Having failed to finish last time in St Pete, Risi Competizione will look to make up lost ground in the GT2 class as the American Le Mans Series heads to Long Beach next weekend for the third round of the year.
The team took victory in the Sebring Twelve Hours, but was then forced out on the streets of St Petersburg after a rare mechanical failure on the team's Ferrari 430 put Pierre Kaffer and Jaime Melo into retirement.
The pair will now look to make up the ground lost as the series heads to Long Beach, with the aim being to repeat the victory secured back in 2007.
“Long Beach is a little bit different from St Petersburg, but both tracks are bumpy so the most important thing is to have a good car over the bumps,” Melo said. “Our car is really good between the walls and we have a good base set up so we just have to work on improving what we had last year.
“Like at St Pete there may not be many yellows, but we have to be prepared for pit stops at any time. I'm not worried about this because our Risi guys are very quick and slick on these; we cannot lose any time in the pits like we did last year [when a starter motor issue delayed the #62 car]. We will need to push from the first to the last minute as Porsche will be strong again, but I think we will be really competitive.”
New team-mate Kaffer will be making his first appearance at Long Beach during the race weekend but said he was excited ahead of his debut.
“I really think we could have won the St Pete race as we had the pace over a stint and, of course, the #87 car had problems,” he said. “I always believe that things happen for a reason and although I don't know what caused our suspension problems, I'm absolutely sure it won't happen again.
“I will be downloading a lap of Long Beach on the internet so will be concentrating on that now. It's quite difficult to have such a short time in the car before the race so you have to concentrate very hard, but I love street tracks so I'm really looking forward to it.”