Renowned sportscar outfit Risi Competizione is launching a star-studded assault on this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 24th-25th).
The Italo-American team, which will once again be vying for GTLM class honours, has drafted in endurance racing veteran Olivier Beretta and Ferrari specialist Davide Rigon to partner full-time drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer in the team’s #62 Ferrari 458 Italia.
Risi Competizione headed into last year’s race as one of the quickest GTLM entries, however a heavy crash with the Bob Stallings Racing Daytona Prototype signalled an early end for the team. This year, the Risi crew is hoping that its experienced line-up can propel the #62 car into the thick of the factory car action, with the hope of coming away with a maiden class victory.
Olivier Beretta, who won the 2000 Daytona 24 Hours and has six class wins at Le Mans to his name, is particularly looking forward to returning to the 5.7 km circuit.
“It is a special place and is a huge name with the banking and it’s an exciting race at night,” he said. “It’s something special and very difficult to compare to other tracks. When you are kid, you already know the name, so one day if you race there with Ferrari and you win, you know you are the best.”
Meanwhile, former F1 star Giancarlo Fisichella is proud to be be representing the prancing horse once again, although he is fully aware of the pitfalls of America’s most famous endurance race.
“To be a Ferrari factory driver is a dream for maybe all the drivers around the world and especially for an Italian driver like me,” he explained. I have been with them [Risi] since 2009 and it is really great and I am looking forward to being with them in the future. It would be nice to win here with Ferrari.”
“I like this kind of race because there are so many different cars and it is very challenging,” the defending Le Mans 24 Hours GTE-Pro winner added. “During the night obviously you have to have great concentration. With the traffic and how slippery the track is, it is very challenging and easy to make mistakes.”
GTLM qualifying for the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona gets underway at 16:25 local time this afternoon (January 22nd). The race itself is scheduled to start at 14:10 EST on Saturday January 24th.