Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT No. 62:
Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA)
Pierre Kaffer (DEU)
Houston, Texas (September 19, 2015)…The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia team captured its fifth podium finish of the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the Lone Star Le Mans race today at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).
After qualifying eighth in the GTLM class and struggling in the early running of the race, Risi Competizione drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer, with the help of their stellar pit crew, brought their Ferrari 458 Italia from last in class to second place.
The Houston, Texas-based Risi Competizione team is known for their quick and flawless pit stops and, once again, it paid off when another excellent pit stop elevated the No. 62 Prancing Horse to fourth place when on Lap 40 nearly the entire field pitted under caution. Fisichella, who drove both the first and last stints, continued to push the No. 62 Ferrari and brought the car up to third place by Lap 70 of the 73 lap race. The team’s fuel strategy and tire compound change played into the final result, when the second-place Porsche required pit for a splash of fuel with just two minutes to go. Fisichella easily drove the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia to the checked flag in second place.
Today’s podium finish was the fifth of the season and the team’s third second-place finish at Sebring and Long Beach. Third place finish results were achieved at Road America and VIR, making this the third podium finish in a row.
GIANCARLO FISICHELLA, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia, Risi Competizione Driver:
“It was a fantastic finish. We were last in the qualifying session and at the beginning of the race the pace was not there. Then I made a different choice of the tires and that was the right one. But the key was the pit stop where I got out (of the pits in) fourth and overtook the Corvette. The BMW was a bit quicker than us today and at the end the Porsche was limited on fuel and had to do an extra pit stop. I was saving fuel and that’s why we could go even quicker, but we decided to run like this and go through to the end of the race.”
PIERRE KAFFER, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia, Risi Competizione Driver:
“First of all, thanks to the whole Risi Competizione team. After this weekend we are all a lot stronger because it was a team effort. We struggled a lot in all the practice sessions, and especially in qualifying, where I have to say we ran out of ideas. In the race suddenly we picked up some pace and could stay clean. When it comes to the points and we need to perform in the pits, we are always there. I think that was the biggest key today. I could stay in touch with the BMW and we came in bumper-to-bumper and had an awesome pit stop. We went out in fourth position. In the end, thanks to our strategy guys, they calculated the fuel perfectly and we did not have to do a splash. That was the key to the race and set the other competitors under pressure, like at VIR. Nobody expected us to finish second here and I think this is a great result. I believe the championship is still open now. I’m really happy for the whole team, for Giuseppe Risi and thanks to my teammate, Giancarlo. He really stayed focused and did a great job in the second stint. Now I can look forward to my WEC race this afternoon. Hopefully it will be the same result as this race.”
RICK MAYER, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
“We’re just really happy with the podium, especially P2. We actually had a shot at the win today because it ended up being a fuel mileage race at the end and we’re pretty good at that strategy. Unfortunately, this track doesn’t suit our car and the current rules don’t suit our car. We knew we weren’t going to be competitive here. We had a really good second pit stop and the strategy played out to put us ahead of the guys who still had to stop. We’re quite happy with that. It’s almost like a win for us.”
DAVE SIMS, No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia Risi Competizione Team Manager:
“During practice we were struggling, and we were in the race as well. We decided to put hard compound (tires) on for the last stint with Giancarlo in the car and it paid off. The pit stop worked fantastic and got us to P2. We’re happy definitely with that.”
The Lone Star Le Mans race will re-air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, September 20 at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
The next and final race for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for Risi Competizione is the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, October 1-3.
For more information, please go to www.risicompetizione.com and follow us on Facebook/RisiCompetizione and Twitter @RisiComp.
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