Rolex 24 Risi Competizione Ferrari Qualifying Review

With minutes to go in first round qualifying for the 38th Annual Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, Italian driver Alex Caffi piloted the pristine ...

With minutes to go in first round qualifying for the 38th Annual Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, Italian driver Alex Caffi piloted the pristine #12 Risi Competizione Ferrari 333 SP to second on the starting grid for the twice-around-the-clock event with a time of 1:42.010 and a speed of 125.63 mph. "We are very happy with the qualifying. It is very important to us," said Caffi after the run. "This is one of my best days, being with the Ferrari and on the front row for the 24 Hours of Daytona. It's been a long time since we have been on the front row, but we are very confident heading into the weekend. We have worked very hard for this, and feel to start on the front row is good for everyone and shows the dedication the team has put into testing this season. The car is very reliable and even though it is one of the oldest models racing today, it is still a very good car. Ferrari is pushing to help us with the motor a little more this season and we are very happy about that," he added. The driver lineup for the Risi team includes four of the top endurance road racers in the country. Two former Formula One pilots, Caffi and countryman Mimmo Schiattarella, former F1 test driver, Allan McNish, who claimed the overall and GT1 title at the 24 Hours of LeMans and took the GT1 victory at Daytona in 1998 as an official Porsche driver, and 1997 Daytona 24 GT2 class winner and factory Toyota driver at the 1998 and 1999 LeMans 24 Hours, Ralf Kelleners. "We are very, very happy," said Risi Competizione Team Engineer and co-owner John McLaughlin. "The handling is great. The tires are superb. We have a small engine problem we are solving, which may have slowed the car a little in qualifying, but not much. We just hope it's not a repeat of last year. We prefer the Dyson car to come in second," John joked. Ferrari, which has a proven record at Daytona International Speedway capturing victory in 1998, and finishing second and third last season, is the favored marquee heading into this weekend. The Doyle-Risi team, predecessor to the Risi Competizione team was second last year with drivers Wayne Taylor, Max Angelleli, Didier DeRadigues and Allan McNish. Risi Competizione, then Doyle-Risi Racing, qualified third for the 24 hours last season, running a masterful race and leading for most of the event, however, a late race brake-pad change dropped the team to second place in the finishing order. The Risi Competizione team had a very successful test in January, running in the top four during most of the session, focusing more on race strategies and setup, rather than on qualifying.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Allan McNish , Ralf Kelleners , Wayne Taylor , Mimmo Schiattarella , Alex Caffi
Teams Risi Competizione