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Aug 24, 2014 - 06:36 AM
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Risi Bounce Back From Crash To Pole Position At VIR
Posted by: newsla on Aug 24, 2014 - 06:35 AM
Risi Bounce Back From Crash To Pole Position At VIR

Driving the Risi Competizione No.62 Ferrari 458 Italia, Pierre Kaffer this afternoon claimed his first pole position in the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, just one day after turning his very first laps of the 3.27 mile Virginia International Raceway (VIR) track.


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The German set a best time of 1:43.797 on his seventh flying lap in the 15 minute qualifying session to not only claim overall pole position for tomorrow’s GTLM/GTD only Oak Tree Grand Prix, but also set a new qualifying lap record. He starts ahead of the No.55 BMW.

The qualifying result was a great reward for the hard work put in by the Houston-based Risi Competizione crew after an unfortunate accident in practice while Giancarlo Fisichella was at the wheel. The Italian Ferrari Corse Clienti driver was running laps for the first time on some new, hard compound Michelin tires and misjudged the braking point on rubber that wasn’t quite up to optimum operating temperature. He locked up, put two tires onto the damp grass and slid helplessly into the tire wall. While much of the damage was cosmetic, it still required a concerted team effort - smoothly and swiftly orchestrated under the leadership of crew chief Mark Sims - to get the car repaired in time for qualifying.

A delighted Risi Competizione Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, said after qualifying: "Pierre did a very good job indeed. He was relaxed and very positive going into qualifying, and said that the car was great. The crew certainly did an excellent job this afternoon to get the F458 Italia back together after the incident in Practice 3, and this was a good reward for everyone involved."

Pierre Kaffer added: "This car today is one of the best I’ve ever had in my hands- it’s perfect. It was a bit difficult today because I hadn’t done any laps this morning and thank you to Giancarlo for the opportunity to let me qualify. It’s not so easy to just step in the car, at a track like here at VIR, where it is important to drive really 100% on the right line; if you go over that by even 5% you are off. I really enjoyed qualifying and a big thank you to my boys and Ferrari, and to Giuseppe Risi for giving us the opportunity. To be a privateer team and to compete against all the factory teams is not so easy. We are all looking forward to tomorrow and going for the overall victory."

The Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway, VA will run on Sunday, August 24 beginning at 4:05 pm ET. The 2h45 minute race will be for GTLM and GTD cars only.

Fans of Risi Competizione can purchase officially branded merchandise and apparel at the ShopRisi.com site that features team partner Cinsay’s own in-house made to order, OnDemand items from t-shirts, jackets and smartphone covers to one-of-a-kind and limited number collectibles available only through the network.

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