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14/06/2009 - Yes ! Podium in GT2 ! What a great WE !

Le Mans 2009 - Podium


The Ferrari 430 GT of Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer was not only joined on the podium by its sister Ferrari which finished third - crewed by Krohn Racing's Tracy Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Eric van de Poele - but they led an astonishing Ferrari result which shows that nine of the ten Ferrari 430s entered in the race were classified in the top 11 places in class. Only a Spyker intruded in an all-Ferrari top ten. In the year that the Italian marque celebrates the 60th Anniversary of its last overall win of the world's most famous and sportscar race, it is a result that Ferrari's President can be proud of. As official starter of this weekend's 24 hour race, Luca di Montezemolo, made mention whilst at Le Mans of the very high level of competition between all automobile manufacturers entered in the race and of how much regard he had for the event.

Team Principal Giuseppe Risi was overwhelmed by what had been achieved. "This is a very special day; winning this again after what we did last year makes it even more so. To have ten Ferraris here and have two of our cars placed in the top three is a simply magnificent result. These are the best teams in the world who race here so it is extremely special to have achieved this outcome, and to have entered the history books as part of Ferrari's racing folklore. I can't say enough about it."

Nic Jönsson: "This result is fantastic; for us it's just like a win. Having the #82 sister car taking the win and us taking third in the whole scheme of things is like a win for the whole team. Risi Competizione has done a fantastic job gain. Both cars ran flawlessly the whole way through and there are very few teams you could say that about: it's unbelievable and astonishing. You almost get goose bumps every time you go out there on the podium - it's the biggest sportscar race in the world. You can win races back in the States and stuff but to finish third here is probably better than any win in the USA. And to do it the way we did it! You just have to stay out of trouble, be patient, and try not to race people we know we can't out-race. Of course, Tracy started racing just six or seven years ago and has been on the podium twice at Le Mans and it's always a team effort. We've done that; it's a great result for him and a big thanks to Giuseppe Risi for being part of this team. I can't say enough that I'm happy.

"Tracy Krohn: "I bumped into Ron Fellows [former Corvette driver and now consultant] about midnight and after we'd chatted and just as I was leaving he said "Tracy, keep it on the track." To stand up there for the second time in three years is awesome; you're stunned and on top of that it's a very knowledgeable group of fans. Nine of the 10 Ferraris finished - it's phenomenal and, absolutely, to be part of that in what is not just an endurance race, but rather a sprint race is humbling. You have to remember that we don't drive this car very often [The Ferrari), the three of us. You couldn't have predicted what might's becoming pretty good.

"Eric van de Poele: "I've been part of a winning team in three different classes at Le Mans and even though we didn't win today we had a podium and had a special result. It's much easier when you are with a good team and people around you, and of course when you get the right material. Here [at Le Mans] you have to say it's tough for GT2 competition and even if I was dreaming about a podium in my head I thought it was nearly impossible. But we had a good strategy and we knew we had good package in general with tires, car, and drivers as well. Absolutely no problems at all and could save time in pits and it's a real team effort and especially here because all the pit stops were faultless.

"Note to Editors:Risi Competizione is a Houston-based racing team, wholly owned and directed by Giuseppe Risi, which has been very successful in sports car racing in both Europe and the United States. In addition to racing Ferraris and Maseratis, Risi Competizione also provides competition development, management, and support services.Tracy W. Krohn, of Houston, Texas, continues his successful racing relationship with Risi Competizione for the third year in succession. Krohn is also a team owner/driver of the Krohn Racing Daytona Prototype team in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series which won its first race of the 2009 season at New Jersey Motorsports Park a month ago.

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