2011 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES, ROUND 6
TIME WARNER CABLE ROAD RACE SHOWCASE AT ROAD AMERICA, WI
Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 Italia GT no. 62: Jaime Melo (BRA) Toni Vilander (FIN)
The Pennzoil Ultra-supported Risi Competizione team now heads for Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin to the scenic Road America track. The European-style, 4.05 mile layout is popular with almost everyone in the field, and features a series of single corners without tricky or technical combinations, including the notorious “Kink”, with useable curbs which can help to reduce lap time. This is the highest speed track visited by the teams in the ALMS, and speeds of around 160mph (260kph) are reached three times a lap. 2007 GT2 Road America race winner, Jaime Melo of Brazil, is looking forward to the four-hour event, despite concerns that the Ferrari 458 Italia will suffer from a strait-line speed deficit compared to its rivals.
“For many reasons we haven’t had an easy run up until now with the F458, so I hope the longer races coming up might work in our favor. Really the only option we have now is go as fast as we can and don’t collect any damage and risk ending up with another DNF. Our disadvantage continues to be our lack of speed down the straits but we’ll just have to go through the corners faster!”
“It’s quite a difficult track to set up a car for,” continues the Brazilian. “It’s long and you need to have a good set up for both slow and high speed corners, bumps and kerbs as well. It takes time to set up the car and, of course, it’s the first time here with the F458, but I think we’ve made good progress over the last few races in understanding how to get the best from it and that will help us find a consistent and good balance.”
With an expected GT lap time of around 2m07-10s, track time will be at a premium in the practice sessions leading up to the race so the team will be working hard to optimize their set up as quickly as possible. Toni Vilander, who hasn’t been to Road America since he raced a Risi Ferrari 430 there in 2006, can’t wait to return. “Fortunately it doesn’t take me long to learn or remember tracks so I don’t think the five-year gap will matter at all. It was very disappointing not to finish at Mid Ohio, but we have to look forward and not back and concentrate on the remaining races and get some good results. I hope Road America will be good for us and good to us.”
About Risi Competizione:
Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Official team sponsors include Pennzoil, Motorola, Boardwalk Auto Group, Ferrari Fort Lauderdale, Ferrari of Vancouver, Ferrari Financial Services and Ferrari of Houston.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will be the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The 4-hour race begins at 3:00 pm (CT) on Saturday, August 20, 2011 and will be shown LIVE on ESPN3 and American Le Mans from 2:45 pm (CT) and on ABC at 4:30 pm (ET) on Sunday, August 21.