Giancarlo Fisichella, alongside Toni Vilander, has been officially confirmed for Risi Competizione’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the highly competitive GTE-Pro class.
Risi Competizione has been a staunch supporter of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in recent years. The team made a remarkable debut back in 1998 when it won the LM P1 title with a Ferrari 333 SP driven by Fermin Velez, Eric van de Poele and Wayne Taylor. Later on, the team managed to other victories, in 2008 (Gianmaria Bruni, Mika Salo and Jaime Melo in a Ferrari 430 GT) and 2009 (Salo, Melo and Pierre Kaffer in the same model), in LM GT2.
Last season, Risi Competizione’s Ferrari F488 GTE finished second in LM GTE Pro at Le Mans, just behind the #68 Ford GT of Sebastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Müller. The team has definitely made many efforts to return to the top of the podium this year, by relying on the experience of two top drivers such as Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander (both members of the 2016 line-up, alongside Matteo Malucelli). Fisichella and Vilander have two Le Mans class wins during their racing careers (2012 and 2014), both times in a Ferrari. The two will be joined by a third, yet-to-be-announced driver at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE car in the French endurance classic.
“It is always an honor to be invited to Le Mans and this year is no exception.” – said team principal Giuseppe Risi – “Our little team has shown it can battle against the factories with a well-prepared car, excellent crew and drivers, and the determination to succeed in endurance races. The Ferrari 488, which was new last year, has proven to be another excellent car and we hope to show its abilities again this June.”
Giancarlo Fisichella signed a contract with Scuderia Ferrari for the second part of the 2009 Formula 1 season, as he replaced the injured Felipe Massa, but did not manage to score a single point during the five races with the Maranello team. His best finish was ninth in the Italian Grand Prix.