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Jun 30, 2014 - 07:02 AM
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Risi Endures At Watkins Glen To Take Championship Points
Posted by: newsla on Jun 30, 2014 - 06:58 AM
Risi Endures At Watkins Glen To Take Championship Points

Risi Competizione overcame alternator issues and an incident-filled four-class endurance race in today’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the seventh round of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, to finish 7th in the GTLM class and 17th overall.


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The No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia of Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer was on course for a better placed finish thanks to a sterling stint by Pierre Kaffer in the penultimate hour - during which he set the fastest GTLM lap of the race.

However, a late-race caution period closed up the 53-strong field and perhaps saved several competitors from having to make a splash and dash for fuel. That fact, combined with radio communication problems between the pits and the car, meant that Fisichella was blind-sided. In fifth place as the race went green again for the final lap of the race, the Italian had to make a move to avoid clashing with a GTD competitor and unfortunately had to cede his place in doing so.

Starting from 8th on the GTLM grid, the race was turned on its head for Risi when the Ferrari’s alternator failed and the team had to make an early first pit stop to not only take on fuel and new Michelin rubber but also a new battery. Typically quick work in the pits by the Risi crew meant that things were soon back on track and, despite extremely hot temperatures and a further battery change, the Ferrari was well placed for a top five finish.

Pierre Kaffer said after the very hard and hot race, "It was very hot in the car and with so many different cars on the track you had to be really patient with what was in front of you and behind you. As soon as the there was some more rubber on the track our car improved in its handling and performance, and every pit stop the team did was perfect. I think the GTLM class is very close and we were really unfortunate in the end as, with just 30 minutes to go we were on for a podium thanks to our strategy. I think the team deserved a better result and a big thank you to all of them for the whole weekend."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "From the start of the weekend it was tough as we were a bit far off the pace. It was better in the race but straight away we had the problem with the alternator which lost us a bit of time in the pit lane. Then we had a problem with the radio and the communication was SO difficult. That cost us a couple of positions right at the end; I didn’t know it was the last lap although my engineer had tried to tell me. I couldn’t understand anything that was being said to me. I was also trying to overtake a GTD and he closed the door on me. I had to brake hard otherwise there would have been contact with him and I lost the rear end of the year - it was lucky that we had no damage to the car but it was shame we lost two positions. The team did a good job, and I think Pierre and I did too, but we need to fix a few problems for the next races."

The next round of the series will be the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Canada from 11-13 July.

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