Risi Competizione has elected not to enter the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series, despite initial reports to the contrary.
Team principal, Giuseppe Risi, said of the difficult decision: “
Unfortunately, the current economic climate has not allowed us to approach the 2012 season as we would have wished. None of us want to go into an event such as Sebring feeling less than 100 percent ready and prepared, and we aren't at that point.
“Risi Competizione, racing with Ferrari, has been a stalwart of the Series for the last decade and we fully recognize the extremely high level of competition it supports. To race a Ferrari is to enter into a partnership with history and legend. The standards are so high that commitment must be total and complete. Risi Competizione knows better than many what it takes to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, and I feel that, right now, we wouldn't be representative of our best.”
The Houston-based Ferrari GT team has not confirmed a program for the remainder of 2012 and options are still being considered. These do not preclude entry to later rounds of the American Le Mans Series or other North American endurance races. The team's only race to this point was the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with two Grand-Am spec Ferrari 458s.
To date, the team has won two ALMS championships, taken three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, achieved 20 outright American Le Mans Series class wins and a 30-plus additional podium finishes. It has won the 12 Hours of Sebring three times, including the closest finish in the race's history in 2007.
The news came on the day when the rest of the Sebring entry list was announced. At present, that number is 61 cars - 31 ALMS and 30 WEC - but the number is expected to increase by 3 in ALMS for a total of 64. Jaguar is another GT team no longer present for the simple fact that its RSR Racing team won't run the XKRs in 2012. The RSR Racing team has switched to LMPC, and on Friday elected to officially announce the termination of its GT program. The entry list can be found here.