OCTOBER 14, 2018
RISI COMPETIZIONEPOST-RACE REPORT FOR THE
MOTUL PETIT LE MANS
Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62: Toni Vilander (FIN)
Miguel Molina (ESP)
Andrea Bertolini (ITA)
(Braselton, Ga., October 14, 2018)...The annual Motul Petit Le Mans did not produce the typical successful race finish for the legendary Risi Competizione Ferrari team. The Houston, Texas-based No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM team started and finished ninth in class in the 21st running of the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race today at Road Atlanta.
The four time Petit Le Mans winners didn't have the pace this week to compete against the regular full-time IMSA GTLM entries fielded by the manufacturers. The Risi team was not an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge regular competitor this season, having only entered the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
With a trio of Ferrari GT factory drivers, Toni Vilander, Miguel Molina and Andrea Bertolini, and the 23rd entry over 17 years at the Petit Le Mans race, the Risi Competizione team was a fan favorite but a podium was not to be.
Qualifying driver Vilander clocked the ninth GTLM class qualifying position with a time of 1:17.774. He started the Ferrari 488 and the team rotated through the drivers as the race carried on. All three drove a clean race and the only small incident occurred about seven hours and 15 minutes into the race when a Mazda Prototype made a late braking move into the rear of the Ferrari while Molina was at the wheel. It caused the Spaniard to lose control of the car and go off track around turn six. He was able to get back on track and into the pits to replace the left rear tire from the contact.
Other than that small incident, the full ten hours of racing were a matter of good, clean driving, and perfect pit stops as the clock wound down to the finish.
Molina, making his first appearance at Petit, even led three laps (255-257), just after the halfway point of the race, as the team maneuvered through six cautions.
Spaniard Molina also clocked the fastest lap in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari on lap 288 with a time of 1:18.526.
Although the Risi Competizione ninth-place finish is the antithesis of the normal results for the legendary successful, they could hang their heads high in the excellent performance achieved in their underdog role.
Risi Competizione Petit Le Mans drivers (L to R)
Toni Vilander, Andrea Bertolini and Miguel Molina
Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:
"This just wasn't our weekend. We just didn't have the car to compete. The drivers thought the balance was good, the car drove well, the crew did an awesome job in the pits, but we just didn't have the overall pace to be competitive this weekend. It's unfortunate because we wanted to do well here. We made no errors in the pits, made all the proper strategy calls, the crew work was flawless. But it was obvious at the beginning of the weekend that we wouldn't have the pace and didn't have what we needed for the competition this weekend. We hope to have a more competitive package for next season."
Toni Vilander, driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"It was a tough race. The car ran without issues. The team prepared the car like always; flawless. We just had the one contact between Miguel and the Prototype which sent him off, but apart from that we just didn't have the pace. I hope IMSA reviews our BoP for the future. We gave them hell, but it wasn't our day."
Miguel Molina, driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"There's not too much to say. We were hoping for a lot from this weekend. It was my first experience at Petit Le Mans and here with Risi Competizione. I was really happy to be here. We were hoping to be more competitive but actually the competitors were much faster than us. But at the end we did our job. We had an issue in one stint when the Mazda Prototype hit me braking too late at Turn 6 and that put me in the gravel trap, but I was able to get the car to the pits and get the flat tire changed. At the end of the day it was generally a good experience for me and I hope to repeat it in the future. It's just quite disappointing for the end result though."
Andrea Bertolini, driver No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM:
"The weekend was like every time when you are with Risi, the weekend will always be a nice weekend. I was here to support Miguel and Toni and, like always, the guys did an amazing job. Despite their performance we didn't have the pace this weekend. The car was really good to drive, but we needed something more from the BoP(Balance of Performance).. Regardless, we enjoyed our time together and tried to do our best. It's difficult because you want to be on top, but probably from the first free practice we had an idea that we were not there and, unfortunately, we didn't have the pace. Thanks to the crew for the fine job with the car and pit stops."
The Risi Competizione team has not announced any further racing plans yet for the future.
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