Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Road America 2013 ALMS: Risi Competizione Ferrari

Regular readers had to know this car gets its own post.  Risi Competizione reminds me of when Ferrari was a real factor in sports car racing, with models that were for sale to the general (well-heeled) public.  And Risi's 458 is the prettiest car running in GT.  At Road America, they qualified a disappointing 9th.  In the race, they moved quickly up to 3rd.  Then they had a problem (not car-related, because it was running strong at the end) that dropped them down to 10th.  Sad Pilote.

Risi has prepared the fastest Ferrari in ALMS GT for the past seven years, except when they took 2012 off.  The 458's engine has to be heard, live, to be believed.  TV doesn't do it justice.  It shrieks up and down the rev range with its 7-speed gearbox.  The rev limit of the street car is 9000, so Risi spins it at least that fast.  The only louder car at Road America was the Muscle Milk HPD Honda Prototype.

Yeah, I bought a tee-shirt...  The guy who sold it to me used to work for the team (the "gear" store was next to the car's paddock slot).  "Don't ever change the color of that car," I said.  "No white or black or commercial sponsor colors.  Just Italian Racing Red."  He replied "Oh, Mr. Risi would never do that. He's Old School, like you.  In fact he's old like you."

On the chassis plates.  The "eyebrow" intakes inside the headlights appear to provide front brake ventilation.

Some trick aero bits to go with the "5 m.p.h. crash" aluminum bumper.  The "black box" at the corner funnels air to the
fender-top vents, as on the street car.  The exit vents were closed off at Road America.  This picture was taken after
qualifying, so the laptop is uploading data or downloading changes.

Getting ready to put it in the trailer overnight after Saturday's qualifying.  The "thermos" is for the drivers' cool suits?
The green tank is the onboard fire extinguisher?  The carbon fiber doors have vertical pins that slide into the silver
hinges seen here on the chassis.  They lift out in seconds.  It is expensive to build and run an ALMS GT.

One of the drivers had an "oops" in free practice on Sunday morning before the race, and scrunched the right-front of
the nose panel.  Not everything is high-tech in ALMS GT: it was repaired with red duct tape.

I'm posting this rear view of Risi testing at Sebring in 2011 to show how similar (yet slightly different) the 458's rear
aero is to BMW and Corvette (previous post).  Front and rear aero are closely controlled by ALMS rules.  This pic
has the added merit of showing the car with no advertising: just Italian Racing Red and a competition number.


Chris said...

Great pictures, thank you! Love the Ferrari's.

Wannabe Hotshoe said...

Stunning cars. Absolutely art museum beautiful. I didn't always think so. The radical lighting shapes fit the wind-blown form, but it seemed a bit overdone when I first laid eyes. AND. Racing a Ferrari? Doesn't matter how it finishes - the prancing horse heritage inspires commitment and unwavering loyalty. The sound and imagery on track are worth the admission. RED. Always Red. Old School, yes. Funny line Pilote....."he's old like you"....some of us prefer to think of it as "seasoned", or "achieved self-actualization". Say it with a smile!

Pilote Ancien said...

@ Hotshoe: others have mentioned not liking the headlights too. I guess they bothered me less because I never liked the double-grilles and google eyes of the Modena series. Plus Ferrari NAILED the sides and rear and cabin on the 458. Listen to us blather on with our champagne tastes and beer (make that water) incomes! ;-)

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