A perfect sunny race day with air temperatures soaring to 22°C meant that the on-track action heated up too, car #63 finished in tenth place of the 3hr endurance race. Having qualified in P11, it was Andrea Caldarelli to kickstart the race and was in the cockpit for the first stint. It was wheel to wheel racing and shortly after the one hour mark, the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 came in for its first stop, with Caldarelli handing over to Christian Engelhart. After the final driver swap, Mirko Bortolotti took the chequered flag for the #63 car in P10, earning the team more useful points in the championship.
The #82 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Rolf Ineichen, Franck Perera and Phil Keen never put a foot wrong from the start to the chequered flag from driver side, however, it looked like 18th was all that was on offer this afternoon. Unfortunately they had also two innocent race incident.
The #19 with Venturini behind the wheel took part in his first Blancpain GT Series race this season and started from P28 on the grid. Close to the middle of the race, driver line up of Giovanni Venturini, Ezequiel Perez Companc and Raffaele Giammaria had clearly made good progress putting the #19 car in P19. However, a tyre failure hit the team hard in the closing stages of the race.
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #63 (Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart, Andrea Caldarelli)
Race: P10 (1:58:984) – 89 laps
Mirko Bortolotti: “That was not the race we wanted today. But personally, I’m very happy with my personal performance in Quali and with my stint. We have got the maximum from the car. Unfortunately, we lost a few positions on the beginning of the race and during the refueling. Howerer, we took some points, which is very good so I’m happy with this.”
Christian Engelhart: “It was a difficult weekend for us but I think we took the maximum. The starting position wasn’t easy, but I had a very good stint, passing cars and fighting with a Porsche. We took some points but in general it was not an easy weekend.”
Andrea Caldarelli: “It was a quite positive weekend for our car, even if the result wasn’t what we expected, however our car was quite competitive at least in the race. Unfortunately, we struggled a bit in Quali, but in the race we showed good pace. To start the race from P11 was quite challenging and I had lost a few places from the start, but as soon as I began in front again, the car was very good. We showed good lap times and got 1 point. It’s been a tougher weekend than expected.”
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #82 (Rolf Ineichen, Franck Perera, Phil Keen)
Race: P17 (1:59:528) – 89 laps
Franck Perera: “We finished the race in P17. It’s a shame, because we lost around 10secs at the second pitstop. Then during my stint the Aston Martin hit me into the corner and I lost some more time. We could have reached a better result without these disappointing incidents. But we will push in the next race.”
Phil Keen: “I think, it wasn’t a bad weekend. We had a pretty good qualifying when you think of the actual weight we carried. I believe Rolf drove well and our average was good to qualify just outside the top 20. The car ran well all race, it’s just that we were unfortunate with a few race incidents and then an issue with one of the pit-stops, so apart from that you know. It was okay.”
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #19 (Giovanni Venturini, Ezequiel Perez Companc, Raffaele Giammaria)
Race: P30 (1:59:874) – 87 laps
Giovanni Venturini: “Today things didn’t really work out for us. Free practice was quite good, but in Quali we have got a surprise with a new tyres, because the car wasn’t running as we expected. We started the race from P28 on the grid and it was difficult, we lost downforce in the front and we lost everything. Then we have had a puncture two times and it was a very unfortunate race for us.”
Gottfried Grasser, the Team Owner: “It’s been a tough weekend, as like the last weekend. I cannot say enough about it as we need to analyse in detail, but I think we struggled a lot with performance in qualifying for sure. We don’t know exactly, but I have the impression that we maybe a little too heavy still. This course has also given us a lot of tyre failures, we had. However, I think in the race we were quite good, although we were not able to manage it with the fuel flow. We were too slow in refueling, but we will see what we can do on our rigs. This is another point that I don’t understand and we’ll investigate this before the next race. I think that the #63 car had a good race, a really good job. P10 overall, it’s not what we expected to be, but now the situation is like this. For the #82 car, we had two collisions where the other car got a drive-through, so it wasn’t our fault, but more than P15 was not possible and car #19 also had a lot of trouble with collisions and a tyre failure, which meant it was quite a tough race for the #19. So, we will work on and see what we can do with the cars. For me it is a little strange how it works in qualifying and being one second off with drivers like Bortolotti and Engelhart. I think we do a good job with the car but more than today’s result is not possible for us.”
The GRT Grasser team does not need to wait long for the opportunity to improve on today’s result, with the fifth round of the season looming and taking place at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 2nd July.
Source. GRT Grasser/Photo. John Patterson