Three Risi Ferraris at virtual VIR include two Michelin livery cars

May 27, 2020

Three Risi Ferraris at virtual VIR include two Michelin livery cars

May 27, 2020

Risi Competizione will field three Ferrari 488 GTEs in Thursday’s fifth round of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series. Two of them feature special Michelin liveries. The team release is below.

The IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series moves virtually to VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) this week for Round 5 on Thursday, May 28 for the Michelin Presents IMSA iRacing at VIR esports race.

Risi Competizione joined the IMSA virtual racing effort on the iRacing platform at Round 3 at Mid-Ohio with a single entry. For their second race Risi had two virtual Ferrari 488 GTEs entries for Road America. This week Risi Competizione will have a stable of three virtual Ferrari 488s.

The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari is once again entered with AF Corse Ferrari GT driver Matt Griffin, of Cork, Ireland. Returning in the No. 82 Risi Competizione/ Michelin Ferrari is Californian Joel Miller, who earned his entry for competing in the Top 25 in the last race. Making his IMSA iRacing debut in the No. 89 Risi entry is French driver, Jules Gounon, who will pilot the real Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We are happy to continue our relationship with Michelin both on the track and through the virtual racing,” said team owner Giuseppe Risi. “They have been a terrific partner and provided us with good tires and excellent engineering for many years. We appreciate their contributions to our team’s success over the years and glad to have them join us with a special Michelin livery for their home race at VIR.”

Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2017 Michelin GT Challenge. Photo courtesy Risi Competizione

The Risi Competizione/Michelin relationship dates back to 2003 with the Risi Ferrari 360GT running on Michelins for the American Le Mans Series with six podiums in nine races that season. The team competed on another compound in 2004-05 but returned to Michelins in 2006, where they have stayed ever since. Risi and Michelin raced with the Ferrari 430GT from 2006-2010, then the Ferrari 458 from 2011-2015. The Ferrari 488 was introduced in 2016 and is still in competition for 2020.

Risi Competizione has competed at the VIR circuit seven times with three victories and six podiums, including 2002-03 and 2013-2017.

“I’m glad to be returning with the Risi Competizione team this week at the virtual VIR circuit,” said Griffin. “Last race showed me how strong these IMSA competitors are. They are as fierce on the virtual track and they are on the real track. Although I didn’t finish as well as I’d hoped last time, I better understand how everyone competes on this IMSA esports platform and I’m ready to go out again and give it my all for a good result this week.”

Matt Griffin. Photo courtesy Risi Competizione

“It was good to get that first iRacing effort under my belt with the last race at Road America,” said Miller. “My experience on the real racetrack certainly helped and I was proud to drive the Michelin-livered car on behalf of Risi Competizione. I’m happy I finished in the Top 25 and secured an entry for this week’s race. I have experience driving on the real VIR circuit and even won there and am hoping that will pay off for a better result this week. With VIR being such a special track to Michelin, it’s even more critical to me personally to do well on their behalf.”

Joel Miller. Photo courtesy Risi Competizione

“I am very excited to be a part of Risi Competizione for both this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race and the virtual IMSA iRacing race,” said Gounon, from Lyon, France. “Although I have not driven the VIR circuit for real, it’s a fun American circuit and I’ve been practicing with the team hoping to do well. It will be great to work with the Risi team again, even if it is virtually for now.”

Jules Gounon. Photo courtesy Risi Competizione

The virtual Michelin Presents IMSA iRacing at VIR race will take place with 50 drivers this Thursday, May 28 at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed live for 90 minutes on the iRacing YouTube, and Facebook channels. The voice of John Hindhaugh will lead the commentary team. The Torque Show with Tommy Kendall and Justin Bell will stream a pre-race show at 5 p.m. ET on its Facebook page. All times are Eastern.

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