NEWS - Giancarlo Fisichella

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Le Mans 24 Hours. Victory for the Number 51 Ferrari – Montezemolo: “Extremely satisfying”
Le Mans, 15 June – Yesterday, Scuderia Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso waved off the field for the start of the race and his presence seems to have brought Ferrari some good luck. The number 51 458 Italia GT2 won the LMGTE Pro category in the Le Mans 24 Hours, so that the Italian national anthem was played again in France.
Italy’s Gimmi Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella, along with the Finn Toni Vilander, driving for the Amato Ferrari-run AF Corse team, repeated their 2012 achievement, outclassing the opposition despite a few difficult moments.
This was Ferraris 24th class win, to go with nine outright victories. Having started from pole in the class, Bruni dominated the early hours, but then, in wet conditions when two downpours hit the Sarthe circuit, the car struggled and had to give best to Chevrolet and Porsche. The Ferrari men didn’t lose heart and once the track dried out, began an amazing climb up the order.
The Ferrari 458 beat off prestigious names such as Chevrolet, Aston Martin and Porsche, companies that are also rivals in the marketplace. The win owed a lot to the quality of the drivers but also to the exceptional reliability of the cars. The winning car had not the slightest problem. In second place, but almost two laps down, was the number 73 Chevrolet of Garcia-Magnussen-Taylor, with third, almost three laps down going to the Porsche of Holzer-Makowiecki-Lietz.
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo was very pleased. “This is a very important victory in an amazing race,” he said. “This result is extremely satisfying and is a just reward for all the hard work from everyone in the team and my congratulations go to them. We dominated the race with a car that was able to outclass some very strong opponents and everyone at Ferrari can be very proud of that.” (source: www.ferrari.com)

 

TUDOR UNITED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP - Strategic tire gamble almost pays big for Risi

Laguna Seca, 4th may - Risi Competizione took its first solid points-scoring finish of the season today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after a strong performance by Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer in the No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia. After taking the checkered flag in 4th place, Risi was promoted to the final step of the podium following a post-race penalty for the No.911 Porsche.
A strategic gamble to change all four Michelin tires after qualifying and start from the back of the grid looked, for much of the two hour race, as though it was going to pay much bigger dividends to the Houston-based team. The Ferrari was leading the GTLM race with 20 minutes to go, and looked to have lost out on a podium place only 10 minutes before the checkered flag.
The fast and furious pace throughout, and the affect that it had on rear tire degradation, meant that Fisichella – in for the second hour – was powerless to hold off hard-charging competitors with fresher tires as the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship’s fourth round was drawing to a close.
Pierre Kaffer was behind the decision to put new sticker tires on and start from the rear of the 23-strong Prototype and GTLM field, and it proved to be inspired.   The German cleanly and methodically picked off competitors ahead of him to rise to third place in class by the time he came into the pits for the #62’s only stop at the 58 minutes mark. Fisichella continued the good work of his team mate for two thirds of his stint, losing the lead to the eventual race-winning No.3 Corvette while being passed by a Prototype.
The Italian, said afterwards: “I think the whole team did a fantastic job – Pierre in the first hour, the mechanics at the pit stop, and the strategy – to get us from last to first. In the first part of my stint the car was really good and I was leading easily, but then we had a big drop off from the tires and the grip was getting worse and worse. It was hard to keep it on track, but I did my best and I was so sorry for the team that it didn’t look as though we would finish on the podium. This is a good reward even though I’m still a bit disappointed as I think we had a good chance to win.” (source: www.risicompetizione.com)


 

TUDOR UNITED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP, LONG BEACH – Risi takes a checker!

After 100-minutes and 75 laps around the streets of Long Beach in California, Round 3 of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, the Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia this afternoon took the checkered flag for the first time this season.   Finishing 9th place in GTLM, the No.62 was a long way from the winning No.3 Corvette of Magnussen and Garcia, the drivers having battled with a balance and grip issue all weekend.  There were still, however, positives to be gained from the experience.
Ferrari factory driver Giancarlo Fisichella took the start of the race – which was a somewhat processional affair with no full course yellows to close up the field, the complete reverse to the previous round – and tucked in behind the factory Corvettes, BMWs and Porsches.  After just 15 laps the Italian reported that he was losing a lot of grip but he maintained a consistent pace until what was due to have been the one and only pit stop of the race at the 42 minute mark.
The Ferrari stopped on the same lap as all its main competitors and the Risi Competizione crew once again showed they were the class of the field – refuelling, doing a driver change and four Michelin tires in less time than any other car in pit lane.
American Dane Cameron (originally from Glen Allen in California but now residing in Georgia) took the wheel from Fisichella but make a small error three laps into his stint and went off track into the run off area.  There was no damage to the car – definitely cause for Risi to celebrate this weekend – but the left front tire was carrying a flat spot for the remainder of the race which deteriorated to the extent that Cameron came into the pits for a second stop with just 10 minutes remaining.
Giancarlo Fisichella:  “It was a difficult race; we couldn’t get what we expected from the car at the start of the weekend and we weren’t quick enough.  It was a bit the balance of the car, a bit the set up – generally the grip was not enough and the car was very inconsistent on the curbs.  But I finished my first race of the season and it was encouraging to get to the end of the race, even if we did have to have a second pit stop.  We brought the car home so for the next race I’m sure we will be better – at the moment it looks like we need more power or less weight!”. (Source:www.risicompetizione.com)

 

SEBRING 12 HOURS – Risi crashes out at Sebring after strong opening performance
Risi’s torrid 2014 season continued today at the 12 Hours of Sebring, round 2 of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship
While in the lead of the GTLM category, Matteo Malucelli crashed the No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia out of the endurance race as it approached its fourth hour.  The Italian, who was uninjured in the accident, was on the first green lap after the third full course caution period.  Unfortunately, an attempt to re-join the race (in order to get the car back for repairs) was unsuccessful and the Ferrari was involved in further contact.
The damage was assessed by the team as being too severe to repair at the track and the car has been withdrawn from the race.
Gianmaria Bruni had started the race amid the 63-strong field and quickly showed the strong pace of the Ferrari.  After a well-judged performance in the opening laps, the team elected to stop for fuel and new Michelin tires during the first full course caution period which fell 20 minutes after the start.  The Risi crew did a superb and very speedy job to gain four places in the GTLM order, and the #62 re-joined the race third in class behind one car which had not yet pitted and another which didn’t change tires.  As the race went green again, Bruni pounced on the Viper and took the lead – a position the Ferrari was holding until the crash. (Source:www.risicompetizone.com)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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