After a tough year that saw the team miss out on a number of potential strong finishes, the No. 62 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE team of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and part-time driver James Calado locked down their first victory of 2016 at Petit Le Mans Saturday.
The GTLM Ferrari started from third on the grid Saturday after Toni Vilander turned in a qualifying time of 1:18.294 Friday. The pole was won by driver of the No. 67 Ford GT, Richard Westrbook, while the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia took second on the grid.
Fisichella moved into the GTLM lead with just under 30 minutes to go in the 10-hour endurance race after Dirk Mueller pitted in the No. 66 Ford GT. Mueller, who was on a different pit strategy, couldn’t close the gap to the Ferrari and crossed the finish line 15.618 seconds behind Fisichella. The result marked the Risi squads first IMSA GTLM race victory since they took victory at VIR in 2014.
“From when we came here from the first practice we were always on the top,” Fisichella told IMSA.com post-race. “The car’s balance was really good. We made some adjustments in the right direction. I think we dominated the race and the guys did a fantastic job on the pit stops. We, both of us, we drove at the maximum. I think it was a perfect race and we deserve this victory this year. It’s good for us, and Mr. Risi and the crew.”
Rounding out the podium was the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler. The team recovered from a poor seventh place qualifying result to land on the podium, securing the manufacturers, driver’s and team championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing. Ferrari finished the GTLM manufacturer’s championship in fourth behind Chevy, Ford and Porsche and ahead of BMW.