ALMS – Risi Ferrari in the points in Baltimore Grand Prix
Maranello, 4 September – The Risi Competizione 458 Italia GT2 Ferrari, crewed by Jaime Melo and Toni Vilander finished the race around the streets of Baltimore in sixth place, having fought their way through the field after starting from the back of the grid. The American Le Mans Series’ first visit to this track attracted a big crowd of over 150,000 who were treated to an action packed race. Melo and Vilander had to start from the back, having been penalised for a collision with another car during Friday’s qualifying, but the experienced crew was able to turn the situation around during the two hour sprint race. Toni Vilander started, keeping out of trouble, avoiding the many accidents that characterised the first Baltimore Grand Prix. The Finn moved up to fourth, but with just 25 minutes after the start, he was slowed with a gearbox problem, losing two places. Because of the gearbox problem, Jaime Melo was unable to move up the order, finishing sixth in class, picking up important championship points. “Second gear, vital on a track with so many slow corners, was not working properly when I got in the car, so I tried to do what I could to minimise the problem,” commented the Brazilian later. “Team morale is still high, even if the result did not live up to our expectations. Our next goal is to try and win the last two races at Laguna Seca and the Petit Le Mans.” The Extreme Speed Motorsport 458 Italia GT2, in the hands of Sharp-Van Overbeek, finished ninth, followed home by its sister car crewed by Brown-Cosmo.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series, the eighth of ten, takes place on 25 September at Laguna Seca.