The Ferrari F430 GT is a GT2 class machine which made its debut back in 2006. Risi Competizione were one of the first teams to campaign this car in the ALMS and Le Mans. This year will see the final French outing for 430’s in the hands of Risi as an all new Ferrari F458 GT2 machine will be launched at the end of this year.
Risi was formed by Texan Ferrari dealer, Giuseppe Risi, in 1998. Risi initially ran a Ferrari F333 SP Prototype winning their class in Le Mans and overall winner in the first Petit Le Mans.
In 2002, the team began running a Ferrari F430GT for a number of years. The team also had the opportunity to run the Maserati MC12 in 2005 before it was outlawed.
In recent years, Risi has also run the ‘Krohn Racing’ Entry with a second entry in the longer endurance events. The distinctive Green and Blue graphics is a full body wrap, underneath is the same Rosso Red as the lead car.
Risi have a technical partner relationship with Ferrari and the car builder, Michelotto. This allowed them to run 2010 aerodynamics in the 2009 Petit Le Mans. The most obvious change is with the front bumper with revised cooling ducts and canards. Regulations allow elements of the bodywork to be changed below the axle line.
Thanks to some aggressive driving at Laguna, we had a chance to see under the skin of the front end. The main outer air intakes direct cool air to the outer radiators mounted under the headlamps.
The air flows out of the black slatted vents on the side of the bumper. The surfacing at the bottom of the bumper has also been changed.
The driving lamps are just used for the longer endurance events. Their is a small central air intake in the lower front bumper. Air flows through this….
into a radiator and out through the hood.
These small fender flares were require due to a regulation clarification at last year’s race. Bodywork above the axle line must cover the tyres.
These are the leader lights. All ALMS and Le Mans cars have these on the side and are colour coded for each class, matching the background of the race number panel. Introduced by the ALMS, this is very popular with fans who can tell immediately who is 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
The F430 shows its age a little compared to the Corvette we featured earlier this week. Unlike the Corvette, the Ferrari has more tradition door cross bars on its Steel roll cage. Aluminium monocoque is unpainted. Mechanics prefer light colours to work in.
Note the large air tube by the seat, this blows cool air to the driver. The cabin is air conditioned as mandated by the ACO, but every little helps. You can also see the lightweight carbon doors in this view.
Regulation rear wing and diffuser dominate the rear view. As the car is mid-engined multiple air outlets allow hot air to escape. The rear wing is mounted close to the rear deck and has a large gurney flap.
The rear wing is attached to the engine cover. Note, all the adjustments are made under the cover, out of sight of other teams who could easily work out the set-up.
Here is another view of the fender flare and under cut. Note the small canard on the rear bumper.
Spot the engine! The 500bhp 4 Litre V8 unit is mounted as low as possible with the air box mounted above.
The engine is fed by air, drawn in from the large air intakes on the rear fenders, ahead of the rear wheel. Large carbon tubing directs the air around 180 degrees and back towards the engine.
The air flows into the small tubes, where the regulation air restrictor is located. These can be adjusted by the ACO and IMSA to regulate performance as a ‘waiver’. The Ferrari is one of the only GT2 cars that does not need any waivers.
Although Risi’s Gianmaria Bruni was the fastest in GT2 qualifying, the team lost the class pole position after scrutineering after a minor tolerance issue withe the rear wing. The #82 car will now start from the back of the grid. Pole position is not quite so important at a 24 hour race, but every second counts in a close competitive class like GT2. Ferrari’s main rival, Corvette, now lock out the GT2 front row.
In a couple of days, we will see if Risi has managed to complete a hat-trick of GT2 class wins at La Sarthe.