Team GT Corse by Rinaldi presented itself in top form at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

The “Eifel Ferraristi” held their own against the strong competition in the SP9 class with the only Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in the starting field, but did not take the deserved reward in the end. Alexander Mattschull, Pierre Ehret, Andrea Barlesi and Mike Jäger had to retire from the race on Sunday morning at 6:00 am after an accident. The reason for the incident was a puncture. Despite the disappointing result, the team around team manager Danny Pfeil draws a positive balance. They are now looking ahead to the coming weekend. GT Corse by Rinaldi starts in Le Castellet (F) in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Danny Pfeil (Team Principal): “It was a great race with a lot of excitement over 24 hours. First of all, congratulations to Audi and Team Phoenix for the win and to our coach Nico Bastian for the podium finish he achieved in the AMG SLS. We weren’t able to achieve our goal of finishing in the top 10, but we are generally very satisfied with our performance. We would have loved to finish the race with our green ‘Italo-Frog’. The consistency and technical reliability are impressive overall. We have already driven 10,000 kilometres this year without the slightest problem. A big thank you goes to our team, who are full of passion. I can assure you of one thing: We will be back next year with our Ferrari! Now it’s time to move on. Next weekend we’ll be racing at Paul Ricard in the Blancpain Endurance Series. We want to extend our class lead there.”

Michele Rinaldi (Technical Director): “It was clear to us from the start that we wouldn’t play a role in the fight for the podium places in Europe’s biggest car race. The competition with its more than 20 factory-supported GT3 cars is extremely strong on the Nordschleife. We have been able to position ourselves very well within this select field. We are slowly getting better and better into our stride. We can be proud of that.”

Andrea Barlesi (driver #29): “It’s a shame we couldn’t finish the race. But I take a lot of positive impressions with me. When do you ever drive in front of such an impressive backdrop with 100,000 spectators? That was unbelievable. That I was allowed to drive the starting stint with our car was a great honour for me.”

Mike Jäger (driver #29): “It was my fourth participation in the 24-hour race. But for the first time, I was competing with a GT3 car in the big SP9 class. It was a great experience to be able to fight with the big boys. My good double stint during the night showed me that the training had paid off in full. A boot camp like that does have an effect!”

Alexander Mattschull (driver #29): “Of course we would have loved to finish, but such a 24-hour race is merciless. The best GT drivers in Europe were at the start. The fact that I made it into the select field of the top 30 qualifying in this environment with our Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 makes me really proud. I’ll personally take that as a highlight from this weekend.”

Pierre Ehret (driver #29): “I was still under the impression of the experiences from Le Mans, but I have to admit: The event in the Eifel is in no way inferior to that. We did really well with our green Ferrari but unfortunately didn’t make it to the chequered flag. At 6:00 on Sunday morning, I had an accident because of a puncture. That was the early exit – very sad.”