Risi Competizione enjoyed the perfect start to its 2009 American Le Mans Series season with a dominant victory in the GT2 class of the Sebring Twelve Hours.
Pierre Kaffer, Jaime Melo and Mika Salo took the lead in the second hour of the event and remained out front to the finish, heading a Ferrari 1-2 at the front of the class and finishing in an impressive eighth place overall.
The victory came despite the #62 being forced to start from the back of the field thanks to Melo's late arrival at the circuit and ensured Risi took to the top step of the podium for the second time in three years at the season opener.
“It always takes a while for this kind of thing to sink in, especially when you mentally prepare yourself for the worst,” team boss Giuseppe Risi said. “We dominated the race, had absolutely no technical problems at all with either of the cars so it was a perfect result, and the team did a fantastic job right from the get-go. I'm also proud to say that three Ferraris started and three finished, all in the top six which is a testament to the product and how these cars are prepared. I'm very happy.”
The sister car, entered in collaborartion with the Krohn Racing team for Tracy Krohn, Eric van de Poele and Nic Jonsson, took the flag in sixth place in class.
“This was a particularly clean race at Sebring,” Krohn said. “We only had three yellows. There was very little damage for anyone – which is good. It was a quick race. Our car, the 61 Ferrari, was mechanically perfect the entire race; every system worked, every switch, everything electrical and mechanical on the car worked. Risi did a great job preparing this car. I thought everybody did a great job driving today.
"We had a few unfortunate things, which is just how racing is, and we ended up sixth in class, which is quite an accomplishment with this kind of field. It was a very competitive field, so we're real happy. It's always nice to finish this race which is a particularly difficult race in that physically it is always demanding.”