The drivers of the No. 89 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro drove a hard race but was not able to take a podium at this year’s 87th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The finish line was crossed by French driver Jules Gounon in the 12th position in class. His co-drivers Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani and starting/qualifying driver Oliver Jarvis battled hard throughout the twice-around-the-clock endurance race.
The extremely challenging GTE-Pro had a formidable line-up for the Houston, Texas-based Risi Competizione team, including factory efforts by Chevrolet (GM), Ford, BMW, Porsche, and Aston Martin, as well as two additional factory Ferrari 488 EVOs. The experienced team was ready to challenge for a victory, which it has claimed three times since 1998, but it was not the year for a repeat.
This Risi Ferrari endurance racing team, who has been competing at Le Mans over two decades, started the legendary race further back on the grid than usual, with a 17th class position qualifying. All three drivers were still learning the nuances of the new Ferrari and the team had reduced set-up time, which was unfortunately out of their control.
Although it was the first time for the driver trio to compete under the Risi Competizione banner, this years’ Franco-American association with Jean Guikas of Guikas GTC brought the drivers together. For the first time in Risi Competizione history, the Ferrari was presented in the French blue livery designed by Paris art students with Prancing Horse legs adorning the side.
A total of 25 pit stops over the 24-hour timeframe, a fairly even division of driving between Jarvis, Derani and Gounon, and good weather on Saturday and Sunday allowed at least a race finish to occur when many entries were sidelined following accidents to mechanical issues.