Risi Ferrari set to bounce back at Sebring

March 8, 2014

Risi Ferrari set to bounce back at Sebring

March 8, 2014

ferrari_3_8_14Ferrari’s Risi Competizione squad is set to bounce back at next week’s 12 Hours of Sebring after its dramatic car-destroying crash at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Matteo Malucelli’s stricken Ferrari was struck at high speed by the unsighted Daytona prototype of Memo Gidley, destroying both cars and sending both drivers to hospital – Gidley with serious injuries.

Matteo_Matucelli_squareWhile sadly the Bob Stallings Racing DP machine and Gidley will be absent for the remainder of the year, Risi will return this week with a newly re-built car, a new driving suit (for Malucelli), new lights and new resolve and determination to get back to what the Houston-based team does best: succeeding in endurance racing.

Risi’s car has been completely rebuilt and will be shaken down this weekend at Sebring. The stricken Ferrari was released from NASCAR’s investigation unit in South Carolina four days after the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the team stripped it down to assess the extent of the damage. Approximately 70% of the car has been replaced or renewed and the wait for parts to arrive from Italy meant that the Risi Ferrari was not able to be present at the official Sebring test in February.

Instead, Malucelli – who will sporting a new race suit as his previous one had to be cut away from him in hospital at Daytona – drove with Risi’s technical racing partner, Krohn Racing.

“I felt good at Sebring although it was a little strange after the crash, but not bad. My neck is quite good and about 90% I would say. My back and everything else is completely fine…actually, not everything else. I broke a tooth in the accident which still needs to be fixed and I hate going to the dentist!” Malucelli said.

ferrari_3_8_14_a“This year there are some new cars, like the Porsche 911 and Corvette C7R, but I think we need to do what we were on track to do before the accident in Daytona. We have a good car, team and drivers and we will do our best to do better than last year if possible. It’s really important to start to make some points for the championship.”

Re-joining the season-long driving partnership of former F1 driver and 2011 FIA WEC GTE Champion, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Malucelli will be the well-known face of Gianmaria Bruni, the reigning FIA WEC GTE World Drivers Champion.

Bruni is a former winner at Sebring with Risi Competizione in 2010 and has claimed GT pole position at the Florida track for the last three years. The Roman, together with Malucelli, drove to 2nd place in GT in last year’s edition of North America’s oldest endurance race, and all three Italians are looking to improve on that result this year.

Aside from the IMSA Balance of Performance change which affects the fuel capacity of the Ferrari GTLM entries, the No.62 will be carrying new auxiliary headlights to help the drivers better negotiate the third of the event which is run in darkness.

The team has an impressive record at Sebring with three class wins and a 2nd place in the last six appearances.

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