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Risi Poised for Partial Season Program

Risi Competizione set for partial-season WeatherTech Championship entry…

Photo: John Dagys

Risi Competizione is poised for a partial season program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year, with the Houston-based squad currently only confirmed for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.

While set to field a two-car entry in this month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, neither of the team’s Ferrari 488s are full-season entries, although its GTLM car could still contest additional races beyond the opening two rounds, according to team manager Dave Sims.

“This is probably a single event [for the GTD car],” Sims told Sportscar365. “For the other, it’s this one, Sebring, probably The Glen, VIR, Petit Le Mans. I don’t know about Long Beach.”

Toni Vilander and reigning FIA World Endurance GT champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi are confirmed in the team’s GTLM entry for Daytona, and are expected to remain in place for Sebring.

However, Sims said he’s unclear what the lineup could look like for potential races post-Sebring, particularly with Calaldo and Pier Guidi expected to defend their title in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The WEC rounds at Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone clash with the WeatherTech Championship races at Mid-Ohio and Virginia International Raceway, respectively.

“We’ll just wait and see what Ferrari wants to do,” Sims said.

“They’re Ferrari drivers. We don’t say ‘We’re gonna have him’; they say ‘You’re gonna have him’. We’ll see. It will be interesting.”

Sims indicated it would be unlikely to see Giancarlo Fisichella return, saying that it’s gone “deadly quiet” on the Italian driver’s situation.

Fisichella, who is believed to have departed Ferrari, had been linked to multiple potential manufacturer deals.

While having been entered as a full-season entry last, year, the team missed four rounds, following an expensive outing at Le Mans that saw its Ferrari sustain heavy damage in an accident.

Vilander and Fisichella returned to action for the final three races of the season, scoring podiums at VIR, Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans.

Le Mans Return Unclear

Sims said a decision has not yet been taken on a potential return to Le Mans, in what would be the team’s third consecutive appearance in the French endurance classic.

Vilander, Fisichella and Matteo Malucelli finished runner-up in GTE-Pro in 2016, with a heavy accident triggered by a LMP2 car, ending the team’s race early last year.

The entry request deadline for Le Mans is Feb. 5, with the field of 60 cars to be revealed on Feb. 8.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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