Strong performance in Monza
Rinaldi Racing shone at the Blancpain Endurance Series season opener in Monza with a successful performance from all three Ferraris.
After an impressive opening phase, Daniel Keilwitz, Steve Parrow and Alexander Matschull secured third place in the Pro-Am Cup. Their teammates Norbert Siedler, Marco Seefried and Rinat Salikhov finished 17th, while Pierre Ehret and Stef Vancampenhoudt came home 28th in the new Ferrari 488 GT3 to claim the second position in the Amateur classification.
Daniel Keilwitz made a perfect debut in his first race for Rinaldi Racing: starting from tenth place, the 26-year-old needed only a few laps to work his way up to the second place. What followed was one of the most exciting duels of the three-hour race. Keilwitz put increasing pressure on the leading Mercedes and, thanks to a skilful manoeuvre when lapping, took over the top position in the 57-car field.
The two Gentlemen drivers Steve Parrow and Alexander Matschull followed up on Keilwitz’s strong performance and held their own against the GT pros. In the end, the trio in the Black Pearl by Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 GT3 just missed the top-10 with the eleventh place.
Daniel Keilwitz was not the only Rinaldi driver to come up with trumps in the early stages. Marco Seefried also managed an impressive recovery in the first hour of the race. The veteran worked his way up from 24th place to ninth before Rinat Salikhov took over the wheel. A drive-through penalty ruined the chance of a top-10 finish.
Pierre Ehret and Stef Vancampenhoudt finished 28th overall in the first outing of the Ferrari 488 GT3. In the Am classification, in which only Gentlemen drivers compete, the duo celebrated second place. “A race result with which we can be very satisfied,” summed up team boss Michele Rinaldi. “We can look forward to the remaining races this season with confidence.”
The next round of the Blancpain GT Series will be held at Brands Hatch in the UK on 7-8 May. In the Sprint Cup, the team from Mendig will try to collect further important points for the championship.