Risi Competizione post 24 Hours of Le Mans - notes and quotes

Risi Competizione post 24 Hours of Le Mans - notes and quotes

21.09.2020: Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro No. 82: Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Olivier Pla (FRA)


Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro No. 82:     Sebastien Bourdais (FRA)
                                                                                        Olivier Pla (FRA)
                                                                                        Jules Gounon (FRA)

 

The No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 LM GTE-Pro entry of French driving trio Sébastien Bourdais, Olivier Pla and Jules Gounon did not quite achieve the victory or podium they sought in the 88th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but finished in the fourth position in the GTE-Pro class.
 


The American Risi squad started from eighth place in class and managed to claw its way up to third just after the halfway point in the very competitive GTE-Pro class before having a damper failure that made their podium dreams evaporate.
 


The lovely No. 82 red Ferrari 488 GTE previously had only competed at this year's running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January before being dusted off, prepped and shipped to Le Mans for the delayed twice-around-the-clock endurance classic race this month. Giuseppe Risi had tapped an all-French driver line-up in support of his collaboration with the Ferrari Club of France.
 


This Risi Ferrari endurance racing team, who has been competing at Le Mans over two decades, started the week with both Bourdais and Pla still needing to learn the ins and outs of the Italian make. Gounon had a head start, having made his Le Mans debut with the Risi Competizione team in the Ferrari 488 last year. They all hustled up to speed in practice and were set to task in the race.
 


The first 12 hours of the race went to plan with a rotation through the drivers with mostly double stints being performed. Their luck ran out with a right front damper (shock absorber) failure after the 13th hour, which sent Bourdais into the gravel trap. He was able to escape and return to the pits for repairs by the Risi squad.



That incident was followed by a subsequent brake lock-up resulting in a flat spotted tire which required an additional pit stop to change. Those two inflictions were the major issues that relegated the Houston, Texas-based Ferrari team to a sixth-place class position. Throughout the balance of the race and through other race incidents with fellow competitors, the No. 82 Risi Ferrari team was able to climb up to a fourth place GTE-Pro class finish and 23rd overall.

 

 

 

(L-R) Drivers Olivier Pla, Sébastien Bourdais and Jules Gounon, were the all-star French trio piloting the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro 2020 Le Mans entry




 
QUOTES:


Rick Mayer, Risi Competizione Race Engineer:




"It was a tough race and we started on the back foot from the beginning. We came into a shortened event with a lot of new equipment and new drivers. We got up to speed pretty well on the abbreviated test days. We were fairly decent in the race. All the drivers did a fantastic job and were up to speed.



We had some issues with some components that put us back in the garage. We got hurt by pretty much all the slow zones and safety cars and when you have that you go backwards. We could never make it up. Hopefully next year we can come back and attack it at a different angle."




Olivier Pla, driver No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 LM GTE-Pro:



"At the end it was a good race, especially with Sébastien and me just discovering the car on Thursday of this week with no real preparation to know what we could expect. We all worked to get the best with what we had and that's what we did. The car ran well. We had an issue with a broken damper and had to change the rear wing on the car, along with a few other small things.



Considering the lack of time for preparation due to the Covid situation at the moment we couldn't prepare to do this race like we would have liked so we did the best we could. P4 at the end is a very good result. I want to thank Giuseppe for his confidence, the team, and also the Ferrari Club of France for putting the program together. And thanks to Jules and Sébastien. They have been fantastic teammates and I hope we can do it again next year."

 

 
Sébastien Bourdais, driver No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 LM GTE-Pro:




"It was an interesting 24-hour experience. We started a bit on the back foot but seemed to be picking up really good pace in the night. Unfortunately, we had a damper failure which really set us back and kind of took us out of contention. That was very unfortunate because up until that time it looked like everything was possible.



I think all the drivers did a really good job. Jules was very impressive. I think Olivier and I struggled a bit more with the car but we still pushed really hard and did some interesting laps times.
 


"In one way, it's a bit of a bittersweet moment because it feels like everybody did the best we could and we just got quite unlucky with mechanical issues. Unfortunately, when you have mechanical problems at Le Mans you just can't overcome the loss of time. Once the damper issue was done, we had a lot of wheel gun issues and couldn't remove the rear tires, so that was a shame. Overall, we could also be like the No. 71 (AF Corse Ferrari GTE-Pro car) and have a mechanical issue one lap from the end and not be classified as completing the race.



You have to always put things back in perspective at Le Mans. I think it was not the way we wanted to have this edition but we'll take what's ours, which is that fourth place. I want to thank everybody at the Ferrari France Club, Mr. Risi and the entire team for giving us the opportunity. I had a really good time with Jules and Olivier. You never know, maybe we'll get to work together again."

 

Jules Gounon, driver No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 LM GTE-Pro:


"Unfortunately, we ended up P4 and missed a little bit too much time in the pits to portend for a podium. It was a great race though and we showed good pace for a team that doesn't race all along through the year. We were close to teams who do race regularly. It was amazing for me to share the car with Seb and Olivier, that were my childhood heroes. I would like to thank Giuseppe Risi for his confidence in putting me in the car again and I hope I can drive many more years for him. Also, thanks to the team for a great job in the pits and with the car."

 


The Risi Competizione Ferrari team has not yet announced any further racing plans for 2020 at this time.
 

 


Barbara J. Burns

    

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/risi-competizione-post-24h-le-mans-notes-quotes---212970.html

21.09.2020 / MaP

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