the reason why, for the last two years, I strongly yearned to have one full season in the American Le Mans Series. Therefore it's about the most important thing I can do now. Moreover, I was really attracted by the championship when I experienced it before. One or two races in a season weren't enough!
Q: Is there a stronger Ferrari pairing in the world than yourself and Jaime?
A: I think Jaime and I could be the hardest pairing for our competitors to be up against. Jaime is one of the best GT drivers we've ever seen and I'm sure that together we can achieve great results. We already know each other well, and will also be racing together in Europe so our partnership in the car will be very strong.
Q: Having competed mostly in FIA GT and LMS, what is the international perception of the competition within the American Le Mans Series' GT2 class?
A: I think most people in Europe don't know how hard it is to race in the American Le Mans Series. It is definitely one of the harder championships for endurance races, very competitive, with lots of different manufacturers and top drivers. I am glad to be one of those in 2010.
Q: With the career of the F430 GT winding down, how will it be remembered by those who drove it?
A: I have a very good feeling with the F430GT and with the Ferrari family. It has brought me and Jaime some fantastic victories and Championships. I am sure we will try to put this fast and fantastic car as high as possible in the championship for its last big season, and this way all our other competitors will remember all about it!
Q: Does having a background in a sprint format such as FIA GT make the transition to standard-length American Le Mans Series races easier?
A: I feel profoundly easy with this GT2 car so I can face any format with it.
Q: Outside of Sebring, what event on the calendar are you looking forward to most in North America?
A: Most of the other events are a big challenge to me as I will face them for the first time, although I am looking forward to going back to Mid- Ohio, Road America and Mosport. I will need to be very professional and concentrate hard to be as ready by race time as my competitors.
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America's greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED. Visit the American Le Mans Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information.
The annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for February 22- 23, also at Sebring International Raceway. American Le Mans Series cars will be on track from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 per day with no public paddock access or overnight camping. Live Timing & Scoring will be available on americanlemans.com.