Team wraps up very successful Sebring Winter Test
Houston-based Risi Competizione has completed a successful two-day test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida – its first appearance in an American Le Mans Series’ organised event since Petit Le Mans 2011.
The No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia, shared by Olivier Beretta and series newcomer Matteo Malucelli, turned in a best time of 2:01.645 during the afternoon session of the first day, setting highly competitive times throughout the 1250 kilometres of running. As it did Thursday, Risi Competizione once again showed the way in the GT class with a lap at 1:59.862 in Friday’s afternoon session, heading all other GT cars present.
“It’s great to have Risi back and another Ferrari in the championship,” said Beretta, who has been a multiple winner at Sebring in the past. “Most people would think that Sebring is an endurance race and that we have time to make up for mistakes. But it is a sprint race from the first lap to the end so testing is very important here. We have seen many times cars in the GT class finish the race on the same lap and, a lot of times, close together. Everyone wants to win this race.”
Team Manager David Sims said afterward the test was over: “The test went exceptionally well, and the new Ferrari was very impressive straight out of the box. Considering that we only took delivery of it two days ago, it was very strong and we had no mechanical issues at all. Both drivers were on the mark with lap times and very similar in speed. Matteo, in particular, being new to the ALMS, just quietly got on with it and had no problems at all. We’re very impressed.
“We worked through a long, pre-planned programme of set up changes and with both drivers we completed around 1250 kilometres of running over the two days. As we’ve also got some new mechanics with us this year, we also took the opportunity to do wheel change practice every time we came into the pits, and that was getting real quick towards the end. All in all it was a very satisfying two days of testing, and it’s given us renewed confidence for the 12 Hours of Sebring in a month’s time.”