Back in 1998, just a year after Risi Competizione (then Doyle-Risi Racing) started, the little team from Houston took the famed Ferrari 333SP and conquered the Le Mans 24 Hours LMP1 category with Wayne Taylor, Eric Van de Poele and Fermin Velez driving. In 2000 Guisepe Risi fully took control of the team and rebranded to Risi Competizione. The team raced only once in 2001, but started to develop a Ferrari 360 Modena for GT competition which would race twice in 2002.
For 2003 the team returned to Le Mans for the first time since their 1998 victory, finishing 8th in the GT class. After a short stint with Maserati in 2005, the team would return to it’s Ferrari roots in 2006 with the F430, but would not race at Le Mans until 2007 where Risi Competizione with Krohn Racing would finish second in class to IMSA Performance Matmut and their Porsche 997 GT3-RSR.
In 2008, 10 years after their first win at Circuit de la Sarthe, it all changed. Jamie Melo, Mika Salo and Gianmaria Bruni took a dominant victory by completing 326 laps, 8 laps ahead of the second-placed BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F430.
2009, with Jamie Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer behind the wheel, was very similar with Risi getting back-to-back victories in GT2, once again ahead of BMS Scuderia Italia’s Ferrari. This time, however, BMS was only 2 laps down to their big brothers at Risi Competizione.
There’s been a bit of a drought for Risi at Le Mans since the factories have been allowed in GT2 (now GTE), but if practice and qualifying time sheets tell you anything, 2016 is looking great for the Houston-based team to once again claim the top step of the GT podium with their new Ferrari 488 GTE. The team hasn’t raced in France since their third place finish in 2010, but they’ll kick the rust of quickly and we can easily see the old Risi once again.