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The finish from Jaime Melo’s seat
It was two weeks ago today that the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring saw its closest finish in its now 55-year history. Jaime Melo and his Risi Competizione Ferrari beat Flying Lizard’s Jörg Bergmeister and his Porsche by 0.202 seconds. The battle begins anew today at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. Here are Melo’s thoughts on Sebring and his prediction for today’s street race.

Q: You obviously knew the Porsche was coming strong on the last few laps. The slide at the hairpin really tightened it up. Did you believe all along that you would be able to hold off Jörg?

I didn’t know. It was very hard because I had no brakes and he was quicker than me at that time. I just tried to drive quickly and defensively.

Q: Jörg has said he thought the pass coming out of the final turn was dangerous. Do you disagree? Why or why not? How would things have been different if the roles were reversed?

No, because we are racing drivers and this is part of racing. I think that Jörg would have challenged just as strongly but I think that I would have chosen a slightly different line in the last turn.

Q: Were you surprised that the Porsche was as strong as it was, given that this was the first major endurance race for a new car?

I am not surprised but we did have some issues of our own that might have changed the situation at the end of the race if they had not occurred.

Q: Porsche is unbeaten on street circuits in the American Le Mans Series and today marks the first of three straight street venues. Does the Ferrari have the necessary performance to end that dominance?

I think that the Ferrari is much better than last year. We had some problems on street circuits but I think that we have made some progress in those areas. Therefore I think that we are going to be able to strongly challenge the Porsches.

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