ALMS - Ferrari second at Mosport, its best result of season
Maranello, 25 July – The Risi Competizione Ferrari took a podium with second place at the Grand Prix in Mosport, Ontario, the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series. In the two hours and forty-five minutes of this unpredictable race, which was notable for numerous penalties and clashes, the performance of the duo of Jaime Melo and Toni Vilander was faultless. Having started from fifth place on the grid, they made up ground to finish in second place – just behind the Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen that took victory. In the first phase of the race the 458 Italia GT2 run by the Houston-based team immediately made it up to third place in the hands of Vilander, who profited from a spin by the number 45 Porsche. But it was after the second pit stop that Melo launched his attack. He gained another position before losing it again due to traffic and the performance of the tyres, which started to struggle due to the high temperatures. Thanks to a penalty awarded to the number 55 BMW for avoidable contact with a Porsche, the Brazilian driver again regained second place. He then found himself battling for victory in the last few laps, but it was to no avail simply because there was not enough time left.
At the end of the race Toni Vilander said: “There is always a bit of tension when you start a race but during my stint I tried to keep up a consistent pace. We are both already focused on our next challenge, scheduled for a fortnight’s time at Mid-Ohio, but this second place confirms we are heading in the right direction.” Vilander’s team-mate Melo echoed his words: “What we achieved today has certainly been a good result both for the team and for Ferrari – even if I can’t hide a bit of disappointment because, to be honest, we could have hoped for a victory.” Of the other Ferraris entered in the race, the 458 Italia GT2 of Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek (Extreme Speed Motorsports) took ninth place. The second 458, run by Extreme Speed Motorsports and driven by Guy Brown and Ed Cosmo, finished in 12th place, thereby confirming their performance from qualifying. The next scheduled race in the series is the Mid-Ohio Sport Car Challenge, a sprint race at the track of the same name in Lexington. That will take place in just two weeks’ time, on the weekend of August 7.