Risi Competizione expects to return to action in its Ferrari 430 GT
Risi Competizione prepares to return to action in its Ferrari 430 GT in 2010. After extending its run of victories in the endurance classics to five - starting with the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans and including the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans - and finishing second in the GT2 team and driver championships in the American Le Mans Series, Team Manager Dave Sims reports on the team’s progress during the offseason.
Competition for Risi Competizione in the GT class remains strong. Are you expecting this season to more competitive than 2009? Who do you consider your toughest opponents?
“It’s going to be tougher than ever, for sure, because teams like Corvette Racing and BMW- who were new to the GT class in 2009 - are now fully up to speed and will be even stronger. Plus, of course, Flying Lizard who are always right there in terms of competitiveness, so I think our main opposition are those teams…like us, they all have a strong degree of continuity in their team and driver line ups which makes a big difference at the outset of a season. The new Ferrari team, Extreme Speed Motorsports, will I think need time to gel with the F430 but we know the car is good so it won’t take too long before they’re in the mix too. As part of the Ferrari family, we wish them all the best.”
What will fans see from the 2010 Ferrari 430 GT that they didn’t in 2009?
“The most visual difference is that it is a wider car with GT1-spec tires. There is a different front and rear spoiler and the bulge of the rear wheel arches is noticeable, to accommodate the bigger wheels. Under the skin, there are revisions and developments to many of the mechanical areas of the car including suspension and steering geometry.”
Will you be testing in the month of February to prepare the car for the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida?
“We will be doing a 12-hour test at Sebring prior to the official Wheels Down test days in February. The reason for that is that there are lots of new components in the 2010 Ferrari F430 and Sebring is the best place to test them. If anything is going to break, it will be at Sebring!
“Jaime has been working with Ferrari since the end of last season to develop the car for us and other teams in Europe to use this year, and his feedback is that the changes are going to make a positive difference. He seems to come alive in a racing car and, while some drivers find testing tedious, Jaime loves what he does…all good for us.”
Will the changes make Risi Competizione and the Ferrari 430 GT more competitive in the American Le Mans Series GT class?
“Yes, there will definitely be an improvement in competitiveness and we will also have an increase in power because of a bigger air restrictor. That, however, is countered by increased weight so it will be as close as ever at the top of the class. The power to weight ratio in the Ferrari is different to the big V8s in cars such as the Corvette; they’ve got more torque than us by a long chalk.
“Having said that, we know this car inside out and know how to get the best out of it at all the different tracks we visit. I’d say that it would be a foolish man (or woman) who underestimates Risi Competizione and the Ferrari F430.”