Full-time Action Express IMSA DPi driver Pipo Derani has become the first driver to be confirmed for Risi Competizione’s 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro effort.
It will be the Brazilian’s first time racing with the Texas-based team, as he looks to add a Le Mans class win to an already packed resume which includes a Rolex 24 and multiple Sebring 12 Hours wins.
“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.”
This year’s edition will be Derani’s fifth Le Mans start, and second with the Ferrari 488 GTE after racing with AF Corse last year in the Italian team’s third car, finishing fifth in class. His best result from his previous outings at La Sarthe was a second-place finish in GTE Pro back in 2017, when he drove with Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK with Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx.
“I’m really happy to be leading the way and driving for Risi, a great team that has been showing the potential for Ferrari in America, but also at Le Mans,” said Derani. “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.”
This year’s entry into the Le Mans 24 Hours is Risi’s first in GTE Pro since 2017 (pictured), after it spent last year’s race running Keating Motorsport’s GTE Am effort.