Aug 2014

Nightmare in Spa

Team GT Corse by Rinaldi endures a difficult race weekend in Belgium at the 24h Spa-Francorchamps.

Both Ferraris are out of contention after just a few hours of the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours.
Team GT Corse by Rinaldi suffered at the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours. The Ferrari of Alexander Mattschull, Pierre Ehret, Tim Müller and Roger Grouwels (car number 458) lost two laps in the early stages due to an unscheduled pit stop and retired a little later in a pile-up in the famous Eau Rouge. The sister car from the Pro-Am category with Marco Seefried, Norbert Siedler, Vadim Kogay and Rinat Salikhov (start number 333) was involved in a serious accident in the area of the fast Blanchimont curve after about five hours and also retired.

Danny Pfeil (Team Principal): “We experienced an unbelievable string of dramas. Our Ferrari 458 in the Gentlemen Trophy was in the best possible position, we had many successes behind us from the past weeks. But at the climax of the Blancpain Endurance Series season, everything went against us. Shortly after the start, we had problems with the cooling system, then our car was taken out of the race in a mass crash in Eau Rouge through no fault of our own. Our number 333 already had tuning problems with the ABS during practice. This prevented a really fast lap in the fight for Superpole and the best grid positions. In the first stint, Marco Seefried was able to move the car up from 30th to 24th place, afterwards, Norbert Siedler drove the car further forward. In the twilight, the end followed. Vadim Kogay collided with the Kessel Ferrari on the approach to the Blanchimont curve for reasons still unknown. It was a terrible accident. We are very happy that both drivers survived this terrible scene. Vadim Kogay has meanwhile been discharged from the hospital in Aachen. We know from Marcus Mahy that he has come out of the artificial coma and is in a stable condition. This makes us happy after an extremely disappointing weekend because the health of all pilots is always our priority.”

Michele Rinaldi (Technical Director): “The 24-hour races don’t mean well for us. So after our early retirement at the Nürburgring, we have now suffered the next bitter blow. Both our Ferraris were knocked out of the race in accidents. Vadim was very lucky and could leave the hospital in the meantime. We wish Marcus Mahy a speedy recovery. July was a really dramatic month for us. Due to the points system of the Blancpain Endurance Series, which puts a lot of emphasis on the endurance race in the Ardennes, we lost our previously safe lead in the Gentlemen Trophy. We now need a lot of strength and fortitude to deal with these defeats. The bright spot at Spa was our best time in the warm-up, which clearly showed that we now have the speed to hold our own in and also in the Pro-Am series.”

The whole team wishes Marcus and Vadim a speedy recovery.

The next race for the “Eifel Ferraristi” is imminent. Next weekend, GT Corse by Rinaldi will compete in the 6-hour VLN race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.