2006 Ferrari F430 GT news, pictures, and information
RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI F430GT WILL START FROM POLE POSITION AT LAGUNA SECA THIS AFTERNOONMonterey, California. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - Mika Salo, who previously drove F1 cars for Ferrari, got behind the wheel of the Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT yesterday and took the pole in GT2 qualifying at the historic, twisty Laguna Seca track wîth a 1:23.611 lap. This time was over two seconds ahead of the lap record at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (1:26.042). A pair of Porsches took second and third in qualifying, wîth times of 1:24.140 (Mike Rockenfeller, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR/Alex Job Racing) and 1:24.299 (Joerg Bergmeister, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR/Petersen/White Lightning). The stablemate No. 61 Ferrari from R.Ferri Competizione/Ferrari Silicon Valley was fourth in qualifying wîth a 1:24.370 time. Salo will be paired wîth Stephane Ortelli in today's (Saturday) four hour ALMS finale, the Monterey Sports Car Championship.
Salo's effort yesterday marked the sixth time this season that the Risi Competizione No. 62 Ferrari was on the pole; the No. 61 Ferrari F430GT took the pole at Lime Rock (7 total pole in 10 total races for Risi Competizione in 2006).
'We're pleased wîth the result,' said Team Manager Dave Sims yesterday. 'Mika has delivered all season and today was no exception. We counted on him to bring us a podium in Houston and to take us to first at Útah and in Portland. Today, we wanted the pole and Mika delivered. Stephane Ortelli, who won at Mosport in the Ferrari, delivered a win when we really needed it. Andrea Bertolini and Maurizio Mediani in the No. 61 car captured fourth, so we have a pair of Ferraris bracketing a pair of Porsches. It's going to be a terrific battle.'
Going into today's race, Risi Competizione has a six point lead over Flying Lizard Motorsports and a 10 point advantage ahead of the Petersen/White Lighting outfit in the Teams' Championship in the GT2 category Team Managing Director Giuseppe Risi previously characterized the 10th and deciding race in the 2006 American Le Mans Series as a race in which each lap was 'like a round in a heavyweight fight'. Asked about the pole position, Risi responded that 'we have raced all season to get to this point. I am proud of our drivers, our techs, and our team; and especially grateful to our sponsors for their support throughout the year. Michelin has given us great tires all years and our drivers have pushed hard all year. We have gone head to head wîth Porsche and Panoz all year and they have been, as always, superb competitors. GT2 has provided the closest racing in the ALMS series all year and this weekend will be no exception. This one should be a classic and we're just pleased to be a part of it.'
Risi Competizione has a chance to win the teams' championship in ALMS GT2 for Ferrari for the first time. The team has already delivered new records for Ferrari in the area of poles and fastest laps; it also delivered Ferrari's first 1-2 finish (at Mosport).
Risi Competizione (www.risicompetizione.com) is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Sponsors include Michelin, Boost/Motorola Forza2/Motorsport, LP/Italy, Putnam Leasing, Tubi Style, Boardwalk Autogroup, and AMD.
The final round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series is the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at 2:45 p.m. PDT on Saturday, October 21 wîth SPEED providing live coverage. MotorsTV will broadcast the race in Europe starting at 10:30 p.m. ÚTC in England and 11:30 p.m. CET. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage, and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com.
19.10.2006 | Monterey Sports Car Championship
WITH ALMS CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE LINE, SALO AND ORTELLI RETÚRN TO RISI COMPETIZIONE FOR THE FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON
Houston, Texas - Risi Competizione announced today that Mika Salo and Stephane Ortelli, who between them accounted for three of Risi Competizione's American Le Mans Series (ALMS) victories this year, will again drive the team's ‘rosso corsa' Ferrari F430GT during the final ALMS race of the season at Laguna Seca, the Monterey Sports Car Championships, on Saturday.
Salo, driving wîth Brazilian partner Jaime Melo, won back-to-back races for the team at the Salt Lake City Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Portland in mid-season, coming from last place to first in both races. Prior racing commitments which necessitated that both Salo and Melo return to Europe for the remainder of the FIA-GT series, a series which Jaime Melo clinched in a Ferrari F430GT at Adria (Italy) last weekend. Stephane Ortelli, who drove the car to victory at the Mosport Grand Prix this year, will join up wîth former Ferrari F1 driver Mike Salo for the team's last race of the 2006 ALMS season this weekend. The final race at Laguna Seca is especially critical as it will determine the winner of the 2006 ALMS GT2 Teams' Championship: Risi Competizione need to finish either first or second to be sure of clinching the title. Risi Competizione (138 points) goes into this Saturday's 2 hour and 45 minute race wîth a 6-point cushion over the Flying Lizard (Porsche) squad and a 10-point advantage over the third placed Peterson/White Lightening (Porsche) team.
'This is a crucial race,' comments Team Manager Dave Sims, 'and we are absolutely delighted to have Mika and Stephane back. Risi Competizione has a chance to do something Ferrari has never done before: win the Teams' Championship in ALMS. We could not have our fortunes in better hands. Our job now is to prepare the cars to the best of our ability, knowing that Mika and Stephane will drive it to the best of theirs'
The team of Salo and Ortelli is a formidable one. Salo was in the driver's seat when the team won the Útah and Portland ALMS races and Ortelli led the team to victory at Mosport, having started from the pole. The team has been quick all season, qualifying on the pole in five races (Houston, Útah, Portland, Mosport, Petite Le Mans) and delivering the fastest lap in four races (Sebring, Houston, Útah, Portland). The team's sister car, the Number 61 R. Ferri Competizione/Giacomo Mattioli F430 GT, has qualified on the pole in one race (Lime Rock) and turned in the fastest lap in one (Mosport). The pairing of Salo and Orthelli is the 7th different driving team out of 10 races this year.
During 2006, Mika Salo has delivered stirring drives all season, including a now-legendary final stint at Portland where he pushed the car into first position in the closing laps to complete a come-from-behind win kicked off by a brilliant opening stint from Melo. Ortelli drove the Ferrari to domination at Mosport (Ferrari's first ever 1-2 finish in ALMS GT2) and, as co-driver Johnny Mowlem said after the race, 'made it easy for me to bring it home in first'.
That Risi Competizione should find itself on the verge of a historic championship in the final race of the season seems appropriately dramatic, given the rise and fall of its fortunes over the season. 'This is as good as it gets in this sport,' said Team Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. We have raced from spring until fall, over 9 different tracks, through two long endurance races, in the heat and the wet and still the championship comes down to one race. We have confidence in our Michelin tires, our drivers, our team and our car and our competitors feel the same way. For a championship race like this, you can toss out the idea of playing it safe. Every lap is going to be like a round in a heavy weight championship fight and no one is going to back down. Fans who have followed the series all season are going to be rewarded wîth an epic race at Monterey.'
Risi Competizione www.risicompetizione.com) is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Sponsors include Michelin, Boost/Motorola Forza2/Motorsport, LP/Italy, Putnam Leasing, Tubi Style, Boardwalk Autogroup and AMD.
The final round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series is the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca which will start at 2:45 p.m. PDT on Saturday, October 21 wîth SPEED providing live coverage.Source - Risi Competizione
RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI F430GT WINS THE AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT2 CHAMPIONSHIP. MIKA SALO AND STEPHANE ORTELLI DELIVER ANOTHER FIRST IN THE LAST RACE OF THE SEASON.Monterey, California. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - This was the way it was supposed to end, the perfect final episode for a season of challenges: one race for the GT2 championship, wîth everything on the line, ace drivers in the cockpit, nothing held back, and an international TV audience watching the every move of a team kissed by destiny and shunned by luck.
Mika Salo, driving the No.62 Ferrari F430GT for Risi Competizione, made GT2 history on Saturday as he crossed the finish line in first place to win the ALMS GT2 class in the last ALMS race of the season and, together wîth driving partner Stephane Ortelli, put Risi Competizione and Ferrari into the ALMS record books by leading the team to the 2006 GT2 championship against a field of factory Porsches and Panoz racecars. It was the first Teams' championship for Risi Competizione and Ferrari in the American Le Mans Series.
The stablemate No.61 Ferrari F430GT, driven by Andrea Bertolini and Maurzio Mediani and owned by R. Ferri Competizione (Remo Ferri) and Ferrari Silicon Valley (Giacomo Mattioli) finished eighth in the GT2 class.
Salo, a former Ferrari F1 driver who has quickly developed a reputation in ALMS for being able to 'close' a race, nipped inside Jorge Bergmeister wîth less than 15 minutes remaining in the race to put the screaming and defiant Ferrari F430GT into first place wîth just minutes remaining in the race, a position he held until the checkered flag came down. Salo came back from over 20 seconds down to pass Bergmeister, in a move that reminded onlookers of his audacious pass to take the lead (and the win) at Portland this year. Starting from the pole—where Salo set a qualifying record of 1:23.611 for GT2 cars at Laguna Seca and concluding wîth the final sprint to the flag, the Risi Competizione ‘Rosso Corsa' Ferrari F430GT snarled and screamed around the tight, twisty, historic Laguna Seca racetrack, an 11 turn 2.238 mile circuit that puts a premium on cornering, braking, and nerve. The track, recently resurfaced, had given all drivers some early concern as sand and rocks blew across the asphalt. Salo matched his new record for qualifying wîth a fastest lap in the race as well.
Asked about the win, Salo who is back in the Ú.S. for his first race since the now-legendary team win at Portland wîth Jaime Melo where the team was in last place after the first lap and took the win wîth a virtuoso display of driving from both Melo and Salo, said that 'it was a great win for the team. We've had a lot of different drivers in the car this year and Mr. Risi has had to pay for a lot of repairs, but I am glad to win this one for the team.' Salo, who won his third GT2 race of the season for Risi Competizione was paired wîth Stephane Ortelli, the FIA GT series ace, who won his second GT2 race driving for Risi Competizione.
Coming into Laguna Seca, Risi Competizione held a narrow, six point lead over the Flying Lizard Porsche team (138 to 132 points) for the team championship. Risi Competizione had to finish within one place of the Flying Lizard team to claim the championship; they did it one better by finishing first. The team of Bergmeister/Petersen/Long, driving for Petersen/White Lightning finished second in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR wîth Rockenfeller/Tiemann third in another Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for Alex Job Racing.
It was a season of high drama for the Houston-based Risi Competizione team, a mechanical opera played out at high speeds across the width and breadth of the North American continent. During the season, the team fielded seven different driver teams, captured seven poles and six fastest laps. Along wîth the highs of pole positions and wins—the team won four of the 10 American Le Mans Series races—there were the lows, wîth accident plagued outings at Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock, Road America, and Petit Le Mans coupled wîth a heart-breaking third at Sebring after the team had lead the majority of the race that teased spectators wîth 27 lead changes.
Team Managing Director Giuseppe Risi said that 'this is another great win for Ferrari and another historic championship for Ferrari. We've had an incredible year and it is a true testament to the character of this team that we have overcome all obstacles and very stiff competition from Porsche and Panoz to win the Team Championship in GT2. Every driver we used gave their best effort to help us to this win and Michelin were relentless in delivering the best tires. I thank our sponsors for 2006—Boost/Motorola, Forza2 Motorsport, LP/Italy, Putnam Leasing, Boardwalk Autogroup, Ferrari of Houston, AMD, and Tubi—for their support in a very dramatic season. We are honored to be the champions in GT2 but we know what awaits us in 2007—more epic battles wîth Porsche and Panoz. But for tonight…we're going to relax and enjoy the win.'
The 10 race season started at Sebring in March and included two long distance races (12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans), one four race (Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), and seven two hour and four-five minute races. The American Le Mans Series races test a car under all conditions and over different time periods. From the start, Team Manager David Sims, said, 'We knew we had a good shot a good season. The car was fast out of the box at testing in Sebring prior to the 12 Hour race, and we were in contention for the lead throughout the year.'
Development never stopped on the mid-engine Ferrari F430GT; 'After Sebring,' Sims notes, 'we knew we had the potential but we had to continue to develop the car in all areas. Porsche and Panoz do not stand still—they are both brilliant competitors wîth massive technical resources. In this series, if you're standing still, you're going backward. It is ultra-competitive, as one can see from the sheer number of lead changes.'
Risi Competizione ran one car at Sebring, Houston, and Mid-0hio. At Lime Rock, the stablemate No. 61 Ferrari F430GT, owned by R. Ferri Competizione/Ferrari Silicon Valley, joined the team to race under the Risi Competizione banner. That car, too, was fast out of the box, as newcomer to ALMS racing Toni Vilander grabbed the pole in his first weekend in a 430GT. Regrettably, Vilander was taken out of the race wîth an on-course incident and No.61 was sidelined for repairs, not rejoining the team until the Road America race.
In the meantime, the No.62 car continued the campaign. The points picked up by No.61 at Road America and Petite Le Mans were crucial to Risi Competizione winning the GT2 Team Championship. 'Remo Ferri and Giacomo Mattioli (R. Ferri Competizione and Ferrari Silicon Valley respectively) played a big part in our run to the championship. The addition of a second Ferrari put us on even footing wîth the Porsche and Panoz teams and the points they picked up were incredibly important to our effort. When No.62 had problems, the No.61 car stepped into the void and delivered under intense pressure. This was a great team effort,' Giuseppe Risi stated.
The GT2 Team Championship is another milestone for Risi Competizione, founded in 1998 by Giuseppe Risi and based in Houston, Texas. The team raced a Ferrari 333SP, prior to 2002, taking a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998. The team was also World Sports Car Champion (Ferrari 333SP) in 1998. In 2002, Risi Competizione ran a Lola Nissan SRPII for Rand Racing and captured the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Championship; that team took class honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and had a perfect season in Grand Am, winning every race in the 10 race series, taking every pole, and setting fastest lap in each race.
In 2003 and 2004, Risi Competizione campaigned a Ferrari F360GTC, winning the ALMS IMSA Cup in 2003. In 2004, Risi Competizione won the Lime Rock race, snapping Porsches 21 race GT2 win streak. In 2005, Risi Competizione provided logistical support for Maserati Reparto Corse, the racing division of Maserati, in a campaign to run the Maserati MC12, the top car in FIA racing, in the American Le Mans Series.
Risi Competizione (www.risicompetizione.com) is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Sponsors include Michelin, Boost/Motorola Forza2/Motorsport, LP/Italy, Putnam Leasing, Tubi Style, Boardwalk Autogroup and AMD.Source - Risi Competizione
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