Toni Forné delivered a strong performance at his home round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which played host to the final round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Forné made his comeback to the series sharing the driving duties of the Car Collection Motorsport with Dimitri Parhofer and Frank Stippler.
Forné hit the track for the very first time on Friday afternoon during the testing devoted to Bronze-categorized drivers in which he clocked a time of 1:47.711. After two free practice sessions on Saturday, the three drivers of Car Collection Motorsport headed into qualifying on Sunday morning. Parhofer posted a lap of 1:48.274 in Q1, which was improved by Forné and Stippler in Q2 and Q3 respectively. Forné produced a best lap of 1:46.681 with Stippler scoring a 1:46.012. Car Collection Motorsport set an average lap time of 1:46.989 to line up 42th on the starting grid and 12th in class.
Forné made the opening stint and after seventy minutes he had gained ten places almost running in the top-30. Despite Car Collection Motorsport lost several places when Forné handed over to Parhofer, Stippler charged to move up to sixth in Pro-Am Cup class and 30th overall with more than 50 cars entered.
“I believe it’s a good result at home considering how competitive the championship is. For my part, I’m quite satisfied with my performance as Frank Stippler, a factory Audi Sport driver, was just six tenths quicker than me”explained Forné. The local favorite driver stressed that “we went conservative on the set-up because Dimitri felt more comfortable with it, but we couldn’t push as much as we would have expected. Otherwise, we could have lapped faster. My opening stint was crazy in the opening laps with so many cars but finally I could stay in a good race trim in the second part of the first hour. I had a big moment when another car hit me in the chicane but I didn’t lost many time. Despite we dropped down the order with Dimitri in the second hour, Frank regained several places to move up to sixth. On the whole, a positive sixth place.”
Source. CTR Press