The Art of the Precise Pit Stop

Over the wall: Risi Comp's Pit Crew attacks the Pit Stop.
Over the wall: Risi Comp’s Pit Crew attacks the Pit Stop.

By Taylor Wiseman
Pit stops. They can be the difference between fifth place and second place. Or No Place and a Podium.
Risi Competizione has done well this season during pit stops, typically performing the fastest pit stop time in each race. They’re so good at pit stops that earlier this year they won an award.
During the 63rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring the Risi Comp team was awarded the DEKRA Green Challenge Award. This award is given to the most environmentally clean, fast and efficient GTLM team during each TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Race.
Chief Mechanic, Mark Sims, takes pride in how fast the team can start and finish their pit stops.
“We came up with a method back in the workshop and when everyone’s together we can actually do the pit stops at the workshop.”
Pit stops are made great through teamwork and individual drive to be fast. Sims and his crew have competition between the team when practicing pit stops.
“We all want to beat each other…so there’s a little bit of competition within the group. If the left side beats the right side they’re like, ‘aha you suck’, so it’s sort of built in.”
The Risi Comp teams performance in recent pit stops make you think about the 10,000 hours theory. If you practice something for 10,000 hours, no matter how good you were at the beginning, you will become a master. The Risi Comp team continues to master the art of the pit stop each race.
In todays’ race the Risi Comp team started in 8th place, by the end of the race they finished with a spot on the podium, taking 2nd. Pit stops were key in today’s success (see official race report, this site).
The general idea in racing is that you want to have the fastest car on the track in terms of speed but a senior team member gave some insight on that.
“All time has equal value in racing.”
Next time you watch a sport car race pay attention to pit time and see the position changes that take place throughout the field, you might be surprised.

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