Risi Competizione

Risi Competizione is an Italo-American auto racing Ferrari factory-backed team formed by Giuseppe Risi in 1997. Initially, the team had a partnership with Doyle Racing using the name Doyle-Risi Racing, but soon Giuseppe Risi took full control of the project and it was rebranded with its current name in 2000.[1] Risi Competizione has won races and championships in the IMSA GT championship, American Le Mans Series, and Rolex Sports Car Series, as well as earning three class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, 2008 and 2009. Much of Risi Competizione's success has come through the use of Ferrari machines.

United States Risi Competizione
Founded1997
Team principal(s)Giuseppe Risi
Current seriesWeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Former seriesAmerican Le Mans Series
IMSA GT Championship
Rolex Sports Car Series
Teams'
Championships
4 (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007)
Drivers'
Championships
2 (2002, 2007)

Racing history

Risi Competizione was initially created as a competition arm of Ferrari of Houston, a car dealership owned by Giuseppe Risi. Doyle Racing, wishing to replace their outdated Riley & Scott sports prototype, was able to use Risi's connection to Ferrari to purchase two new Ferrari 333 SPs. Risi in turn was able to promote his Houston dealership. The first of the team's 333 SPs was planned for use in the IMSA GT Championship, while the second was kept in Europe to prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to which the team had already been invited due to the success of Doyle Racing the previous year in IMSA.

Risi B2K40
One of a pair of Lola B2K/40-Nissans which Risi Competizione ran for Rand Racing in 2002
Maserati MC12 36643138
Under the Maserati Corse name, Risi ran a Maserati MC12 in the GT1 class of the American Le Mans Series.

The new partnership was able to quickly find success as the team won in only the second race of the season, drivers Wayne Taylor and Eric van de Poele earning victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In Europe for Le Mans, Taylor and Van de Poele were joined by Fermín Vélez, and although they were unable to win the race overall, they scored victory in their class with an eighth-place finish.[2] Back in the United States, Doyle-Risi earned their third victory of the year at the inaugural Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, winning the race overall against several teams they had competed against at Le Mans. With two victories for the year, Doyle-Risi won the team championship for the World Sports Car class, while Taylor was second and Van de Poele third in the drivers' championship.

Doyle-Risi opened the 1999 season by competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona, finishing the race in second place and only two laps behind the race winner. Doyle-Risi followed this by joining the American Le Mans Series, a replacement for the previous year's IMSA GT Championship. Both of their 333 SPs were entered for the full season. However, facing stiffer competition from Audi, BMW and Panoz, the team was unable to score any victories over the year, although they did score a season-best result of fourth at the Grand Prix of Atlanta. The team finished the season fourth in the LMP championship. Giuseppe Risi took full control of the team in 2000, rebranding it as Risi Competizione, and retained one of the 333 SPs from Doyle. Ralf Kelleners and Mimmo Schiattarella were signed, and Risi moved to the new Rolex Sports Car Series. The team earned two second-place finishes and scored fourth in the team championship. Schiattarella earned fourth in the drivers' championship, while Kelleners was sixth. In 2001, Risi entered a sole 333 SP at the 24 Hours of Daytona but failed to finish, and the team chose to not compete for the rest of the season.

During Risi's year away from competition, the company began development work on a competition version of the 360 Modena for Ferrari. Although busy with development, Risi agreed to a partnership with Rand Racing to run a pair of Nissan-powered Lola B2K/40 prototypes in the SRPII class of the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2002. The Rand-Risi team swept the ten-race season, winning their class in every event and clinching the championships. Meanwhile, Risi's 360 debuted in two of the final rounds of the American Le Mans Series season, earning podiums in their class for both races. For 2003, Risi's 360 was entered in the Daytona 24 Hours and earned second place overall, beating multiple faster prototypes. The team then moved permanently to the American Le Mans Series, running a pair of the new 360s. The team earned second place in their class championship, while Risi Competizione also returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time since their 1998 victory, finishing in 27th place. Risi continued their development of the 360 Modena into 2004, eventually upsetting the series' Porsche dominance with a victory in their class at the New England Grand Prix. Difficulties in completing races, however, led the team to eventually finish the year fifth in the championship.

Risi Ferrari F430
A Ferrari F430 GT2 campaigned by Risi Competizione in the 2007 American Le Mans Series season.
Risi Long Beach
The F430 of Harrison Brix and Patrick Friesacher during the 2008 Grand Prix of Long Beach

Now that their development of the 360 Modena was completed, Risi Competizione was chosen by Ferrari in 2005 to campaign another new car in the American Le Mans Series, this time the MC12 for Ferrari's sister brand Maserati. Running under the Maserati Corse name, the team earned several third-place finishes in their GT1 class, but due to the MC12 not complying with certain ACO & ALMS rules, the team was not able to be awarded any points in the class championship. The team returned to the GT2 class in 2006 running a replacement for the 360 Modena, the F430. Assigned factory Ferrari drivers Mika Salo and Jaime Melo, Risi Competizione earned four victories and eventually earned the team championship, although Salo finished ninth in the drivers' championship.

Risi improved over the next season, earning eight victories out of the twelve races in the American Le Mans Series, including the 12 Hours of Sebring. The team once again secured the team championship, while Salo and Melo share the drivers' championship. Both F430s also attended the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third time in the team's history, where a car used in partnership with Krohn Racing finished 17th overall and second in the GT2 class.

For Risi Competizione's 2008 campaign in the American Le Mans Series, two F430s were once again in use. The team's primary car is once again piloted by defending champions Salo and Melo. The second car is used in partnership with Krohn Racing for several races during the season, but driven by Patrick Friesacher and Harrison Brix for the remainder of the events. The Risi team finished 3rd in the ALMS GT2 championship behind Krohn Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports with Salo and Melo finishing 7th in the drivers championship.

Risi also entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second year in a row, entering a Salo and Melo along with Ferrari factory driver Gianmaria Bruni in their primary car, while Krohn Racing used Tracy Krohn, Niclas Jönsson, and Eric van de Poele in their cooperative entry. Although the Krohn entry was the first retirement of the race, the main Risi entry went on to take the GT2 class victory, 19th overall. This marked their second victory at Le Mans in four attempts.

Risi kicked off the 2009 American Le Mans Series season with a GT2 class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Continuing competition with drivers Mika Salo and Jaime Melo. Pierre Kaffer would join the team for the longer rounds. Risi would face fierce competition all season long ending the season with only one other win at the 2009 Petit Le Mans round. With those two wins, and many strong finishes, Risi would finish 2nd in the championship behind Flying Lizard Motorsports with 137 points.

For their third straight year, Risi Competizione received an invitation[3] and would compete in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans using the same driver lineup from their ALMS entry. Risi's F430 would once again overcome its rivals and take home the GT2 class victory with an 18th overall finish. Krohn Racing's F430 entered in partnership with Risi would finish 3rd in the GT2 class and 22nd overall.

In 2014, Risi competed in the GTLM class of the newly created United SportsCar Championship, running a Ferrari 458 Italia GTLM driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer. They took class victories at Road America and Virginia, finishing the championship in 6th in GTLM with 298 points.

The following year they continued to run with the same car and drivers in the 2015 United SportsCar Championship. They failed to pick up any class wins, finishing in 4th place in GTLM in the championship with 295 points.

In 2016, Risi used the new Ferrari 488 GTE in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a driver lineup of Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander, scoring a class win in the season finale and finishing 5th in the championship standings. Risi once again entered the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race where they were joined by Matteo Malucelli. The team finished second in their class.

Risi started the 2017 season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the same drivers and the same car. They repeated their Le Mans entry but failed to finish after being hit by a competitor from another class. After the 24 Hours of Le Mans, they temporarily withdrew from the IMSA series.

References

  1. ^ "History". Risi Competizione. Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  2. ^ "Non-Championship Races 1998". World Sports Racing Prototypes. 2005-10-01. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  3. ^ http://www.motorsport.com/alms/news/aco-prepares-for-2009-le-mans-with-first-invites/

External links

2002 Rolex Sports Car Series

The 2002 Grand American Road Racing Championship was the third season of the Rolex Sports Car Series run by the Grand American Road Racing Association. The season involved five classes: Sports Racing Prototype I and II (SRP-I and SRP-II), Grand Touring Sport (GTS), Grand Touring (GT), and American GT (AGT). 10 races were run from February 2, 2002 to November 10, 2002. Mont-Tremblant replaced Trois-Rivières. California Speedway replaced Lime Rock. Virginia International replaced Road America. The season also was marred by the death of Jeff Clinton during the Nextel 250 race.

2006 American Le Mans Series

The 2006 American Le Mans Series season was the 36th season for the IMSA GT Championship, with the eighth as the American Le Mans Series. It was a series for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) and Grand Touring (GT) race cars divided into 4 classes: LMP1, LMP2, GT1, and GT2. It began March 18, 2006, and ended October 21, 2006 after 10 races.

2007 American Le Mans Series

The 2007 American Le Mans Series season was the 37th season for the IMSA GT Championship, with the ninth labeled as the American Le Mans Series. It was a series for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) and Grand Touring (GT) race cars divided into 4 classes: LMP1, LMP2, GT1, and GT2. It began March 17, 2007, and ended October 20, 2007 after 12 races. It was the league's longest season since 2000.

2008 American Le Mans Series

The 2008 American Le Mans Series season was the 38th season for the IMSA GT Championship, with the tenth season known as the American Le Mans Series. It was a series for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) and Grand Tourer (GT) race cars divided into four classes: LMP1, LMP2, GT1, and GT2. It began March 15 and ended October 18 after eleven races.

The Audi Sport North America team wrapped up its title defence of LMP1 class Teams Championship with three races in hand after the Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio in August. Drivers Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr also secured the Drivers Championship after the Detroit Sports Car Challenge. It was a record fifth ALMS drivers title for Luhr and a fourth for Werner.

The Petit Le Mans saw the drivers title for GT1 decided with Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell taking the title while Jörg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler likewise secured the GT2 drivers championship. It was O'Connell's fourth GT1 title and Bergmeisters third GT2 title.

2008 Petit Le Mans

The 2008 Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New Mazda6 was the eleventh running of the Petit Le Mans and the tenth round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, United States of America on October 4, 2008. This race marked the first time that the American Le Mans Series awarded victors in their Green Challenge, in preparation for a full championship in the 2009 season.

2009 12 Hours of Sebring

The 2009 Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring was the 57th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring and the opening round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at the Sebring International Raceway, Florida on March 21, 2009. Three new cars made their debut at Sebring: Audi's diesel R15 TDI, Acura's first LMP1 entry the ARX-02a, and the return of the BMW M3 to the GT2 category. It was also the last time GT1 category raced at the event.

Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Rinaldo Capello won, Audi's ninth Sebring victory in eleven attempts, and set several event records in the process. Peugeot fell 22 seconds short of the winning Audi. While Acura's LMP1s failed to survive for twelve hours, their lone LMP2 entry was the sole finisher in the category and earned Fernández Racing their first ALMS victory. The GT1 category was fought amongst only the two Corvette Racing cars, while GT2's battle of manufacturers was won by Ferrari and the Risi Competizione team.

2009 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 24 Heures du Mans 2009) was the 77th Grand Prix of Endurance, an endurance auto race run over 24 hours. It took place at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, and was organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) over 13–14 June 2009 and was started by Fiat and Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo at 15:00 local time (13:00 UTC). A test day was initially scheduled for 31 May that year, but was canceled by the ACO due to economic concerns. The race was attended by 234,800 spectators.Peugeot succeeded in winning the race in the third year of the 908 HDi FAP program with drivers David Brabham, Marc Gené, and Alexander Wurz driving the No. 9 car for 382 laps; an all-French driving squad secured second place for Peugeot as well. Audi, who had won eight of the last ten Le Mans, finished third in their new R15 TDI. Team Essex gave Porsche their second LMP2 victory in a row, while the American Corvette Racing team earned their first GT1 win since 2006. Risi Competizione Ferrari led the GT2 category for their second straight victory in the class.

2009 American Le Mans Series

The 2009 American Le Mans Series season was the 39th season for the IMSA GT Championship, with it being the eleventh season with the American Le Mans Series moniker. It began on March 21, 2009, and ended on October 10, 2009 after ten events. The series was composed of Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) and Grand Tourer (GT) race cars divided into four classes: LMP1, LMP2, GT1, and GT2. A fifth category, known as the Challenge class, was also added for select races and featured Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars from the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge. 2009 was also the final year for GT1, with Corvette Racing abandoning the class after Long Beach and switching over to much more competitive GT2 (renamed GT) class.

This was the first time that the Michelin Green X Challenge championship was used throughout a full ALMS season after its initial introduction at the 2008 Petit Le Mans. Two champions were determined by the entry which is the most efficient over the season within the LMP and GT categories.Patrón Highcroft Racing duo David Brabham and Scott Sharp won the main LMP1 standings, holding off De Ferran Motorsports pairing Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud at the final round of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Adrian Fernández and Luis Díaz won the LMP2 title, in the final season of Fernández Racing, who closed at the end of the 2009 season. In GT2, Flying Lizard Motorsports' Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister won six races en route to the championship title. Husband-and-wife Martin and Melanie Snow won the inaugural GT Challenge class title, that ran at half of the season's ten races.

2010 12 Hours of Sebring

The 58th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida was the 2010 running of the 12 Hours of Sebring and the opening round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at the Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida on March 20, 2010. The race featured the debut of the Le Mans Prototype Challenge category for spec racing.

The duo of LMP1s from Peugeot won the race by a three lap margin over fellow European manufacturer Aston Martin, earning the company their first victory at Sebring. Winning drivers Marc Gené and Alexander Wurz had previously won the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans for Peugeot, and were joined by Anthony Davidson for the Sebring win. The LMP2 category was won by Team Cytosport, the first class victory for the team, while the new LMPC category was led by Level 5 Motorsports who had a 16 lap margin over their nearest competitor. Risi Competizione Ferrari won their second straight GT2 class at Sebring, while returning American Le Mans team Alex Job Racing won the first participation for the GTC class at the 12 Hours.

2010 American Le Mans Series

The 2010 American Le Mans Series season was the 40th overall season for the IMSA GT Championship, and the twelfth as the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. It was also the first season in which the ALMS used a revised structure for its four classes, as well as the first year in a three-year sponsorship deal with Patrón. The season began with the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 20 and ended with the Petit Le Mans on October 2, completing nine total races.

The senior class, LMP, the new combination class of the old LMP1 and LMP2 classes, saw defending LMP1 champions Patrón Highcroft Racing with defending champion driver David Brabham and new teammate Simon Pagenaud took a 23-point victory in their Honda over Porsche driver Klaus Graf. The other carry over category GT (the former GT2 class) Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche duo of Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister successfully defended their class championship over Risi Competizione Ferrari driver Gianmaria Bruni. There was no GT1 category left in the series.

In the two spec-racer classes Scott Tucker of Level 5 Motorsports was the dominant driver in the LMP Challenge class, winning five of the nine races in the class' first full season. After debuting for half of the 2009 season, the new GT Challenge class saw the Black Swan Racing Porsche of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Tim Pappas claim the class victory.

2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America

The 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America is the thirtieth season of the United States Auto Club's Blancpain GT World Challenge America. It is the first under Blancpain sponsorship, taking over from the longtime Pirelli sponsorship, as part of a standardization of names of Stéphane Ratel Organisation-run GT3 sprint racing series globally, following the series' acquisition by the SRO Motorsports Group. The season began on 2 March in Austin and ends on 20 October in Las Vegas.

Davide Rigon

Davide Rigon (born 26 August 1986) is an Italian professional racing driver. Rigon is currently part of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One test driver team.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Giancarlo Fisichella (Italian pronunciation: [dʒaŋˈkarlo fiziˈkɛlla]; born 14 January 1973), also known as Fisico, Giano or Fisi, is an Italian professional racing driver. He has driven in Formula One for Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India and Ferrari. Since then he has driven for AF Corse in their Ferrari 458 GTE at various sportscar events, becoming twice a Le Mans 24 Hour class winner, and a GT class winner of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. He was also Ferrari's F1 reserve driver for 2010.

Fisichella won three races in his Formula One career, the first of which was at the chaotic 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, a race abandoned for safety reasons with 15 laps remaining. After several days of confusion regarding rules and technicalities, Fisichella was eventually declared the winner in the following week, and collected his trophy in an unofficial ceremony at the following race. He was brought into the Renault team to replace fellow Italian Jarno Trulli, and won his first race with the team in Australia in 2005. However, after that race it was his teammate, the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, that would win the greater share of races for Renault. Although highly rated as a driver, Fisichella was unable to keep pace with eventual champion Alonso, managing just one further race win following his debut. Outside of driving, he has backed his own GP2 team, FMS International.

On 17 June 2012 Fisichella won the GTE Pro division of the Le Mans 24hrs for AF Corse and followed this up with the Manufacturers' title in the WEC at the end of the season.

Jaime Melo

Jaime Melo, also known as Jaime Melo, Jr. (born 24 April 1980), is a Brazilian professional racing driver best known for his success in grand tourers as Ferrari driver. In 2006 he won the FIA GT Championship in the GT2 class driving for AF Corse and the next year he did the same at the American Le Mans Series for Risi Competizione, where he currently drives. Melo has collected GT2 class wins at the 2008 and 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2009 24 Hours of Spa, the 2007, 2009 and 2010 12 Hours of Sebring and the 2008 and 2009 Petit Le Mans among other endurance race wins.

For 2012, Melo competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship, driving for Luxury Racing in GTE-Pro.

Niclas Jönsson

Niclas ("Nic") Jönsson (born August 4, 1967, Bankeryd) is a Swedish racing driver, currently driving in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He drove in the Indy Racing League in the 1999 and 2000 seasons with 4 career starts. His best career IRL finish was in 12th position in the 2000 Delphi Indy 200 held at Walt Disney World Speedway. He made one NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity Series) start at Montreal in August 2007, he started 8th, led five laps, and finished 12th in the #28 car for Jay Robinson Racing.

In 2009 he was hired by USF1 team owner Ken Anderson as a test driver for the fledgling American Formula 1 team.

Pierre Kaffer

Pierre Kaffer (born 7 November 1976 in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Rhineland-Palatinate) is a race driver from Germany, currently living in Switzerland.

Quaker State

Quaker State is an American brand of motor oil produced by SOPUS Products, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, and the successor of the Pennzoil-Quaker State Company. In 2002, Shell Oil Co., a wholly owned member of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, acquired Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. for $1.8 billion in cash and $1.1 billion in debt.The Quaker State name is derived from the nickname for Pennsylvania, the state founded by William Penn, a man of the Quaker religion.

The company sponsored the IndyCar race, Quaker State 500 (now known as the ABC Supply 500) in 1988, and is a current sponsor of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Quaker State was also the sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports from 1996 to 2013 (Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne) and Paul Menard; the company was also formerly the sponsor of Morgan Shepherd. Quaker State was also official lubricants partner of Italo-American Ferrari-works team Risi Competizione in 2004 until 2008. Quaker State is currently sponsoring the Force India Formula One team for 2015 and Allen "Quaker" Ellis for the 2016 Taekwondo US National Olympic Team.The restaurant chain Quaker Steak & Lube is a spoof on the company name.

Toni Vilander

Toni Markus Vilander (born 25 July 1980) is a Finnish professional racing driver who currently drives for the Risi Competizione Ferrari team in various categories of sports car racing.

After a single-seater career which reached the level of the GP2 Series in 2005, Vilander switched to GT racing. He has had numerous success with AF Corse, winning the 2012 and 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans LMGTE-PRO class races with former grand prix drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni, and also the GT2 class championship within the FIA GT Championship in 2007 and 2008.

Tracy Krohn

Tracy W. Krohn (born August 26, 1954 in Houston, Texas) is an entrepreneur and auto racing enthusiast who was a new addition to the 2006 Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, at #320.

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