Risi's Bruni leads Ferrari GT Qualifying Blitz in Utah Gianmaria Bruni led a Ferrari 1-2-3 in GT qualifying this afternoon after putting the Risi Competizione ...
Risi's Bruni leads Ferrari GT Qualifying Blitz in Utah
Gianmaria Bruni led a Ferrari 1-2-3 in GT qualifying this afternoon after putting the Risi Competizione #62 Ferrari F430 GTC on pole with a fastest time of 1:47.667. It is the Houston-based team's third consecutive class pole position in 2010, and Bruni is once again sharing the car with his regular 2010 team mate, Jaime Melo.
In an incredibly tightly fought session, with the top seven cars all within four tenths of a second of each other, Toni Vilander did a great job to place the #61 car in third place on the GT grid for tomorrow's Utah Grand Prix. His time of 1:47.909 was just two hundredths of a second ahead of the current GT championship leader, the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche.
Under the blazing Utah sun and in temperatures of 90o, Bruni completed just six laps -- only two of which were at full qualifying speed. It was lap two which clinched the pole position, the Italian's second in his ALMS career, and he then returned to the pits in order to preserve his Michelin rubber.
Despite encountering traffic from GTC cars on almost every lap, Gimmi Bruni was happy with the outcome although slightly frustrated that he didn't find a completely clear lap.
Gianmaria Bruni: "It was a good session and the time was enough for P1 [in class], even if it was a bit of a mess with the GTC cars sometimes. Jaime and I have worked hard together with our engineer, Rick Mayer, to improve the set up, and the car was very good. Since we put it on the ground yesterday it's been fast straight away and we've been fastest in each of the sessions so I'm very happy.
"Toni did very well to get p3 as I think the Porsche did a very good lap and he's still very close to us all. I'm happy for Ferrari to have a 1-2-3 today in this very, very strong Championship. It has the best drivers, the best teams and many very good manufacturers all racing together -- I'm proud to be here.
"Today was a good starting point and now we just have to win the race. I'm expecting a great race tomorrow -- I think we'll have a good chance."
Toni Vilander was tasked with qualifying the #61 Ferrari F430 GTC and, watched by his team mate -- Miller Motorsports Park debutant Giancarlo Fisichella -- produced five flying laps of which the fifth and final one was his quickest. The duo have thoroughly enjoyed their time within the American Le Mans Series so far, and the Finn was also happy with the outcome of the day.
Tony Vilander: "Qualifying was quite okay and I'm very happy with the performance of car #61. The 62 has been very quick all week and we've been fighting to get the gap closer and this was our best lap time so far. Now our thoughts are immediately for the race and we may try to change it a little bit to get a better race car.
We are up there. We started with the same base set up as Jaime and Gimmi, the one they have found for the car during the year, and we have tried to personalise it a bit for me and Giancarlo. I'm happy with the car and everything and the result was good. To have p1 and p3 for Risi is good."