In a repeat of last year’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 claimed a second-place podium finish in the GTD Pro class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship at Watkins Glen International.
Having qualified the No. 62 ‘Prancing Horse’ in the pole position of the GTD Pro class, Brazilian Daniel Serra began the race strong. Running P2 in the nine-car class for most of the first hour of the six-hour race, Serra regained the lead position just before pitting under yellow on Lap 20. However, with a bump from the No. 70 McLaren on the out lap, a cut tire forced Serra back to pit row, dropping the team to ninth.
Serra fought his way through the crowded 56-car field, eventually reclaiming the class lead by Lap 57, turning an overall fastest lap time in class of 1:45.879, before handing over driving duties to teammate Davide Rigon at the two-hour mark.
Rigon maintained a steady pace throughout his three-hour stint, navigating traffic of the 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course, including contact with the No. 96 BMW M4. With an hour to go, Serra took the wheel for the final leg, quickly climbing to third place and aiming to close the gap between the No. 3 Corvette C8.R and No. 14 Lexus RC F running P1 and P2 respectively. With 22 minutes to go, both Serra and Jack Hawksworth in the Vasser-Sullivan Lexus were able to overtake the leader. Less than a half-second separated the two competitors as Serra battled to take the lead. However, a full course yellow with only three minutes remaining meant the race would end under caution, eliminating the team’s hopes for the GTD Pro win.
The Risi team’s second place finish assists the team in their hopes to repeat the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC) Championship for 2023.
Daniel Serra, driver, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:
“It was a shame for the yellow in the end. It was a nice fight until then though and in the end we were P2. It is always good to be on the podium in a race like this. The problems we had in the beginning were not too bad, although we did have a drive-through penalty. Anyway, we did a good job, great pit stops. I was very fast and now we can start preparing for Petit Le Mans.”
Davide Rigon, driver, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3:
“In the end it was quite a good result with P2. We were very close in the end. I think Daniel could have had the opportunity to overtake the Lexus. We are very happy about the result because we started in the front, but the strategy was a gamble. The team did a very good job…not one mistake and the car was okay. We had some issue during the race with the power steering that made our life difficult. But I must say it was a positive day and we are happy for the points. Now we will start working for Petit Le Mans.”
The next race for the Risi Competizione team in the IMSA IMEC championship is the final round at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on October 14.
Sponsors for the 2023 season for Risi Competizione include Pennzoil, Michelin, OMP Racing and Rotiform.