MichelinAlley.com will preview its GT Le Mans technical partner teams in the run up to next week’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Next up is the Risi Competizione team, the lone privateer entry in class.
RISI COMPETIZIONE FERRARI
Car: Ferrari 488 GTE
Drivers: 62-Alessandro Pier Guidi/Toni Vilander/James Calado/Davide Rigon
2017 Points Finishes: 62-9th Place
2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona Finishes: 62-3rd Place
The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE finished on the podium in all but two of its 2017 starts in IMSA. The caveat, of course, was that “all but two” was only five of seven races, and one of the disappointments of last season was that Giuseppe Risi’s fable Ferrari outfit only ran a partial season, as the team endured a rough patch of results and incidents that put pause to a full-season campaign.
With accidents at Long Beach, Circuit of The Americas and Le Mans all in a row, Risi’s team took a temporary hiatus from the championship over the summer. The team made a welcome return for the Virginia International Raceway round and proving it was still the measure of others within the GT Le Mans class, as it has seemingly always been, it was on the podium there to start a three-race run of top-three finishes to end the year. Toni Vilander racked up back-to-back poles in the final two races, as well.
Risi heads into 2018 with a similar degree of uncertainty over the state of its program beyond the season-opening endurance races, but rest assured the lineup of aces stacked within this car will be willing to give it their all, as will the crew led by team stalwart Dave “Beaky” Sims. The Ferrari 488 GTE is now into its third season of competition and has always been a well-balanced car across all circuits. The Ferrari was part of last year’s excellent battle for the win at Daytona, and ended third behind the winning Ford and second-placed Porsche, but ahead of the first Corvette in fourth.