Top 5 result at home race
Just after Paul Ricard the Rinaldi Racing crew went to the third run of the Blancpain Sprint Series to the Nürburgring. For the team the race event was a home race as the workshop is just 30 km away from the Nürburgring. For Rinaldi Racing the green Ferrari 488 with the starting number 488 started with Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried. Steve Parrow and Christian Hook shared the work behind the steering wheel of the black Ferrari 458 with the starting number 66 in the AM class.
Already on Saturday morning the qualifying of the Sprint Series took place. Norbert Siedler and Marco Siedler reached the 14th position just with a 0.6 seconds gap of the leader. „With this strong starter field and the high performance density it is very difficult to gain a good position for the race. We are just six tenth away from the leader, nevertheless we are just getting the 14th position out of it“, so team boss Michele Rinaldi. The starting number 66 qualified second in the AM class. Steve Parrow and Christian Hook improved continuously and convinced with stable lap times.
Also on Saturday the qualifying race took place under dry conditions. Marco Seefried took over the start in the #333 and from the beginning he gained some positions. Unfortunately he slipped out too wide in a turn so that a few cars could overtake him. At the pit stop he handed over the Ferrari to Norbert Siedler on the 14th position. Due to the good pit stop Norbert Siedler could improve some positions and moved forward until the 10th position. Two laps before the end of the race a car prepared for overtaking the #333 but hit the Ferrari twice. Thereby Siedler lost the control over the Ferrari 488, but could bring home the 11th position. „It was not an optimal race for us, however it is a good starting position for the race on Sunday“, commented Michele Rinaldi. The sister car with starting driver Christian Hook could keep out of all collisions at the start and drove constant lap times until the driver change to Steve Parrow. Despite of a little technical problem the #66 could finish the race and reach the second position on the podium in the AM class.
On Sunday a few hours before the main race the rain starts, just typical for the Eifel region. Fortunately the rain stopped and for the start of the race the circuit was almost dry. For the start Norbert Siedler attacked from position 11 with the green Ferrari and immediately he overtook some cars. After a few more brilliant overtaking maneuvers and very fast lap times he reached an amazing fourth position before handing over the car to Marco Seefried. Seefried went back on track as fifth, just behind him a Mercedes and an Audi. But Marco Seefried could keep both cars behind him and defended his position until the end of the race and the result was a great fifth place for Rinaldi Racing in front of the local scene. Also the Black Pearl Ferrari #66 reached a satisfying result: after a very good start of Steve Parrow he was the leader of the AM class. After a good pit stop and driver change Christian Hook just reached the second position in the AM class. Nevertheless a superb performance of both drivers. „A great weekend for the whole Rinaldi Racing team. It was a step in the right direction. Marco and Norbert could always move forward and with the Ferrari 488 they were able to drive the lap times of the leader. Definitely we will try to tie in with this result and performance. I am very proud of my team, who did an amazing job. Also both amateur drivers Steve Parrow and Christian Hook have shown this weekend what they are capable of. Of course it is very difficult to drive in this high-class field, the more I am happy for them that they reached two podiums and could enjoy the champagne“, so Michele Rinaldi. „We did a step forward. We did not have any test day with this car, we just had the session from Brands Hatch and now Nürburgring to find the right setup“, so Norbert Siedler.
For our home race we were pleased to welcome our partner KS-Tools. Their guests could visit the Rinaldi Racing garage and gain impressions how a racing team is working. Also they were informed about technical details of the Ferrari 458 and the Ferrari 488.
We also want to thank Lindner Hotels & Ferienpark Nürburgring, who supported us for this race. 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 whole Blancpain GT Series calendar: the 24 hours race at Spa. The team will start with the green Ferrari 488 and with following driver line-up: Pierre Ehret, Rinat Salikhov, Alexander Mattschull and Marco Seefried.