Saturday’s race at the Nürburgring got off to a fast and furious start under the blistering heat. Mirko Bortolotti, who partners the drive with Andrea Caldarellihad qualified in ninth place on the grid butdrove an excellent first stint moving the team up the order to fourth place.
Carrying the momentum, Bortolotti handed over the car to Caldarelli to see the team finish Race 1 in P3. Late on Saturday, there was a penalty for the #25 Audi being handed a 30-second penalty for jumping the lights at the start, moving the #63 car up to second place!Starting Race 2 from 20th on the grid, car #63 moved up and finished the race in P15.
Victory in the Pirelli Trophy classification this time went to the duo of #82 Rolf Ineichen and Christian Engelhart. It was a well-deserved third time victory in this category for the Swiss driver. Both showed a clear intention from the start after moving up from P23 to P10 in Race 1. Having qualified in P27 earlier this Sunday, it was Engelhart’s turn to start Race 2 and he kept the position. Ineichen drove a great final stint after the changeover, but in the end car #82 had to settle for 33rd place.
It was a different story for the sister car #19 in Saturday’s race. Compancdrove an excellent first stint, moving up the order from eleventh to sixth. However, during the next stint Perera, who was fighting for P3 and P2 had a collision with #20 Mercedes, naturally dropping him down the order to P24 at the end of Race 1. Unfortunately, P22 was the best result possible in Race 2 at theNürburgring, earlier today.
Having 64 points, the GRT Grasser Racing Team continue to fight for the Team’s Championship and will pack up and head to Zandvoort (Netherlands) for the next round of the ADAC GT Masters on August 18-19.
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser) #63 (Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli)
Race 1: 2nd (1:28.559), 39 laps
Race 2: 15th (1:28.359), 41 laps
Mirko Bortolotti: “I’m proud of the weekend, we managed to get a fantastic podium in Race 1 despite a huge lack of pace compared to the opposition. I also had a fantastic first lap from 9th to 4th place and we maximized the result. P15 in Race 2 was all we could go for.”
Andrea Caldarelli: “Race 1 was quite good. We started from P9, which was the best we could have done, and scored P2. We lost a little bit of time during the pitstop but in the end we were able to score good points for the championship. Today was tougher. Quali 2 was quite difficult for us. The car felt pretty good, but we couldn’t do better than P20. Race 2 was quite good with no mistakes and I think today we did the maximum we could. We are really looking forward to the next race in Zandvoort and I am sure we will back on the podium again.”
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #82 (Rolf Ineichen, Christian Engelhart)
Race 1: 10th (1:28.785), 39 laps
Race 2: 33rd (1:28.025), 39 laps
Christian Engelhart: “It was as a tough weekend for us. I think we weren’t competitive enough during the whole weekend. We are still a little bit heavy with the weight of our car and I was struggling in both qualifying sessions and I think our P10 was a miracle in Race 1 that we could make it to the points. Then Race 2 was a little bit unluckier for us with a car spinning in front of me on the first lap. It was a good start but then had to avoid it and had to go on the grass and then I’ve lost a lot of positions for this, then I was struggling until the end. A tough weekend and we look forward to the next one and I hope that we will be much more competitive in the coming races.”
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #19 (Ezequiel Perez Companc, Franck Perera)
Race 1: 24th (1:28.328), 29 laps
Race 2: 22nd (1:27.824), 39 laps
Franck Perera: “I’m quite disappointed about the weekend. We showed a very competitive performance, especially Perez, he is really improving. We look forward for the next race.”
Ezequiel Perez Companc: “It was a tough weekend. We tried to score P2 in the Race 1, but due the accident with another car it wasn’t possible. So we are a bit disappointed. Today in Race 2 the car was good, the pace was good and the team did a mega job.”
Gottfried Grasser, the Team Owner: “Race 1 was good, and second place was a very good effort. We struggled in Qualifying from a performance side, but it was the maximum we could get out of the cars and any better positions just was not possible. All drivers did a very good job – P2 and P10 it’s a good result and we scored useful points. However, qualifying 2 was unlucky for us. Unfortunately, when the red flag waved, all three cars were out, so lap times were cancelled, and we lost a little performance during the second qualifying sessions. That’s the reason of the positions on the grid. The guys were fighting as much as possible in Race 2, but in the end, it was just a result which started from the mixed qualifying session. We will keep pushing and we are still in the fight for the top three overall in the championship.”
Source. GRT Grasser Racing