Pierre Kaffer took on the responsibility as qualifying driver today in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT for tomorrow’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda race. He was able to put the Prancing Horse third on the grid in the extremely challenging GTLM class.
As the only privateers against two-car factory BMW, Porsche and Corvette teams, the Risi Competizione team is a bit of an underdog. That wasn’t obvious in today’s qualifying when Kaffer held his own as he sought his best lap times lap after lap in the brief 15 minute GTLM qualifying session. The Ferrari is running a new ACO homologated aero package, called the 2015 “evolution of type”, which is only allowed every two years and is part of the Balance of Performance between manufacturers.
The Risi Ferrari team has a bit of positive momentum going after collecting second place finishes in the past two races (12 Hours of Sebring and Long Beach sprint race). The popular red Ferrari team has made 15 appearances at the scenic 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit. This year’s race will feature all four IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship classes competing together for a total field of 35 entries.

PIERRE KAFFER, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia, Risi Competizione qualifying driver:
“I’m pleased with this result, I mean we did what we could. We improved the car session-by-session and that’s what we have right now. Obviously, it looks like the BMW has a very, very, very strong package when we see the lap time of Werner, which was the same like Auberlen in Long Beach. The rest of the field looks like everyone is very tight together. I really appreciate what the (Risi) boys have done before the qualifying and now we need to concentrate on our race. ObviouslyFisichella and myself have done a lot of laps and for qualifying we needed to squeeze the last hundredth’s out of the car and the tires. I’m happy to be third tomorrow in the race and thanks to my team and to Michelin. They have all done an awesome job.” 
 
RICK MAYER, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
“Well, Pierre did an exceptional job, actually. We’re struggling a bit with having to have the ride height so high to avoid bottoming (out) on the downhill. I don’t think we have the best BoP so I’m pretty happy with P3. I honestly think other guys that had better BoPs would be faster than that, so that was pretty exceptional. And to see it that close is pretty good, as well. But, we kinda expected the BMWs to be quick. I’m rather surprised the Porsches aren’t a bit quicker but we’ll see how it goes in the race.”
  

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