Jaime Melo put Risi Competizione's victory in the GT2 category of Petit Le Mans down to an inspired call by co-driver Mika Salo who pitted earlier than his rivals for wet tires when the #62 Ferrari F430 was running fourth behind the safety car.
Salo spotted the cars in front of him slipping around more and more as the rain ,which eventually ended the race five hours early, became heavier.
It was this early call that allowed him to jump both factory Corvettes and the Farnbacher Loles Porsche to take the class victory.
"This time I think Mika did a very good call on the tires," said Melo, who helped the team fight into contention in the early stages of the race after a tire problem in qualifying rendered the defending Petit Le Mans winners 10th in class on the grid.
"He was in the car so he was the only one he could say how the track conditions were, and then the team took the decision together."
Team boss Giuseppe Risi agreed that Salo's call had made the difference for the team: "The rain was there for everyone to see, but we took a bigger gamble than everyone else by coming in earlier because we were listening to what our driver was telling us.
"The feedback from him was that people were beginning to slide in front of him and he thought it the right time to change tires. Between our engineer, Rick Mayer, and myself we made the decision to come in."
Melo added that while the organiser's decision not to restart the race – stopped because of torrential rain just before half distance – left him disappointed, he was pleased with the win.
"It is a bit weird, but we have a competitive car and even with such difficult conditions we could manage it quite well," he said. "We were a bit behind in the first part of the race because we started tenth after a tire problem in qualifying.
"I love to race so for sure I would loved to have been there until the last minute of the race. But sometimes you are lucky and sometimes not."