Risi returns for 2013
Risi returns for 2013
Fans of red Ferraris will have added reason to celebrate in 2013 – Risi Competizione will be back in the American Le Mans Series.
The team is returning to competition after a hiatus in 2012. The Houston, Texas-based team will enter one Ferrari 458 Italia GT in the GT class of the 2013 ALMS.
With the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series merging for 2014, the Houston-based Risi team now feels that the time is right for a return to racing and Team Principal Giuseppe Risi has been re-defining and refining his team ready for that moment.
“We are embarking on a two-year program as we return to racing. This year, we will race in ALMS alone, where we have enjoyed great success. In 2014, we will race in the merged series under the new class structure. We are excited about the prospects and the program, and are actively ramping up the team for 2013.”
Long-time Risi race engineer Rick Mayer returns to the team after recently working with Level 5 Motorsport and is currently in Italy overseeing the build of Risi’s new F458 at Michelotto Automobili, Ferrari’s official GT technical partner.
Mayer was an integral part of two ALMS Championship-winning titles and two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as numerous other race victories for Risi Competizione with both the F360 and the F430 models.
Mayer will be joined in 2013 by a new face at Risi, but not a new name. Mark Sims, son of team manager David Sims, will be taking up a full-time position in Houston as Chief Mechanic. The 39-year-old relocates to the USA after a career in GP2, GP3 and World Series by Renault as chief mechanic for one of open-wheel’s most successful junior teams.
“Having watched the developments for the future of sports car racing in North America from the side-lines in 2012, I believe that now is the right time to return to competition. We know what to expect in 2013 and in 2014. We’ve done our research on and off the track. I have every reason to believe that we will be very competitive,” said Risi.
To date, the team has won two ALMS championships, taken three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, achieved 20 outright American Le Mans Series class wins and 30 plus further podium finishes. It has won the Twelve Hours of Sebring three times including the closest finish in the race’s history in 2007.
The 2013 ALMS GT competition looks set to be even more intense than last season with Risi’s return, CORE autosport debuting with their Porsche, BMW switching to the new Z4 entry, Extreme Speed Ferrari hoping to continue their winning ways from the end of 2012, the SRT Vipers ready for their second season and the the reigning champions Corvette Racing back for more.