Only one week to go for more than 60 GT3 race cars to drown out the idyllic quietness of one of the most breath-taking race tracks in the world purely with their engine roars. With the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the highlight of the year takes place for Emil Frey Jaguar Racing. The Swiss team is best prepared for the rollercoaster ride around the 7-kilometre-long track with its 21 corners through the Ardennes. The team participates with two GT3 Jaguar and is highly motivated following an upward trend since the beginning of the season.
Despite suffering tough luck at the previous round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with both GT3 Jaguar not seeing the chequered flag at the French track of Paul Ricard, the Swiss crew is pleased with the overall performance. “We hoped for a better result at Paul Ricard as preparation for Spa. However, everyone could see that our car is competitive and able to race amongst the front position”, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal at Emil Frey Jaguar Racing and driver of the #14 GT3 Jaguar.
“We have analysed the race in-depth and returned strong to the official test day at Spa, which we concluded satisfyingly. All drivers are very excited ahead of the race, because it is always something very special to race at Spa.”
The two GT3 Jaguars ranked in third and sixth place in the morning session of the official test day, which took place on 4 July. In the afternoon session, the two “cats” were listed in P22 and P28. Following the double finish from last year, the Emil Frey Jaguar Racing Team is in good spirits after the test.
“All together, we completed 150 laps with both cars, which equals about 1.050 km”, says Jürg Flach, Technical Director at Emil Frey Jaguar Racing. “We mainly focused on the mechanical and aerodynamic set-up work for both qualifying and race in order to maximise the potential of the tyres. We are well-prepared and looking ahead to the race.”
As tradition goes, the race weekend at Spa is opened with a unique car parade between circuit and the city centre of Spa on Wednesday. The first test will take place on Thursday with Free Practice at 11.50am, followed by Pre-Qualifying at 5.45pm and the qualifying at 8.10pm. Super Pole will be on Friday from 7.30am until 8.00am with the Total 24 Hours of Spa starting Saturday from 4.30pm into 24 nerve-racking hours.
Driver Quotes Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar #14
Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
“The test day for the race at Spa went really well. Especially on a track like Spa it is very important to find a good car balance for the High-speed sections. Mechanical grip is important for the slower sections, such as the Bus-Stop-Chicane and La Source. We were able to test all these things and I am confident for the race.”
Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
“I am more motivated than ever for this race. We have improved the car immensely over the past two months and demonstrated our potential at Paul Ricard. We had the best qualifying result and lead the race as well. But to have a strong race at Spa you must have luck on your side too, but we are all optimistic.”
Lorenz Frey (CH)
Please refer to the text above.
Driver Quotes Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar #114
Christian Klien (A)
“Spa is certainly a track that suits our GT3 Jaguar and therefore we were quite happy with the official test day. But you need more than just pure speed for a 24-hour race. Reliability and faultless working by the entire team are the key to success. I think, that we are very well prepared for Spa and have done our homework – we are ready for the race!”
Marco Seefried (GER)
“We were running in the Top-10 until mid-day, everyone pushed a bit more in the afternoon session but I think the track also became faster. It is important to do everything right for the distance and not having to stop for too long and loose valid time. Of course, that´s everyone’s goal, but I am very much looking forward to the race and think, that if we have no problems during the 24 hours, we will bring home a good result.”
Jonathan Hirschi (CH)
“We managed to improve a few more things during the test at Spa and we are definitely a big step further than the team was last year. Spa is a little like Paul Ricard, where we brought the potential of the GT3 Jaguar right onto the track. I don´t think, everyone showed their full speed at the test yet, because the lap times were not on the same level as during the race last year.”
Source. Emil Frey AG