Risi Competizione and James Walker jr. set for St.Pete

Risi Competizione and James Walker jr. set for St.Pete

07.03.2019: ...for TC America Series with Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR James Walker, Jr. and the Risi Competizione bring the No. 34 Risi Competizione/ Hella Pagid Brake Systems Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR to St. Petersburg, Fla. for this week's SRO Motorsports Amer

...for TC America Series with Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR

James Walker, Jr. and the Risi Competizione bring the No. 34 Risi Competizione/ Hella Pagid Brake Systems Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR to St. Petersburg, Fla. for this week's SRO Motorsports America TC America Series.


Walker made his professional racing debut last weekend at Circuit of the Americas with two fourth places finishes in rounds 1 and 2 of the SRO Motorsports America championship series. Additionally, he won the "TC Quick Shyfter Award" for setting the fastest lap of the race in Race 2 on Sunday.

The streets of St. Pete will host Round 3 and 4 with two 40-minute races on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile street circuit, the first SRO appearance of the TCR global-spec cars. The race is part of the NTT IndyCar Series, celebrating its 15th year. The Pirelli GT4 America Sprint race will also be a support race of the dynamic race weekend, March 8-10.

Walker, of The Woodlands, Texas, drives the No. 34 Risi Competizione/ Hella Pagid Brake Systems Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR. He is off to a good start in 2019 while in pursuit of the TC America TCR championship for the full season.

Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:

Please give us a few of your thoughts on the inaugural race at COTA with the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR car and a preview look at this weekend's race at St. Pete:

"Risi as a team is still pretty new to the TCR cars and series. We've only had the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR car in our possession for approximately two weeks and for the majority of that time it's been in the transporter. Certainly having the Romeo Ferraris (car builder) support at CoTA helped progress the setup philosophy and helped James with some particulars on driving techniques specific to this platform. We gathered an immense amount of information throughout the event despite CoTA's weather being frigid cold. I'm pretty sure some of the setup items we worked through and solutions implemented at CoTA are unique to the arctic-like temperature conditions we endured.

"St. Pete will be a huge change in track layout and track conditions. It's a new track for James. We (Risi) have had success at St. Pete in the past with the Ferrari. We have a reasonable handle on what a car needs to be fast on the St. Pete street course. The TCR event is a support race for IndyCar so track time is condensed.

James will get very limited track time and we'll have to make aggressive setup changes between the two 35-minute sessions, qualifying and the two races. We have a reasonable 'tool box' of change and affect to pull from and we're continuously adding to that knowledge base. We're certainly looking forward to a more reasonable climate and temperate conditions to race in. We're optimistic for a solid result in St. Pete for James, the Alfa and this new TCR program."


James Walker, Jr., driver of the No. 34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR

James Walker, Jr., driver of the No. 34 Risi Competizione/Hella Pagid Brake Systems Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR: Share your thoughts on the series/season so far after your first race weekend:

"Our first race in TCR with SRO was a complete success.  In spite of the car's late arrival, our lack of practice time, and the miserable weather conditions, we accomplished all of our objectives.  We were racing for experience, not for position, and our lap times improved with each session as the weekend progressed.  While we did not reach the podium, we did set the fastest TCR race lap of the weekend on the final lap of Race 2.  It's a great confidence boost and a solid building block for St. Pete."

How do you like racing the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR?

"The car is a complete blast on track! It completed every lap without complaint, and never showed signs of slowing down. In fact, in each of the weekend's races, it was fastest on the final lap of the race. That's a testament to the car's incredible toughness and durability. I can't wait to take it to the next level as the season unfolds."

How do you get along with the Risi Competizione team?

"Our chemistry in the garage is fantastic.  They are consummate professionals in every way, and without exception they provide me with a car capable of being in the front of the pack each time we fire up the over-achieving 1.7-liter engine.  My engineering background allows us to exchange information on a very technical level, and as a result we are getting pretty good at reducing the iterations necessary to find the optimum setup for a given track condition.  I can't imagine racing with anyone else."

What you think about racing on the streets of St. Pete and at a tight street circuit?

 "Honestly, it's mildly intimidating, but I feel like we are up to the task. I have never driven on a street course before, but I just need to stay focused on the track itself and not the concrete barricades just inches away from the fiberglass fenders. Thankfully I have developed a sense of confidence in the car, so that will be one less variable to distract from the learning curve."

What proved to be the most helpful park of your first race?

Having the engineering team from Romeo Ferraris at COTA last weekend proved to be invaluable to the team. They very quickly addressed each and every question we had about the car, the setup, and the style of driving needed to get every last second out of the platform. Moving forward I see us collaborating with them frequently as we contribute to the success of their cars worldwide."


Barbara J. Burns- photos Risi Competizione

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/risi-competizione-james-walker-jr-st-pete-alfa-tcr---187453.html

07.03.2019 / MaP

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