Pier Guidi: Petit win “will stay in my heart for a long time”
Alessandro Pier Guidi says that his Motul Petit Le Mans GTLM victory in Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 488 GTE with James Calado and Daniel Serra will remain a special memory.
The Texas-based team had not competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship since the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, although this trio of drivers did take GTE Pro victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, driving a works AF Corse Ferrari 488.
However, Risi Competizione – which now has five wins in this event – proved an immediate threat to the GT Le Mans class full-timers at Road Atlanta this year, fast in all practice sessions and ultimately taking pole thanks to a spectacular effort from Calado.
Even when the Ford GTs led the middle portion of the race, the Ferrari remained close, and had the pace to remain unthreatened by the lead BMW, lead Corvette and the Porsche 911s, even though they would all briefly cycle into the top three by trying different strategies.
As the ambient and track temperatures started to cool in the evening, the Ferrari started to look stronger once more and Pier Guidi passed Richard Westbrook’s Ford for the lead.
Thereafter, Westbrook and co-driver Ryan Briscoe saw the 488 edge away, and were missing a couple of tenths of a second per lap to mount a serious attack, even after a full-course caution bunched the field for a final 25-minute shootout.
The Ferrari crossed the line just under eight seconds ahead of the #67 Ford, Calado, Pier Guidi and Serra having led 157 of 434 laps to secure Risi’s first victory since triumphing at the same venue three years ago.
“It’s one of the hardest races in all the series,” said Calado. “The track is very much a driver’s track. You can easily go over the limit and going over the limit is a gravel barrier. Concentration levels are seriously high.
"We’ve won together before, and we’ve won together today. Thanks to Ferrari. It will be nice to go to [the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January] and try to win again.”
Added Pier Guidi: “This is my first time at Petit Le Mans. I was happy to be here and have the opportunity to fight for this amazing race.
“Every time I come to the U.S., I see a lot of fun and a lot of people loving motorsports. It’s fun to be in front of these people. It’s something special. It’s something that will stay in my heart for a long time.”
Risi Competizione's GTLM winning crew – James Calado, Daniel Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
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