Emil Frey Jaguar Racing confirmed the GT3 Jaguar´s performance at the second race of the season. Almost one month after taken victory in the Silver Cup at the opening round at Monza, the Jaguar team lead the Silver Cup once again until shortly before the end of the race, having to retire the GT3 Jaguar due to a faulty wheel nut at the Endurance Cup of the Blancpain GT Series at Silverstone (England).
The team had a difficult start to the weekend, but presented itself strong as usual just in time for qualifying. The #54 GT3 Jaguar secured 10th overall and the second Silver Cup Pole Position after Monza.
Alex Fontana was the driver for the start and had a gap of seven positions to his next Silver Cup rivals, however, he had lost seven positions in the opening lap of the race after being hit by two competitors. The Swiss driver headed into the pits in lap 29 coming from 12th position and handed the car over to team-mate Adrian Zaugg. Zaugg joined the track in 19th position and started soon to apply pressure and improve positions. Whilst the Jaguar driver was still running in the lead of the Silver Cup, the competitors came closer.
The team of the #54 GT3 Jaguar kept the lead of the Silver Cup and 15th overall until the final pitstop. Unfortunately, the team suffered a mistake at the final pitstop when the wheel nut at the rear right was damaged. The last driver, Mikael Grenier, was forced to drive slowly for one whole lap, returning to the pits once more to have the tyre fitted once again. However, despite pitting once again he was forced to park the GT3 Jaguar at the side of the track due to a broken wheel nut at the right rear wheel with half an hour to go until the end of the race.
Despite the disappointment, Emil Frey Jaguar underlined the strong performance of the GT3 Jaguar and looks ahead motivated.
The next stop in the racing calendar marks one of the highlights this year. The 1000 km at Paul Ricard are the only six-hour race of the season and will be the last Endurance Cup race for the Jaguar crew. Qualifying and race will take place on Saturday, 2 June 2018 at the South of France.
Team Quotes Emil Frey Jaguar Racing
Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
“It is a great disappointment for everyone in the team not to see the chequered flag at our home race. It is even more disappointing considering we could have won the Silver Cup once again and secure a top overall result. The team did nevertheless a great job and now we will not let it get to us and come back stronger at the next race at Paul Ricard.”
Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
“Shortly after the start, we were touched hardly by two other competitors, which cost us seven positions. The race pace was mostly good, but when we pitted for Zaugg and Grenier we had to do it one lap earlier and came in at the same time as our neighbouring team. That caused a diagonal pitstop position which affected the tyre change immensely. Thereby the wheel nut at the right rear wheel was damaged, which could not be fixed a lap later when the car came in again. This caused the retirement. But despite all we had some good positions and a good weekend.”
Driver Quotes Emil Frey Jaguar Racing #54
Alex Fontana (CH)
“Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding with the #36 BMW during qualifying as I thought he would turn into the pits, so I touched him at the back and he spun. Luckily, we did not get a penalty. At the start of the race, the guys in front of me were braking, then the lights turned green and I did not get the ideal start into the first corner. We have a very fast car, but once we drive within a pack of cars, it is difficult to drive their pace.”
Mikael Grenier (CAN)
“We fought with some difficulties at the start of the weekend, but the GT3 Jaguar improved throughout and we were very competitive in qualifying. It is very nice to have secured Pole Position in class again, but our goal was to have a good overall result and finish the race in the Top-10. We could have achieved that today.”
Adrian Zaugg (CH)
“Until the retirement, we had a very strong race and underlined the performance of the GT3 Jaguar once again. It´s a shame to retire so close before the end of a race, but things like that happen. We know of the strengths of our car and hope to have another got result at Paul Ricard.”
Source. Emil Frey Jaguar Racing/Photo. John Patterson