Risi Competizione, teams with Godstone for 2013 Grand-Am season. Founded in 1998, Risi Competizione campaigned a Ferrari 333SP through 2001, winning first in class in Le Mans and overall winner in the inaugural Petit Le Mans. In 2002, they competed with Lola SRPII prototypes, finishing third overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona (first in class) en route to winning every race that year and the SRP Championship.
2007 was a dream season with 8 GT2 class victories leading to a second consecutive ALMS Teams’ Championship and first Drivers’ Championship, including an incredible result at the Twelve Hours of Sebring which saw Jaime Melo cross the finish line 0.202 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher – the closest finish in race history. 2008 proved to be a challenging year in terms of results, although victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mosport and Petit Le Mans helped keep the team firmly in its competitors’ sights.
An historic winning streak in the endurance majors was maintained through 2009, with further successes at Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans partly compensating for lack of wins in the increasingly competitive, manufacturer-led GT2 class. Strong podium finishes, however, meant that Risi Competizione/Ferrari were runner up in the Teams, Drivers and Manufacturers title chases at the season’s end.
In the 2010 season, the team set one new qualifying record (at Long Beach). Of the ten races entered, Risi Competizione won 3 of them (Sebring, Utah, Mid-Ohio). The car went out while in the front of its class at Le Mans and dropped two places from the lead in the last lap at Petit Le Mans with a fueling problem. In terms of Majors, Risi Comp added another Sebring victory in 2010 (its third win there with the 430) and had a real shot at Le Mans and a very painful loss at Petit Le Mans. Instead of closing the 430 Era (2006-2010) with a potential total of 9 Majors, Risi Competizione won 7 (3x Sebring, 2x Le Mans, 2x Petit Le Mans). The fact that three teams entered the last race of the year with a chance to win a title of some type is an indication of precisely how close the competition was in 2010.
It didn’t prove to be any easier in 2011, when the team raced the all-new Ferrari 458 Italia GT. With little testing time available before the start of the season, it was only a parts failure in the ninth hour that prevented a dream debut result at the 12 Hours Sebring. Two podium finishes in the next three races showed the car’s potential, and an inaugural North American win in the 4-hour Road America race was claimed in front of Ferrari’s CEO and fellow directors.