Jaime Melo and Mika Salo finally secured a first GT2 win of the year in the American Le Mans Series with victory in the latest round of the season at Mosport.
Despite winning at Le Mans earlier in the summer, the pair had failed to win so far this year in the ALMS as they look to defend the GT2 crown, but the #62 Ferrari proved to be the car to beat throughout the Canadian race weekend.
Having started from class pole, Melo and Salo continued their love affair with the Mosport venue as they won for the third consecutive season leaving team boss Giuseppe Risi delighted.
“I am very happy,” he said. “We have finally broken the run of bad luck we've been having in the American Le Mans Series this season. And what a race!
“I never gave up hope, even when we weren't at the head of the field, because we had the pace to win. We've been strong all week, so even when we were behind another car, having lost the lead through yellows, we were able to come back again.”
Melo led the race from pole position – a place he held on to until Risi's first pit stop which took place 55 minutes into the race under the first full caution period. He handed the wheel to team mate Salo who left the pits inches ahead of eventual second place finishers, the Farnbacher Loles Porsche, but not ahead of the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche which snatched the class lead.
It only took Salo two laps to make his move and the experienced Finn took full advantage of a prototype passing Bergmeister to make a clean move back into the lead. He held station until the next round of stops which were carried out under the second caution period, one hour and 25 minutes into the race. The team also, somewhat unusually, took the opportunity to change drivers again.
“Our plan was originally to change drivers only once but we went where the race went,” Salo said. “I'd been pushing hard all stint and Jaime was fresh in the pits, so we decided to put fresh meat into the car. I don't know why it took him ten laps to get back into the lead though when it only took me one!
“We were quickest every session we were out there and we really deserved this one. The car was working fine all weekend, with absolutely no problems at all so we didn't really change anything on it because it was so good from the beginning. The Michelin tires were also so consistent and were as good on lap one as they were at the end. We just had to keep it on the track and keep looking in the mirrors so we didn't hit anything.