This is the official release on this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen.
Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT No. 62:
Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA),Pierre Kaffer (DEU)
Watkins Glen, N.Y. (June 28, 2015)…When the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race teams arrived at the Watkins Glen International circuit this morning, everyone was hopeful yesterday’s rain had dissipated and better weather would prevail. That was partially the case for the race start and the first nearly four hours of the race.
However, rain came in about four hours into the six hour race and the caution flags flew. Eventually the race was red flagged for approximately 15 minutes after even running under the rain-provoked caution proved too difficult for the 34-car, four-class field.
The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT started from the fourth class position on the grid and 19th overall. Tire choice was the question of the day for the teams who attempted to make the best guess in the constantly changing weather conditions. The Risi Competizione Ferrari team had chosen medium slick tires to start but quickly chose to pit just 12 minutes in for intermediate slick tires.
Seven cautions and one red flag session for 30 of the 160-lap race portrayed just what the teams faced. Twenty-six of the 34 cars managed to be running at the end but many with damage from a plethora of off-track excursions.
Although the Risi Competizione team received one penalty for speeding in the pits, the team was unscathed with skilled driving by both Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer to keep the Ferrari Italia GT on track during truly treacherous conditions. The Risi team has now advanced to a tie for third-place in the GTLM championship points.
PIERRE KAFFER, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia, Risi Competizione starting driver:
“In my opinion it was a very difficult race. We did not have the speed in the wet conditions. It was very difficult to keep the car on the track, but I think we made the best out of it. We scored some points and we did not make any mistakes. We kept the car on the track and I think for the championship we took some important points.”
GIANCARLO FISICHELLA, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia, Risi Competizione Driver:
“Well, it was a difficult race and difficult conditions for us. Unfortunately, we were struggling in the damp and wet conditions. It wasn’t too bad in the dry, but the last two and a half to three hours of the race was wet and we did everything we could do. Fifth place is not great but, it’s important to score some points for the championship and we are already looking forward to the next race.”
RICK MAYER, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
“The race was really something. We kind of expected the varying conditions, but we weren’t sure how varying, or if it was going to rain, or how much rain. We had some light rain in the practice, but today we had light rain and heavy rain. I think we only did fifty laps in the dry and a hundred laps in varying wet conditions. We tried to make the right tire calls for the situation based on the conditions and radar forecasts. I think we got most of those right. The car definitely was a handful in the wet, but we came out with very little body damage, took home a fifth place finish and other guys behind us had much bigger issues. We’ll move on to the next one and hopefully be better at Mosport.
We are now tied for third in championship points as we picked up some valuable points today from cars who were ahead of us, so that’s another positive going into the Mosport race.”
DAVE SIMS, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia Risi Competizione Team Manager:
“We finished in fifth with the car in one piece after the atrocious conditions and so many yellow and red flags. There were a lot of cars damaged, so in that respect we’ve come out of this race in good condition, especially considering we’re testing at Mosport on July 7th we’re in good shape for that. We had one penalty drive through for speeding in pit lane, which did put us back a bit. We had a mixture of different compounds of wet tires but we couldn’t keep up with the variable conditions. It would downpour then back off and we’d put different compounds on that we thought would work. We basically tried to stay ahead of the weather. I would have liked to have done better, but it didn’t happen this weekend other than an advancement in the points.”
FOX Sports 1 will broadcast a recap all today’s action at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, July 5 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
The next race for the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari team is July 10-12 for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
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