Currently sitting fourth in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship GTLM standings, Risi Competizione will need to turn in a string of strong performances in the final three races if they wish to have a shot at the championship.
Luckily for the Risi team, the first of the those final races is this weekend at Virginia International Raceway, a track they’ve won at twice in the past three years. The team has yet to score a win this season, partially due to IMSA’s much talked about ‘Balance of Performance’ regulations this season, however the Ferrari 488 GTE should be well suited to the technical VIR circuit.
“Our Ferrari should be quick here, if it is dry,” said Risi race engineer Rick Mayer. “We have had good race cars the last three years and won this race two of the last three years. But the competition is fierce. The current Balance of Performance puts us in the best comparative power position this year. But is it enough?”
Making things easier on Mayer and drivers of the No. 62 Ferrari 488, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander, is the absence of Protoype and Prototype Challenge cars in this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech field.
“The smaller total field should make the GTLM race one of the best this year,” Mayer said. “A smaller field of GT Daytonas will reduce the traffic issues for all GTLMs, from our perspective. There is a clear speed difference between the two classes, making passing easier and reducing accident risk.”
The 2016 Michelin GT Challenge will go green at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 28th with live coverage available on FS1 at 1:30. Qualifying will be streamed live on IMSA.tv on Saturday, Aug. 27th beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET.