Risi Competizione has returned to action following the massive accident driver Matteo Malucelli sustained in January’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The team’s Ferrari F458 Italia was nearly totaled in the shunt, which sent the 29-year-old Italian to the hospital after he was hit from behind by the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP of Memo Gidley, who suffered multiple leg, arm and back fractures.
While Malucelli escaped serious injury, approximately 70 percent of the car had to be replaced or rebuilt, forcing the Houston-based squad to miss last month’s Sebring Winter Test. Malucelli, however, turned laps in Krohn Racing’s Ferrari in an effort to help get back up to speed.
“I felt good at Sebring although it was a little strange after the crash, but not bad,” he said. “My neck is quite good and about 90 percent, I would say.
“My back and everything else is completely fine…actually, not everything else. I broke a tooth in the accident which still needs to be fixed and I hate going to the dentist!”
For Sebring, Malucelli and full-season co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella will again be joined by Gianmaria Bruni, who is a former Sebring class winner with Risi.
Additionally, the reigning FIA WEC GTE-Pro champion and Malucelli teamed for a second place finish in last year’s race.
“I don’t have a real secret for a fast lap but for sure you need to have a really good rear of the car and good braking stability,” Bruni said. “I hope this year I will be able to do the same as last year [capture GT pole position]…”
The newly rebuilt Risi Ferrari is on track today at Sebring for a shakedown in preparation for the start of official practice next Thursday.