After a two-month break in the Blancpain Sprint Series, Rinaldi Racing impressed with a great performance at round five.

On the 4.653-kilometer “Portimao Circuit” in Portugal, Marco Seefried and Norbert Siedler crossed the finish line in third place in the one-hour race and rejoiced on the podium. The professionals from Rinaldi Racing held their own against renowned competition in the only Ferrari with start number 333.

On Saturday, the spectators saw an action-packed qualifying race over 60 minutes. Starting from eighth place, Norbert Siedler initially lost a place in the starting phase, but then delivered an enthralling battle with the competition. The duel with Audi driver Frank Stippler on the second lap, in particular, left the Rinaldi team breathless. Hard but fair, the two rivals did not give each other a millimeter of the track. After three laps, the Austrian had worked his way up to the sixth place. The Rinaldi driver made no mistake and moved up to fifth place by the pit stop window at race half-time.

In the second half, Siedler’s teammate Marco Seefried continued his strong performance. He steadily pulled away from his pursuer in the Lamborghini and eventually drove home a strong fourth place. “Considering that we started from eighth place, fourth place is a great result,” Marco Seefried was pleased on Saturday. “Our car is difficult to drive here on the Portimao track.” Norbert Siedler also looked back on the qualifying race with satisfaction: “Fourth place is completely okay. Towards Sunday we adjusted a few things on the car to be in an even better position.”

In the main race, the team around Michele Rinaldi shone with a great podium finish. Marco Seefried and Norbert Siedler saw the chequered flag in third place. Start driver Seefried got off to a good start and was immediately able to put pressure on the third-placed Audi with Niki Mayr-Melnhof. The two professionals dueled for several laps and Marco Seefried finally managed the overtaking maneuver. “We had contact, but it was a fair fight,” Seefried described the duel. At the halfway point of the race, the Rinaldi driver handed over the wheel to his teammate Norbert Siedler, who was able to maintain the narrow lead until the finish. “Fantastic. Finishing third was our goal,” Siedler revealed. “The Audis are very strong here, especially in the corners. We could keep up on the straights, but not the speed in the corners.” Marco Seefried added: “Free practice wasn’t that optimal yet, that’s why we’re especially happy about third place in the end.”

From 19 to 20 September, the Blancpain GT Series will make a guest appearance at the Nürburgring, hosting the fifth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. For Rinaldi Racing from Mendig, the round at the traditional circuit is a home game. “We are really looking forward to this race,” reveals team boss Michele Rinaldi. “In front of our home crowd and our fans, we would of course like to go far to the front.”