Iron Lynx returned to Monza, one week on from their win and podiums in the Le Mans Cup and European Le Mans Series, to compete in the team’s third FIA World Endurance Championship race – the Six Hours of Monza.
The team entered the weekend with a revised driver line-up, bringing Belgian Sarah Bovy into the Iron Dames squad to partner Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey. It fell to Sarah to qualify the #85 Ferrari, and in her first FIA WEC experience, she planted the car firmly in the top half of the field, the Iron Dames lining up sixth in the LMGTE Am category.
Saturday was a day to forget for the #60 car of Claudio Schiavoni, Matteo Cressoni and Andrea Piccini. Sadly an incident in free practice left the team battling against the clock to repair the car in time for qualifying, which was accomplished by the hard-toiling Iron Lynx mechanics in the blazing Monza heat. Unfortunately, technical problems affected the car on the way to the grid and forced Andrea Piccini to bring the car into the pits after just four laps for attention. It would return to the track once the problem was finally solved, but only for a short test session.
The Iron Dames car was started by Sarah Bovy who double-stinted, running #85 in second place on the road with just over two hours gone. A safety car just after that point changed the race for the Dames though, the car forced to make an emergency stop for fuel while the pitlane was officially closed. The regular stop just a few laps later put the car in the hands of Michelle Gatting, who took the car over in eleventh and raced it up to seventh before handing over to Rahel Frey. As the pitstops unravelled, it was Rahel who rejoined a battle after a full course yellow with 20 minutes to go and a gap of 17 seconds to close, which the Swiss driver achieved, snatching eighth position with ten minutes to run of the 6 Hours of Monza.
Iron Lynx team principal, Andrea Piccini, commented: “We are naturally frustrated about car #60, which our mechanics fought hard to repair and which eventually ran with very competitive lap times during the race. As for the Iron Dames, I must say that we suffered from some very unfortunate safety car and full course yellow situations which had a big impact on our strategy. Sarah showed both speed and consistency in her first GTE race, and didn’t crack under the pressure! We know that Michelle and Rahel are fast, so without that first safety car issue, we could have certainly fought for the podium places. We certainly have gained more valuable FIA WEC experience, at a very similar track to Le Mans, and we now look ahead to the big one.”
Iron Lynx’s motorsport odyssey continues in the coming weeks with Italian Formula 4 at Imola next weekend, followed by the 24 Hours of Spa in the GT World Challenge a week later, with the next challenge – Le Mans – just weeks away…