Datum: 05.08.2016 · Sonstige
Podiumfinish 24h Spa 2016
Last weekends 24 hours of Spa 2016 ended with a further podium result for the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 of Pierre Ehret, Alexander Mattschull, Marco Seefried and Rinat Salikhov. After 24 hours and 506 gruelling laps the german Ferrari Crew finished as 36th overall and third in the amateur-class. This proved to be the best success of either Rinaldi and Pierre Ehret after the german privateer scored a DNF after a spectacular accident of his car in 2014. One year later Rinaldi finished as 24th overall, but as 7th in the Pro-Am-class.
The race started everything but good for the german team, as starting driver Marco Seefried, the only allowed Pro-driver in the crew, was punted out into the gravel after just a half lap of racing by another Ferrari-opponent in the class (AF Corse # 49), resulting in the first of 15 Full Course Yellows in the race. "This was a stupid and unnecessary manouver at this point of the race! I was hit from behind and got stuck into the gavel for 4 laps, what effectively ruined our whole race. The car was difficult to drive after this and we had a handful to do to keep it on the track." a frustrated Seefried told afterwards.
The Rinaldi-Crew, now at the dead-end of the 65 car field, changed its prospects to a disciplined and focussed recovery-drive. After half race distance it already was scored as 4th in the 9 cars including AM-class. Engine-problems at the #49 promoted the team on the 3rd rank where it stayed batteling the handling problems as well as the 2 final showers on the track, that caused some troubles late in the race. The 2 Ferraris further ahead in the class, the #888 from Kessel Racing and the #51 from AF Corse proved to be out of reach, but after Rank 2 in Monza and the class-victory in Silverstone Pierre Ehret and Rinaldi Racing archieved the 3rd podium in the 4th race of the Blancpain Endurance GT Cup 2016.
Pierre Ehret was rather satisfied after the race. "To finish on the podium after the bad luck at the start was very much appreciated. The whole Team kept it together and did a good and concentrated job to bring the car home. This podium was the result of the hardest and longest fight of the season so far. We have to see what remains now possible at the Nürburgring, regarding the championship-standings. I would love to fight for a further win and maybe the title at my home-race on the last endurance race planned by our series at the Ring."
The final heat of the Blancpain Endurance GT Cup 2016 will be staged at the 17-18 September at the Nürburgring. Pierre Ehret is currently 2nd in the Am-driver standings with 67 points. The distance to the leading Kessel-Ferrari-trio Liam Talbot, Marco Zanuttini and Vadim Gitlin is 21 points. As 25 points are still to grab, at least a mathematical chance for the title still exists.