|Risi's Rick Mayer (left): "With this same core group of drivers, they’ve all won these long races and they know what it’s like to keep your pace and really watch their mirrors."|
It takes a special kind of team to even win one of the world’s great endurance classics – the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. To win four in succession is about as tough and as rare as it gets. Risi Competizione enters the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 with eyes toward a mind-blowing fifth consecutive endurance victory.
Jaime Melo, Pierre Kaffer and Mika Salo already have won at Sebring and Le Mans this season in Risi’s Ferrari F430 GT. Melo and Salo are the defending GT2 winners at Road Atlanta, and they won at Sebring and Le Mans in 2008 with Gianmaria Bruni.
“A lot of our fortune has been others’ misfortune," said Risi technical director Rick Mayer. “With this same core group of drivers, they’ve all won these long races and they know what it’s like to keep your pace and really watch their mirrors."
He is, of course, referring to the traffic that no doubt will play a role at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit that winds over, down, around and through the foothills of North Georgia. With 17 prototypes on the grid, the key is to stay clean.
“It’s one of those situations where you can control what you do but can’t control the actions of others," Mayer said. “In the past we have used a spotter at the top of the Esses, and last year we even had one in the grandstands at Turn 1 to tell the guys when the prototypes were coming. With the number of prototypes this year, it will be even more of an issue I’m sure."