Risi Competizione leads after the first six hours at Le Mans

Risi Competizione leads after the first six hours at Le Mans

18.06.2016: Rain again plays its part in the early stages of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race

Rain again plays its part in the early stages of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race
 



Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro No. 82: Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA)
                                                                                      Toni Vilander (FIN)
                                                                                      Matteo Malucelli (ITA)

 


After the first six hours of action in the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours, the number 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro was leading what was proving to be an exciting battle for the class on the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe.


When the race began at 15.00 hours it was Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) who was at the wheel of the car in very difficult conditions.

 
Due to a heavy rain storm half an hour before the race start, the first seven laps were run under the safety car with film star Brad Pitt, the 'guest' starter, flagging the cars off the grid.


The safety car stayed out for just over 50 minutes and about 15 minutes later Fisichella, who had started on full wets, pitted for slicks and fuel at the end of lap 12.


When the car, which was in fourth, pitted again at the end of lap 24, just after 17.00, for fuel he stayed on these tires and went out for a triple stint.


 Second in the car at the end of lap 38, at about 18.00, was Toni Vilander (FIN), who then came in for his first pit stop for fuel at the end of lap 52 while in the lead of the GTE-Pro class.


 He did a double stint before Matteo Malucelli (ITA) took over from him when the team refueled and put on new slicks at the end of lap 66, just before 20.00, and he rejoined the race in fourth.


When he pitted for the first time after 80 laps for fuel only he was in third place in class. At 21.00 hours after 82 laps he was leading the Fords by four seconds.




 Giancarlo Fisichella started the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro car



Giancarlo Fisichella, driver, No. 82 Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro:


"At the beginning, after the safety car, the tire pressures were too high and the car was moving around, so I was struggling in the wet conditions.


I decided to change to slicks at the right moment and then the car was well balanced. The track was green, but it was the same for everybody and I think I was one of the quickest on the circuit and I was catching the leaders.


Then we overtook them in the pit stop and the Risi Competizione crew did a fantastic job, as usual. There is still a long way to go, but that was a good start."
 



Toni Vilander, driver, No. 82 Ferrari 488 GTE-Pro:


"The conditions out there were pretty stable,with just a few slow zones during my two-hour stint.


The traffic was pretty good, but I had a slight contact with a GTE-Am Corvette after Indianapolis (turn), but I think it was just bodywork against bodywork. I had a battle over a few laps with the Ford, but it seems like they have a lot of pace.


It will be very, very tough to beat them, although it is a 24-hour race. So far the car is running really well and the pit crew is doing an awesome job, so we keep moving forward."
 




This is the Risi Competizione team's seventh time competing at Le Mans. The  first visit for the Houston (USA) based team was in 1998, its last in 2010 and between those years it won three times.



Barbara J. Burns - photos Risi Competizione

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/risi-competizione-leads-first-six-hours-24h-le-mans---150835.html

18.06.2016 / MaP

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