THE FAIRY TALE ENDS FOR RISI COMPETIZIONE AND KROHN There was to be no repeat of the fairy tale finish experienced by Risi Competizione at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the last two years, as both cars were retired from the race by the 16th hour. ...
THE FAIRY TALE ENDS FOR RISI COMPETIZIONE AND KROHN
There was to be no repeat of the fairy tale finish experienced by Risi Competizione at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the last two years, as both cars were retired from the race by the 16th hour. It also brings to an end the wonderful run of six GT2 endurance victories enjoyed by the Houston-based privateer team since June 2008.
When the No.83 Krohn Racing Risi Ferrari entered the pits at 0613 hrs this morning with smoke coming from the rear, there were glum faces all round as the engine problem proved to be terminal. It is the first time since the team has been racing the storied, and extremely successful Ferrari F430 GTC that neither car has made it to the checkered flag at the French classic.
With the No. 82 car already parked up in the pits due to gear selection issues (officially retired at 0100 hrs), all hopes were being pinned on the familiar green and blue liveried Ferrari which has achieved two GT2 podium finishes in the last four years. Nic Jonsson was at the wheel of the Ferrari and explained what happened: "I was coming into the second chicane on the Mulsanne and the engine stumbled; it felt like there was fuel starvation. Then there was a big puff of smoke in the back and the crank case pressure dropped. There wasn't any warning or temperature change or anything."
Since overcoming a persistent understeer problem early in the race, the No. 83 Risi car was making steady progress and all three drivers had driven without any issues during the night and early morning. It was a hugely disappointing end to the team's troubled weekend.
Risi Ferrari No. 82 Driver Quotes:
Pierre Kaffer: "It was a very unusual problem which happened to the Risi Competizione team and for Ferrari. They have such great gearboxes normally and it was a shame we got such an unlucky problem. We need to analyze everything to find out what the problem was. It's a pity after such a great race with Corvette."
Jaime Melo: "We tried our best and everything was working properly. We gave everything we had from the cars to the team and drivers, but maybe that wasn't enough today. The competition is so strong with the Corvettes, as they showed us, and it would have been a great battle but the gearbox didn't help us."
Gimmi Bruni: "It was very disappointing to finish like this. Pierre, Jaime and I recovered from last on the grid to first until the car had the problem. It's a shame but that's the way it goes. I feel sorry for the team and Ferrari who have all been working so hard for this race but, unfortunately, it's this thing called 'racing' and it proves that things can happen even in the F430's life."