P4 at the first heat in Imola

Rinaldi Ferrari in the pitlane - Photo by Dirk Bogaerts (SRO)
Rinaldi Ferrari in the pitlane - Photo by Dirk Bogaerts (SRO)

The Rinaldi Racing Trio Pierre Ehret, Rino Mastronardi and Daniel Keilwitz has scored a 4th class-rank in the first race of the season and their debut in the Pro-Am class at the 3h of Imola. The trio in the green and black Ferrari finished 25th overall in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup race, held for the first time in Imola, after 85 laps in the 46 car field and fourth in class beyond 11 competitors in the Pro-Am category. With a gap of only 1.7s to the third in class, the team only just missed out on a podium place.

Pierre Ehret did not struggle with the result. "Actually we lost a possible podium place despite good driving performance of the crew because of 2 smaller mistakes. First I watched the wrong display at one of the first full course yellows and slightly exceeded the speedlimit. So we got an additional drive-through penalty. Then, during the driver change from Rino to Daniel one of the Bentleys parked towards us in the narrow pit lane, which is why we lost an additional 15s. On the one hand this allowed the later class winner of the next SC phase to pull away from us by one lap and Daniel got stuck in a tight fight for position 2. When a competitor spun in front of him, he had to leave the track for a short time while avoiding and 2 competitors passed him."

The Pro-Am class in the 3 hour race, which was interrupted by 5 full course yellow phases, was won by the Garage 59 Aston of West/Goodwin/Adam ahead of the Sky-Tempesta-Ferrari and the Sainteloc Racing Audi.

"At least I was able to keep up with the competition at the start of the race thanks to the yellow phases and safety cars, although I even lost a few places due to a small slip. Our team proved to be very competitive and P2 would have been within our capabilities. The class is very competitive, so these were important first points for this season of only 4 races".

The next race is the "home race" of Rinaldi Racing and Pierre Ehret on 5-6 September with the 3h race at the Nürburgring.