Risi Competizione has announced Sao Paolo native, Luis Felipe "Pipo" Derani, as a driver for the 87th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race, June 15-16.
This will be the 25-year-old's fifth running at Le Mans, having competed every year since 2015, including a fifth-place finish last year in a GTE-Pro Ferrari 488 and a podium in 2017 in a GTE-Pro Ford. Additionally, in 2015 and 2016 he ran in the LMP2 class. This will be his first appearance with the Houston, Texas-based Risi Competizione Ferrari team.
"We are very pleased to have Pipo join the team for Le Mans this year," said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. "He's a well-versed racing driver, including in the Ferrari 488, and is mature beyond his young age. His enthusiasm is infectious and we're looking forward to having him as part of the Risi Competizione family. Le Mans is a classic race and this team is always prepared for it, or any race, and after having finished second and third in recent years, we are more than ready to be back on the top step."
Team Principal Giuseppe Risi
"I'm extremely excited to return to Le Mans in GTE Pro, which is the most exciting and difficult category at Le Mans and WEC," said Derani, the recent 12 Hours of Sebring winner. "It's a fantastic opportunity for me to be back, driving a Ferrari, since I was racing for Ferrari last year. I'm really happy to be leading the way and driving for Risi, a great team whose been showing the potential for Ferrari in America, but also at Le Mans. Hopefully we can do one place better than they did back in 2016 with their second-place finish, and hopefully with my experience at Le Mans I can help lead the way for a great result. I'm really happy to be joining the Risi team and to be back at Le Mans in a Ferrari. "
Risi Competizione was one of three prestigious GTE-Pro Ferrari 488 GTE Evo entries accepted of a total of 17 in the class for the 60-car entrants this year. An additional 10 reserve entrants were accepted of the 75 total entries submitted to the ACO.
Risi Competizione has fielded 14 cars over nine previous years at the legendary 24-hour race in Le Mans, France, including three victories (1998 in Ferrari 333SP, 2008 and 2009 in Ferrari 430GT), and five additional podium finishes, including last year's third-place finish. The Risi team, with its Ferrari F142M, V8 twin turbo 488 GTE model, shod with Michelin tires, will be keen to collect their first victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 10 years.
photo credit: Jose Mario Dias