Successful finale for Rinaldi Racing
Last weekend Rinaldi Racing went to the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. There the last round of the Blancpain Sprint Series as well as the finale of the Blancpain GT Series took place. On board three Ferraris. Steve Parrow and Christian Hook started on the black Ferrari 458 in the AM class on the starting number 66. In the ProAm class Alexander Mattschull and Christopher Brück shared the work behind the steering wheel of the green Ferrari 458 #458. Also in the ProAm class Rinat Salikhov and Norbert Siedler on the green Ferrari 488 #333.
On Saturday the team had a long day. Until midday there were three practice sessions. All drivers improved constantly and the team could work on the setup for the qualifying in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the qualifying went under the expectations. The starting number 66 reached the second place in the AM class for the qualifying race on Sunday. For the #458 it was a fifth position in the ProAm class. Even if the #333 achieved the second position in the ProAm class for the race, we hoped for a better overall result. Compared to the other cars, all Ferraris went not so good; which was also confirmed in the races.
Already on the early Sunday morning, Rinaldi Racing went for the qualifying race. Norbert Siedler succeeded a perfect start and could immediately take over the lead in the ProAm class. With lap times of the overall lead, Siedler moved up to the 14th position overall. After a fast pit stop, Rinat Salikhov took over the green Ferrari. Until the last lap he fought with his pursuer in the class, but at the end, he lost his first position. The race went more favorable for the starting number 458. Chris Brück took over the start and until the pit stop, he moved forward to the third position in class. After the pit stop and the mandatory driver change, Alexander Mattschull could bring home the third place. In the #66 Christian Hook kept out of any incidents at the start, so he could win some positions. After the driver change, Steve Parrow could reach the second position in the AM class with constant lap times.
Already some hours later the main race started at the circuit de Catalunya. Rinat Salikhov could keep his second position on the Ferrari 488 and tried to move forward. After a very good pit stop, Norbert Siedler drove on track. With more and more faster lap times he could gain the lead in the ProAm class and brought it home. On the green Ferrari #458 Alexander Mattschull took over the start. As fourth in the ProAm class he handed over the Ferrari 458 to Chris Brück. Despite good lap times and some duels, they reached the fourth position in the ProAm class. Already at the start, Steve Parrow took the first position in the AM class. With good lap times, he could have a lead over his pursuer. Just before the pit stop, he was hit by another car and spun. There he lost the first position. Although Christian Hook tried to catch the leader in the AM class, the black Ferrari reached the second position.
At the end Rinaldi Racing can be pleased about following positions in the Blancpain GT Series classes:
Blancpain GT Series AM Class 2nd position
Blancpain GT Series ProAm Class 3rd position
Blancpain Endurance Series AM Class 3rd position
Blancpain Sprint Series AM Class 2nd position
Blancpain Sprint Series ProAm Class 3rd position
Blancpain Endurance Series AM Driver 3rd position Pierre Ehret
Blancpain Sprint Series AM Driver 3rd position Steve Parrow and Chris Hook
„It was a mixed weekend for us“, so team boss Michele Rinaldi. „Rinat and Norbert did a good job, however we still struggle with the qualifying. We were the fastest Ferrari on the 22nd position overall; that is a frustrating result for Ferrari. Next year we have to test more to reach better results. The potential is there. Also, I am very pleased about the other drivers. Alexander Mattschull always does a professional job. For Chris Brück it was the first time in a Ferrari and at the end, he was rewarded with a trophy. Also, our two pirates on the Black Pearl Ferrari have potential. Over the whole season both drivers improved and learned more about the car. Huge thanks you to my team, which did an amazing job this weekend, even if it was more stressful. Over the season they improved a lot and the work at the pit stop is really professional. At the end of the Blancpain GT Series I want to thank our partners and sponsors; especially Ehret Family Winery, KS-Tools and Syntix. To all fans: a massive thank you for your support. It is great to see that we can excite the fans all over the world. Also thank you to the SRO, who organizes the Blancpain GT Series. They created an awesome racing series and we hope to be back next year.“