Good performance remains unrewarded
Last weekend, Rinaldi Racing travelled to Monza for the first round of the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Two Ferraris 488 GT3 were among them. On the number 333 Ferrari, Alexander Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov and Daniel Keilwitz shared the work behind the steering wheel in the ProAm class. On the sister car with start number 488 in the AM class Pierre Ehret and Rino Mastronardi.
On Sunday morning, qualifying started in glorious sunshine. The number 333 showed a good performance in qualifying and achieved fourth place in the ProAm class. In the third qualifying session, number 488 Rino Mastronardi snatched pole position in the AM class.
The first Endurance race of the season starts on Sunday afternoon. Alexander Mattschull took the start for the #333, Pierre Ehret for the #488. Right at the start of the race before the first corner, there was a big accident with several cars involved. Pierre Ehret got through the wreckage quite well; unfortunately, it was a different story for Alexander Mattschull. While braking, he hit another car slightly and another car hit him in the back. Mattschull came into the pits with a puncture, but then immediately set off again and rejoined the race in penultimate place. Shortly afterwards, the red flag was waved. This meant that all the competitors had to line up again at the start and finish. The team rushed to the track to continue repairs on the #333, as the rear bumper had come loose slightly and more tyre and debris parts had got caught in the Ferrari.
Mattschull took up the restart from the tenth position in the ProAm class, Ehret still held his first place. The first pit stops for both cars went well. Alexander Mattschull handed over to Rinat Salikhov and Pierre Ehret to Rino Mastronardi. Mastronardi shone with very good lap times and was able to extend his lead over the second-placed car in the AM class to 14 seconds. Salikhov was able to work his way forward a little and handed over the Ferrari 488 GT3 to Daniel Keilwitz in the ninth position in class at the next stop. Daniel Keilwitz started a very good race to catch up and in the end, achieved a conciliatory fourth place in the ProAm class. At the last pit stop of the #488, Mastronardi handed over to Pierre Ehret again. But after a short time, the Ferrari had to pit again. Due to consequential damage from the start accident, the Italian bolide had to be parked.
Michele Rinaldi: “It was not quite our weekend. The ProAm class is fiercely competitive, but we would have been sure of a place on the podium if we hadn’t been involved in the accident at the start. We clearly dominated the AM class here in Monza, but unfortunately, the technology threw a spanner in the works. It was a pity for Pierre Ehret and Rino Mastronardi. Our Ferraris were both running very well. Now let’s see what England will bring.”
Next week, Rinaldi Racing will head to Brands Hatch for the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series with Alexander Mattschull and Daniel Keilwitz. The team will stay in England after the race and travel on to Silverstone for the Blancpain Endurance Series.