Wednesday
Aug262009

Déjà Vu For Risi Competizione

Story Courtesy of Michelin. To read more, visit Michelin Motorsports and download the digital copy of “The Alley.” The folks at Risi Competizione, one of the most successful GT teams in the history of the American Le Mans Series, are trying to write a new script.

Actually the 2008 script may not be bad. A dominant 2007 season saw the Houston-based Ferrari team and drivers Jaime Melo and Mika Salo secure the GT2 driver and team championships, win eight races, and bring Ferrari its first ever ALMS manufacturer championship.

The plans for an encore in the 2008 ALMS season took a dramatically different turn. After a series of misfortunes early in the season, the Risi squad headed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and brought home the GT2 class victory. That win helped to turn their American Le Mans Series season around.

Much to the delight of the Ferrari faithful, the lift from their Le Mans victory was seen first hand here at Mosport as Risi delivered another win. They backed that up with a victory at the Petit Le Mans to finish the 2008 season in high fashion.

An impressive victory at the 2009 season opening Twelve Hours of Sebring suggested that the Risi team was once again on track for ALMS championship honors with Pierre Kaffer now paired with Melo.

But, Déjà Vu struck as an 11th place finish at St. Petersburg quickly brought the team down from their Sebring high. The team was able to rebound to produce two podium finishes before heading across the pond for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Once again the Risi team rose to the challenge at the world’s greatest race, capturing GT2 class honors for the second consecutive year.

Despite a podium finish in their ALMS return at Lime Rock Park, the Ferrari squad continues to look up in the championship standings at their archrival, Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche, who rolled off five consecutive wins earlier this season.

Meanwhile the arrival of a pair of factory Corvettes in GT2 and the continued emergence of a pair of factory BMWs have made points in the GT2 championship even tougher to find.

So, with competition in the ALMS GT2 category growing stronger every race, and the schedule featuring tracks like Mosport and Road Atlanta where they have traditionally been quite strong, no one knows how this season will end.

Although, the folks at Risi Ferrari would be happy to provide the script.

 

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