Risi Competizione brought the curtain down on its American Le Mans Series campaign with a second place finish in the final round of the year at Laguna Seca.
Outgoing GT2 champions Mika Salo and Jaime Melo brought the #62 Ferrari 430 home on the podium despite suffering from front suspension failure which severely compromised the handling of the car in the final hour. As a result, the pair proved unable to fight for victory despite running at the head of the field after battling back from a difficult qualifying session.
“It's a little bit disappointing for me,” Melo said. “At the re-start from one of the yellows Dirk hit me up the back and after that the car was strange - it had a lot of oversteer and was really difficult to drive. We then had another yellow and changed tires and the balance improved so I could push more.
“But suddenly we had the suspension problem and it was difficult, actually really scary; especially on this track where if you go off line you could go off the track altogether. We had a very good car but at the same time even with this problem we could keep a good pace. I had some traffic towards the end otherwise I could perhaps have closed the gap even more.”
Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson overcame contact from a prototype on lap ten of the race which caused a left rear puncture and some bodywork damage to the Krohn green car.
Further contact from another prototype left Krohn in the gravel trap on lap 98 but he fought back with a string of consistently quick laps to make up lost ground and overtook the Ford GT two laps before the end to place in twelfth.
“We started off the race getting hit coming into turn eleven by an LMP car. That messed up the rear end left wheel and that caused us to lose three laps in the pits. We got back out on the track and ran a few laps before getting hit going up to the Corkscrew; I don't know where he came from. I was doing about 120 miles per hou) and all of a sudden I was going sideways. Nic got in the car then and ran a really good stint. Then I was able to get back in the car and the last 20 laps I ran the car was really, really good and perfect at the end; as good as it's been any time I've ever driven it.
“Congratulations to the team. They did a great job getting this car set-up. We'll examine why it was so darn good at the end because it was really perfect! I just kept grinding and kept grinding and we finally passed the #40 car at the end and gained one position.”