Two 24-hour races within a fortnight are a special challenge for any race team. With a podium finish in the Dubai 24 Hours, the 2018 season started off in a promising way. The GRT Grasser outfit with Mark Ineichen (CHE), Rolf Ineichen (CHE), Christian Engelhart (DEU) and Mirko Bortolotti (ITA) rounded out their successful weekend at Dubai with pole position and the fastest race lap.
In the opening stages of the 24-hour race, a podium finish seemed to be beyond reach. Three punctures on the #964 Lamborghini Huracán in the first two hours of the race alone made the team around Rolf Ineichen drop to the back of the fied with 96 cars. After an unparalleled recovery, the efforts by the entire GRT Grasser crew were still rewarded with third place.
The second GRT Grasser team in Dubai with Roberto Pampanini (CHE), Christoph Lenz (CH), Mauro Calamia (ITA), Rik Breukers (NLD) and Mark Ineichen (CHE) driving the #963 Lamborghini Huracán rounded out the successful particiation by the Austrian GRT Grasser team with sixth place in the Pro-Am class at the Dubai 24 Hours.
As a result, the team is very confident going into this weekend’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. In the pre-event test (5-7 January, 2018), the Austrians already made their mark on two days. In seven practice sessions, the GRT Grasser team always ranked among the top three and with first place in qualifying, the #11 Lamborghini Huracán with Rolf Ineichen (CHE). Mirko Bortolotti (ITA), Franck Perera (FRA) and Rik Breukers (NLD) certainly is one of the favourites in its class.
As another candidate for a good result, GRT Grasser is running its second Lamborghini Huracán with #19. Here, Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG), Christian Engelhart (DEU), Christoph Lenz (CHE), Louis Machiels (BEL) and Max Van Splunteren (NLD) are alternating behind the wheel.
Team owner Gottfried Grasser is very confident: “What a way to start the 2018 season! With pole position, the fastest race lap and third place after 24 hours, we can be very happy. Our team did a tremendous job after three punctures had made us drop to the back of the field and we still finished third, only two laps down, after 24 hours. Who knows where we would have ended up had it not been for these tyre problems!?”
“Now, Daytona is next. I think that we are well prepared. 24 Hours are always long, but we hope to be able to stay in front. I am looking forward to the new challenge, let’s go for it!”
Source. GRT Grasser Racing – Wolfgang Koepp