Risi announces Melo and Bruni
Endurance racing champion Risi Competizione will boast a championship-winning GT driver lineup for its assault on the forthcoming 2010 American Le Mans Series season, it announced today.
|Gia Bruni and Jaime Melo|
In reuniting 2007 Series champion Jaime Melo with 2008 FIA GT champion Gianmaria Bruni, the Houston-based Ferrari team will front one of the strongest pairings in GT racing today.
The Brazilian/Italian partnership, which drove together to victory for Risi in the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans, have formed the backbone of the development program for the Ferrari F430 GT. Their return to the American Le Mans Series with that huge, combined amount of experience will be vital for success in an increasingly competitive and high-profile GT class.
Melo, 29, will be starting his fifth season with the team, and his racing CV speaks for itself. The 28-year-old Bruni is well known to the American series having competed for Risi in a number of 2007 races as well as at Sebring and Le Mans the following year. Both drivers are based in Rome, Italy, and will also be competing together in the European-based Le Mans Series, so their in-car synchronicity and unity as a driving partnership will be roundly developed as the season progresses.
Risi Competizione’s Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, said of his new pairing. “I’m delighted to be able to secure two such talented drivers and, together with Ferrari SpA, we have just one aim in mind: to reclaim the American Le Mans Series championship titles. Jaime is very much part of the Risi family, and we are sure that Gianmaria’s extremely successful couple of seasons in Europe will transfer to the United States.
“This will be our fifth and final season with the F430 GT and, while we are all very much looking forward to the introduction of the new Ferrari 458 in the future, we want to close this particular chapter of the 430 book with style - by winning.”
A third, endurance driving partner will be announced in due course, together with further details on Risi Competizione’s plans for the 2010 American Le Mans Series.
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED.
The annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for February 22-23, also at Sebring International Raceway.
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