Right after Paul Ricard, the Rinaldi Racing team travelled to the Nürburgring for the third round of the Blancpain Sprint Series.

For the team, the race event was a home game; the company’s headquarters are only 30 km away from the Nürburgring. For Rinaldi Racing, the green Ferrari 488 with the starting number 333 went to the start with Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried. The steering wheel work on the black Ferrari 458 with start number 66 was shared by Steve Parrow and Christian Hook in the Am class.

Qualifying for the Sprint Series took place first thing on Saturday morning. Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried finished 14th, only 0.6 seconds behind the front runners. “With such a strong field and such a high-performance density, it’s very difficult to get into a good position for the race. We are only six tenths away from the top and yet we only managed 14th place,” said team boss Michele Rinaldi. The #66 car finished second in the Am class in qualifying. Steve Parrow and Christian Hook have steadily improved and convinced with stable lap times.

On Saturday, the qualifying race took place in dry conditions. Marco Seefried took over the start in the #333 and was able to improve a few positions right at the beginning. Unfortunately, he slipped out too far in one corner in the Ferrari 488, so that some competitors were able to overtake him. After the driver change to Norbert Siedler, he handed over the Ferrari in 14th position. Due to a good pit stop, Norbert Siedler was able to make up some positions and worked his way up to the tenth position. With two laps to go, a car started to overtake and collided twice with the #333, causing Siedler to lose control of the Ferrari 488, but still managed to bring home 11th place. “Not an ideal race for us, but still a good starting point for the race on Sunday,” commented Michele Rinaldi. The sister car with starting driver Christian Hook managed to stay out of any collisions at the start and posted consistent lap times until the driver change to Steve Parrow. Despite a minor technical problem, #66 was able to finish the race and secure second place on the podium in the Am classification.

A few hours before the main race on Sunday, it started to rain, typical for the Eifel weather. Fortunately, the rain stopped and the track was almost dry for the start of the race. At the start, Norbert Siedler in the green Ferrari went on the attack from position 11 and immediately passed some of his rivals. After further great overtaking manoeuvres and very fast lap times, he reached a fabulous fourth place before handing over to Marco Seefried at the pit stop. The latter came back out onto the track in 5th place; right behind him a Mercedes and an Audi. However, Marco Seefried was able to keep both cars at bay and defended his position until the end of the race, thus clinching a great fifth place for the Rinaldi Racing Team in front of a home crowd. There was also joy for the Black Pearl Ferrari #66; after a very good start by Steve Parrow, he was also able to secure the lead in the amateur classification in the meantime. After a good pit stop and driver change to Christian Hook, it was unfortunately only enough for second place in the Am class in the end. Nevertheless, a superb performance by both drivers. “A great weekend for the whole Rinaldi Racing Team. It was a step in the right direction. Marco and Norbert were always able to work their way to the front and keep up with the top lap times with the Ferrari 488. We will definitely try to build on the result and the performance. I am very proud of my team who did an excellent job. Both amateur drivers Steve Parrow and Christian Hook have now also shown what they can achieve this weekend. It’s obviously very difficult to compete in such a high-calibre field, so I’m all the more pleased that they were able to get on the podium and enjoy the champagne shower at both races,” said Michele Rinaldi. “We have made a step forward. We didn’t have a single test day with the car; we only had the sessions from Brands Hatch and now at the Nürburgring to find the right setup,” said Norbert Siedler.

At our home race, we were pleased to welcome our partner KS-Tools. KS-Tools guests were able to take a look around the Rinaldi Racing Box and gain an impression of how a motorsport team works. They were also shown the technical details of the Ferrari 458 and Ferrari 488.

We would also like to thank Lindner Hotels & Ferienpark Nürburgring for being our partner. In the entrance hall of the Lindner Congresshotel Nürburgring, you could admire our green Ferrari 458.

The next race for Rinaldi Racing is the highlight of the entire Blancpain GT Series calendar: the 24-hour race in Spa. The team will use the green Ferrari 488 and the following drivers are in action for Rinaldi: Pierre Ehret, Rinat Salikhov, Alexander Mattschull and Marco Seefried.