Risi Ferrari team announces new driver lineup
Risi Competizione is pleased to announce that former Formula One driver, Patrick Friesacher, and Grand-Am regular, Harrison Brix, will be joining the team for the 2008 American Le Mans Series from St Petersburg onwards.
The Austrian-American pairing will be driving the no. 61 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT alongside their Championship-winning team mates, Jaime Melo and Mika Salo, and both drivers will be making their debut in the world’s most buoyant racing series.
Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, commented: “We’re delighted to have Harrison Brix and Patrick Friesacher racing with Risi Competizione. Anyone who has followed Risi over the last few years knows that while the driver lineup for the No. 62 car has been quite constant, we have faced a more fluid situation with the drivers in the No. 61 car. In 2008, we have solidified that situation, with Tracy Krohn and Nic Jönsson driving with us at major events like Sebring and Le Mans, and Harrison and Patrick piloting for us in the heart of the American Le Mans Series schedule. Their addition to Risi Competizione’s driver lineup for 2008 continues with our strategic emphasis on consistency and continuity, and enables us to build on the strong competitive foundation we’ve built with the Ferrari 430GTC over the last two years.”
Friesacher, 27, from Wolfsberg in Austria, comes from a successful open-wheel background in Europe which brought him to the attention of the Minardi Formula One team and led to his participation in the 2005 FIA World Championship. It will, however, be his first experience of driving a GT sportscar.
Patrick Friesacher: “It’s a great challenge for me, and the start of a new future for me. The ALMS is a very professional series which operates at a very high level in motorsport, and I’m really happy that I can join Risi Competizione which is a great team. I think we can have a great future together.”
Harrison Brix, also 27 years of age, started his racing career just six years ago but has enjoyed a rapid rise to a high level of competition since, mostly recently competing in the Grand-Am Rolex Series with Cheever Racing. The San Jose, California resident is wholly serious about his racing commitments, but combines it with his role as an executive with Silicon Valley-based American Wireless. Brix also sits on the Board of Directors of The Brix Group which is one of the largest wireless and car audio distributors in the US.
Harrison Brix: “It’s a very unique opportunity to join a team which has just won the Championship and I’m excited about it. Coming into the ALMS is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and I hadn’t gotten the opportunity before now. When this chance presented itself, I made sure it happened. I’m really looking forward to St Petersburg; I’ve never raced there but going into the first race is going to be really exciting for me.”
A racing connection of note is that Risi’s Team Manager, Dave Sims, worked with Harrison’s father, Harry, and ran Brix South Racing in the 1994 IMSA World Sportscar Championship.
Houston-based Risi Competizione enters the 2008 ALMS as defending GT2 Drivers, Teams and Manufacturers (Ferrari) Champions, having won eight races from the twelve rounds in the 2007 series.