With the fifth round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup next week, the green lights will be on for the very last time this year. Emil Frey Jaguar Racing has great hopes for the final round and is aiming to finish the season with a conciliatory result to confirm the Jaguar GT3´s performance after having had a tough season with only two scored points.
In the previous three Endurance Cup races as well as the 24-hour-race at Spa-Francorchamps, the Swiss team´s Jaguar GT3 always fought for positions in the upper midfield. At their home race at Silverstone, the team scored their first deserved points after two Top-12 results, at Paul Ricard they led the race until a technical issue and a tyre failure stopped all dreams of a podium finish. At Spa-Francorchamps, an eighth place in qualifying underlined once again the performance of the “cats” – a double retirement was the frustrating early end.
Emil Frey Jaguar Racing leaves all those disappointments behind and is fully motivated for the last race of the year. “The season has been rather difficult, except for Silverstone”, says Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Jaguar Racing. “The performance in both qualifying and race always set some highlights, but we have not been able to confirm this with a countable result in three of four races.
“After Spa, we took the cars apart to analyse the reasons for the retirements. The rebuilding for Barcelona took all summer and earlier this week, we also conducted a test in Anneau du Rhin to work on last Set-up adjustments for the race. We have high expectations for the last race of the season: our goal is to score some well-deserved points for the whole team. We have already tested at Barcelona a few times and the track should suit us.”
The usual drivers of the #14 Jaguar GT3, Albert Costa Balboa and Lorenz Frey, will be replaced by the Austrian Norbert Siedler and Swiss Alex Fontana at the Endurance Cup at Barcelona. “We are pleased to have won two such strong drivers as Norbert and Alex for the season final as I am sure they can contribute positives to the team”, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Jaguar Racing, who is unable to compete in the #14 car due to injury. “Since Spa, we have worked intensively regarding the reliability issues and are in good spirits for the last race, because we know of the potential of the Jaguar GT3.”
Qualifying for the race at Barcelona will take place Sunday, 1 October 2017 at 09.00am. The last three-hour-race of the year takes place the same day from 03.00pm.
Driver Quotes Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar #14
Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
“Of course, our expectations were much higher for this year, but we fought against some reliability issues, which were not down to the preparation by the team but had more to do with faulty components by other partners. We must get a good result at Barcelona, because all season we showed our potential, not least at Paul Ricard, where we led the race. In principal, we could show an impressive performance at each and every race, we simply did not get the final results to prove our performance. Despite all, the Jaguar GT3 is a strong car and we will give our very best for the last race.”
Norbert Siedler (A)
“I am very happy to join Emil Frey Jaguar Racing again to compete in the season final. Last year, we claimed the best result of the season and it would be great to repeat this success at Barcelona this year. I followed the races closely throughout the season and it´s a shame to see how much bad luck the team has suffered, but everyone is still motivated and gives their all. I am excited about Barcelona and I hope we can achieve a good result as a team.”
Alex Fontana (CH)
“I was very excited when I got the call by Emil Frey Jaguar Racing to ask me whether I could jump in for the injured Lorenz at Barcelona. The Jaguar GT3 is a great car and I cannot wait to finally drive it. The team has suffered incredible bad luck this year and the retirements do not reflect the teams hard work in any way. We will fully attack at Barcelona and I hope to contribute to a good result. Of course, being Swiss I am also very excited to start for a Swiss team.”
Driver Quotes Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar #114
Christian Klien (A)
“Looking back at the year, we could not get any good results. We had a strong start at Monza, at Silverstone and Paul Ricard we were also right there with the top runners. In qualifying, we were consistently running in the Top-10, the race speed was also very good, but we could never put the performance into actual results: In Monza, we had the very unlucky crash at the start, we retired at Paul Ricard after three hours running in P2 with a technical issue, in Spa we also retired. Everything extremely unlucky despite having the speed, therefore we must ditch the bad luck and get a good result at Barcelona plus survive the three hours. Last year, we secured seventh place in the season final and this should be our target for Barcelona.”
Marco Seefried (GER)
“It is a real shame to only have one race left this season as we have continuously improved and developed us further. Our main problem has been the reliability. But the whole team has worked and analysed without a break since the beginning of the season and in previous years, which really honours the team. We have been testing at Barcelona. The things we could establish make us all positive and we are confident that we can see an opportunity during the race. We are very much looking forward to it and hope to see the chequered flag with both our cars.”
Jonathan Hirschi (CH)
“Since the bad luck at the 24-hour-race at Spa, we have worked on both Jaguar GT3 in the workshop and are now top motivated for the season final at Barcelona. Everyone in the team is focusing on a good result for the last race of the year. We have an outstanding potential, which we would like to show once more. Last year, we had a good finish with P7 and we would like to repeat it this year. We were testing at Barcelona twice in the winter, we know how to find a good Set-up for the car.”
Source. Emil Frey Racing/Photo. John Patterson