View Full Version : Risi Fight Through To Superb Second At Mosport

30th August 2010, 13:06

After yesterday’s dramas within Risi Competizione, with major incidents and illnesses involving cars and drivers, today’s Mobil 1 Presents The Grand Prix of Mosport was thankfully, and blissfully, trouble free for the Houston-based team. It wasn’t quite so trouble free for the organisers, however, and the event finished behind the Safety Car 26 minutes earlier than scheduled following a massive crash involving a GTC Porsche. That car’s driver, like Risi’s Pierre Kaffer yesterday, was fortunate to walk away unscathed.

Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni drove a superbly judged race to take the No. 62 Pennzoil Ultra sponsored Ferrari F430 GTC from the back of the starting grid through to second place in the manufacturer-led GT class behind the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long.

The result means the Italian retains his second place in the Drivers’ championship and has pulled away slightly from the BMW drivers. Both Ferrari and Risi remain in third place in the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ title battles, 12 points behind Porsche/Flying Lizard Motorsport respectively. With 30 points available for the ALMS finale, Petit Le Mans, in a month’s time, the championship is still very much in play.

With Bruni’s regular team mate Jaime Melo being incapacitated by illness this weekend, the team was extremely fortunate to be able to call upon the talents and experience of Finn Toni Vilander. He became available after the withdrawal of the No. 61 car following a practice accident yesterday and, together, with Bruni, couldn’t have done a better job in securing the eventual result. A victory was almost within the team’s grasp but the final pit stop saw the Risi team narrowly beaten out of the pits by the winning Porsche, despite the Ferrari team’s decision to take just left side tires rather than a full set.

Given the run up to the race, Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi was delighted with the outcome. “Our drivers did a tremendous job today after starting from the back. They passed everyone for position under green flags and not yellow, had a very clean race and stayed out of trouble. They also nursed their tires well to get the best out of them. I think we would have had the legs on the Porsche had the race re-started.”

Gimmi Bruni: “I’m really happy with the result considering we started next to the ambulance! I’m not disappointed. We had a nice battle and fights with the best teams out there, and it was fun racing with Jörg but I just couldn’t get by. I tried a few times, inside and outside, but he closed the door as you would expect. In the last few laps I had some traffic, lost a bit and then was catching him again but had the red flag. We had changed just two tires in our last pit stop to try and beat the No. 45 out but we couldn’t. It was close, but unfortunately they were just ahead.”

Toni Vilander: “It’s a nice way to finish a very busy few months for me. The last few days have been full of ups and downs and I want to dedicate the result to the whole Risi Competizione team and thank Ferrari for the trust shown in me. When I was told I was going to drive the No.62 car, I just used the rest of the time to get as comfortable as possible with the crew around me, and to get the best result possible. We only lost the race by a very small difference, and I hope to continue to race again with Risi as it was a great experience.

“The car was running really strong in my stint. There were some corners where I could really eat up the gap to get to the drivers in front, and some other corners where we were really equal. I just didn’t want to take too many risks but once I decided to overtake a car I just went for it. It worked out well and the car kept running well in the first hour with just a bit of tire performance drop off towards the end. That was because I had had to push and overtake cars and maybe took some more out of the tires.”

30th August 2010, 13:07
Car count will likely come into play here as with the other shorter tracks. This will be another GT2 war with the Porsches, BMWs and Corvettes all having a basis for good starting setups. Top speed will be important here as it’s difficult to pass. You need to balance top speed with high speed corner grip which gets better with downforce.

The track: Mosport’s a 2.46 mile track with mostly high speed corners. This track is super easy on brakes as the corner sequence is in decreasing speed to the braking zones; you never threshold brake. The track surface is bumpy in an undulating way, not harsh and abrupt like a street circuit. The apex patches will change the grip throughout the corner and the ideal line will depend on where the grip is, and how bad last winter was which affects the paving. Rain will further complicate the ideal grip line. We should see 260 Kph (160 mph) on the uphill back strait. Curbs don’t really come into play here, they’re not very usable. You don’t want to go off track here as there’s very little runoff relative to the speed of the corners. History shows if you go off track the car is usually damaged.

Setup: With the long strait being important, you would like to run low down force but you lose so much on the other sections it ends up being a quicker lap with a moderately high down force setup. Saying that, you still need to be conscious of strait line speed to our competitors. The mainly fast corners, with little requirement for low speed power down, suit a stiffer setup (anti-roll bars and springs). A stiffer setup gets you into, through and off the faster corners better by maintaining the down force more constantly - pitch control. Keeping the car from getting too light over the crests is also a setup concern. A stiffer setup also allows the car to be run lower without damaging the floors from hitting the track, not as much of an advantage this year with the higher minimum legislated ride heights. Damper work will help on the undulating bumps and entrance and exit platform stability, but dampers aren’t as important as they are at bumpy circuits. Mosport is the easiest track on brakes we go to. We’ll run a lot of brake blocking here to keep temperature in them. The brakes generally over-cool here as there are no hard braking zones. This track is treacherous in the rain and we’ll have to sort a wet setup…it usually rains during either testing or the race!

The Race: Expect long full course cautions here as off track excursions rarely happen without substantial damage. Hopefully this won’t jinx us, but Risi Competizione has been very successful here in the past few years; we’ve won three years out of the last four at Mosport. The Porsches, Corvettes and BMWs will be super tough to beat here, but the long high speed corners certainly favor the Ferrari. In the past we’ve been best at the “out of country” events. Let’s hope history repeats this time. Our Road America bad luck needs to stop as we try and salvage championship hopes.