At the season opener in Monza, the joy knew no bounds for Rinaldi Racing.
Rinat Salikhov and Norbert Siedler drove home the overall victory in the Ferrari 458 Italia. The Russian-Austrian duo came out on top against around 60 teams. The team from Mendig already caused a sensation in qualifying with grid positions one and two.
“This result is fantastic,” team boss Michele Rinaldi was pleased about the great success. “Norbert and Rinat put in a fabulous performance. The whole team really deserves this success.” From the start, Russia’s Rinat Salikhov held his ground at the head of the 60-car field. “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t expect at all that we could fight for the lead – and now this triumph. Many thanks to Norbert Siedler for the great work,” beamed Salikhov during the interview on the podium. The two Rinaldi drivers initially only crossed the finish line in second place. But because one of their rivals was disqualified by the race stewards afterwards, Norbert Siedler and Rinat Salikov were awarded the victory.
There was a huge surprise already in qualifying for the race. The front row of the grid for the three-hour race was firmly in the hands of Rinaldi Racing. Siedler and Salikhov qualified first on the grid with the best lap times. “We had a difficult weekend at the opening round of the Blancpain Sprint Series in Nogaro, but Monza suits our car much better. It was a great feeling to start from pole position,” Norbert Siedler summed up. Pierre Kaffer and Steve Parrow made the great team performance perfect. With their fastest time in qualifying, they completed the front row of the grid. The sister car with GT drivers Parrow and Kaffer finished the exciting race in the royal park of Monza on 22nd overall.
After a short break, things continue for Team Rinaldi Racing at Brands Hatch from 9 to 10 May. The venerable race track in the south of Great Britain will host the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series.