RISI COMPETIZIONE TO RETURN TO ALMS IN 2013

North America’s most successful Ferrari GT team, Risi Competizione, is returning to competition after a hiatus in 2012.  The Houston, Texas-based team will enter one Ferrari 458 Italia GT in the GT class of the 2013 American Le Mans Series.

Until the conclusion of the 2011 season, Risi Competizione, racing a string of Ferrari 333SPs, 360, 430, and 458 GTs, and a single season with the Maserati MC12, had been a decade-long stalwart of the series but the shifting ground of GT racing in America lately convinced Giuseppe Risi to suspend his racing program for 12 months as standards, classes and specifications were being developed for future racing events and programs.   During that time period, the ALMS and Grand Am reached an agreement to merge with the merger taking full effect in 2014. Risi Competizione did just one event in 2012, a collaboration with a Ferrari collective, American Canadian Racing, at the Rolex Daytona 24, to gain a better understanding of the competitive environment in Grand-Am racing, information that will be vital as the two circuits become one in 2014.

The Houston-based team now feels that the time is right for a return to racing and Risi has been re-defining and refining his team to prepare for this moment. “We are embarking on a two year program as we return to racing. This year, we will race in ALMS alone, where we have enjoyed great success. In 2014, we will race in the merged series under the new class structure. We are excited about the prospects and the program and are actively ramping the team up for 2013.”

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Long-time Risi race engineer Rick Mayer will be picking up the mantle once again on the technical side, and is currently in Italy overseeing the build of the team’s new F458 at Michelotto Automobili, Ferrari’s official GT technical partner.

The engineer was an integral part of two ALMS Championship-winning titles and two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as numerous other race victories for Risi Competizione with both the F360 and the F430 models.

Mayer will be joined in 2013 by a new face at Risi, but not a new name.  Mark Sims, son of team manager David Sims, will be taking up a full-time position in Houston as Chief Mechanic.  The 39-year-old relocates to the USA after a career in GP2, GP3 and World Series by Renault as chief mechanic for one of open-wheel’s most successful junior teams. He brings a state-of-the-racing art mechanical perspective to team operations.

Giuseppe Risi, Team Principal, is enthusiastic about what lies ahead in 2013 and the future:  “As I’ve said in the past, to race a Ferrari is to enter into a partnership with history and legend; the standards are so high that commitment must be total and complete.  The exact same thing can be said of the American Le Mans Series GT class, which I still believe has the best level of GT competition in the world.  We very much look forward to competing again with our old friends and rivals at BMW, Corvette, Extreme Speed Ferrari and Porsche, as well as some faces that may be new to us.

“Having watched the developments for the future of sports car racing in North America from the side-lines in 2012, I believe that now is the right time to return to competition. We know what to expect in 2013 and in 2014. We’ve done our research on and off the track. I have every reason to believe that we will be very competitive, “ said Risi.

To date, the team has won two ALMS championships, taken three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, achieved 20 outright American Le Mans Series class wins and 30 plus further podium finishes.  It has won the Twelve Hours of Sebring three times including the closest finish in the race’s history in 2007.

News about the 2013 Risi Competizione driver line-up will be announced in due course.

11 Responses to “RISI COMPETIZIONE TO RETURN TO ALMS IN 2013”

  1. Mark C

    GRAZIE!! You guys have just made my month, what a way to start the year! Excited isn’t the word, I’m elated to hear you guys are BACK! I’ve been waiting for this moment and GT racing in the USA can finally return to normal! The undisputed, Ferrari GT has came home and I’m exploding with passion! Forza Ferrari! Forza Risi! Let’s do this, the legend continues…

    Reply
  2. Richard Wintle

    Excellent news! Thanks for returning. Will be looking forward to seeing (and hearing!) you at Mosport, oops I mean Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. :)

    Reply
  3. Anthony

    Looking forward to seeing you guys in Long Beach! Best Ferrari team on the planet…

    Reply
  4. Rafael Gaztambide

    This announcement took me completely by surprise. I can’t say it enough, I’m extremely happy to hear you guys are back. GT racing just wasn’t the same without Risi. Ferrari deserves a team like Risi representing what the scuderia is all about, passionate and extremely competitive. It would be great if we can see Melo and Salo again at Sebring.

    Reply
  5. James Brooks

    Great news! An even better reason to look forward to 2013 and now I am. I’m curious about who the drivers are.

    Reply
  6. Dale Kippling

    Glad your back… Miss that awesome fights you bring to racing like the finish in 2007! I need 2 mens tee shirts 2 womens tee shirts and shirts and hats for my 4 sons. One is handicaped. Where can i get these items at sebring? Would love to show my sons the car up close if possible. Please advise. All the best for 2013. Go Risi

    Reply
  7. Mark

    just saw the F458 Italia test at Sebring. Lap times were fast, car seems well-sorted at this point and running extremely well. Glad to see the Risi team back in GT/ALMS, always a top competitor and wonderful car.

    Reply

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