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One of the leading teams in the American Le Mans Series has published a tactful but strongly worded essay taking the ALMS to task for failing to secure a proper live television deal for the 2011 season, when the race series has previously been able to secure such a contract.
For this season, ALMS shifted to a largely digital broadcast format, with races being shown live on ESPN3.com, and then aired later on ABC. Due to a scheduling conflict, ABC was unable to air the 12 Hours of Sebring broadcast on the West Coast, a significant market for motorsports.
On its official website, Risi Competizione posted a lengthy, but eloquent essay, taking the ALMS to task for what it argues is a retrograde movement in securing coverage for its race series. Risi also notes that the high cost of sports car racing, and the need for significant sponsorship exposure makes the broadcast deal look unprofessional.
While ALMS boss Scott Atherton posted a defense of the new media deal 4 days before Risi’s own blog, Risi seems to have been feeling unfulfilled by the arrangement, and their public criticism of the ALMS management is surprising.
We asked a spokesman from Chevrolet to comment on whether Corvette Racing shares the same sentiments. In an email, he stated “No, I don’t think we share that exact same opinion. Though yes, we’re sensitive to the concerns of fans and we of course want the best broadcast coverage possible for fans.”
We highly suggest checking out both Risi’s post (linked below) and the ALMS official statement. Both of these primary documents must be read to gain a solid grounding in the issues, but we would love to hear what you think. As motorsports fans ourselves, it’s safe to say we are fairly invested in this story.
[Source: Risi Competizione]
The great American Le Mans Series begins this weekend at the wonderful 12 Hours of Sebring. And with all first races of the season, great anticipation brews for new race car debuts and at the top of everybody’s list is Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 GTC. Luckily for us, Risi Competizione brought along a photographer out on their test days and has finally reveals some photos of the car in race form to the world.
Risi Competizione is a Houston-based race team that has specialized in fielding Ferraris for many years in the ALMS series. They have taken plenty of class victories back with them with their 430 GT2, so it’ll be plenty interesting to see how successful they can get their 458 to become, and more importantly, how qiuckly.
Risi Competizione’s Founder and Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, had a few things to say about their new car:
“This new car offers a great opportunity for us to show what, I believe, we do best at Risi Competizione,” he says, “which is to technologically develop our cars to race and win GT events at the highest level of competition. I am confident that our total race car preparation will be better than our competitors, and that will allow us to concentrate our efforts on the areas of development and evolution that new race cars inevitably present.”
Risi continues: “We will be concentrating on just one car this season, and will be making a run for the GT Championship. We are under no illusions that the 12 Hours of Sebring – traditionally a happy hunting ground for us – will be a severe test as the F458 is short on testing time and the track is punishing. It’s going to be a true test for the car and for us, although racing is a challenge in itself at any level. I’m completely confident, however, that our guys are up to it.”
We’ll be keeping our eyes glued to this weekend’s Sebring coverage. One of the best races of the year!
GALLERY: Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 GTC
Prancing Horse takes all but one of the top ten spots
In class normally dominated by Porsches, Ferrari showed its motorsports might at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past weekend. Not only did Ferrari claim the top spot on the podium, it claimed all the others. As a matter of fact, Ferraris clinched nine of the top ten GT2 Class spots with position number five going to the Spkyer C8 Laviolette GT2R driven by Jarek Janis, Tom Coronel and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
The GT2 Class win went to car No. 82 F430 GT of the Risi Competizione Team driven by Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer after completing 328 laps. This is the second year in a row a Risi Competizione car has won its class at Le Mans. The second Risi car, driven by Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele finished third. Between them was the BMS Scuderia Italia’s Ferrari with Fabio Babini, Matteo Malucelli and Paolo Ruberti at the wheel. The fourth position also belonged to Ferrari with British team JMW Motorsport and drivers Robert Bell, Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Sugden driving.
“I’m proud of this wonderful result. Four cars from Ferrari on the first four places in such a prestigious race is a great satisfaction and I want to congratulate the teams on the result; the teams have worked so hard to prepare the best way possible for this race. I especially want to thank Giuseppe Risi, who with his team has gained the second success in a row,” Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said. “It was a tough race, especially at the beginning when the cars from Ferrari had to fight against very strong competitors like the Porsches. When night fell Risi’s car took over the lead and didn’t cede. I’m especially pleased by the fact that nine out of ten F430 GT which started into the race crossed the line; this is not only a sign of competitiveness, but also of the car’s great reliability.”
As mentioned, Ferraris then rounded out the top ten, with actor Patrick Dempsey piloting the Advanced Engineering car to a ninth-place finish with the help of co-drivers Joe Foster and Don Jr Kitch.