RISI COMPETIZIONE READY FOR SATURDAY'S RACE In the last four hours of running before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday, Risi Competizione ran through to completion its planned program of set up changes, driver familiarisation and...
RISI COMPETIZIONE READY FOR SATURDAY'S RACE
In the last four hours of running before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday, Risi Competizione ran through to completion its planned program of set up changes, driver familiarisation and mandatory night laps.
The first part of the evening was punctuated by further interruptions and breaks in track time due to a number of crashes and incidents which befell entrants in the prototype classes, but all six drivers had time behind the wheel and a last chance to get themselves fully comfortable in the surroundings of their Ferrari 430 GT car before the start of the race.
While several of the GT2 competitors were able to profit from ideal track conditions to improve their times, the Risi Competizione strategy was one of safety and preparation, keeping to the forefront of their minds that the race takes place on Saturday and not in qualifying! The #82 car will start from sixth place in class.
The Krohn green car had limited laps in today's four hours of running as it was earlier fitted with its race engine and gearbox. All three drivers have taken their turn behind the wheel, primarily for set up work in today's cooler conditions, and also so that Eric van de Poele could complete his mandatory night laps.
Nic Jonsson said after his early evening run in the car: "We made some changes to the front ride height and the front bar, and put some soft tires on the car and it's so much more drivable now. It's like night and day. The car feels really planted in the corners, especially at the rear and that's just what we need - a good, comfortable race car for the 24 hours. Now we have to do what you do best and stay out of trouble and spend the minimum of time in the pits. If that happens, we have a very good change of finishing well."
Mika Salo took to the track as the green flag dropped (for the second time) at 7:30pm but quickly reported a big vibration at the rear of the car. Preferring to err on the side of caution, the team took its time to make a thorough check of all areas, including the floor and transmission, and Salo was able to re-join some thirty minutes into the second, night-time session. This meant he had unfortunately missed the optimum time for an improvement on lap times but -- as previously stated -- safety and preparation were paramount and the drivers all followed a "risk nothing" line of attack.
The Finn said afterwards, "We were bedding in some things for the race but most of all we wanted to make sure everything lasts for the race. We didn't want to risk anything by going flat out to try and get a 'glory' lap. We know the Porsches are fast, but we also know we've got a good race car now."