Iron Lynx competed hard on two fronts this weekend, with two cars in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, and three entries in the Italian Formula 4 Championship at Spielberg, Austria.
The weekend at Spa started early for the team, taking part in the Passione Ferrari Club Challenge for the first time, bringing new faces to the track and introducing them to the exclusive and exhilarating feeling of racing with Ferrari.
Race one in the Ferrari Challenge was on a dry track after wet qualifying, with Michelle Gatting, the championship leader for Iron Lynx, qualifying in third position but frustrated by a red flag which halted qualifying early. Young German racer Arno Dahlmeyer distinguished himself by qualifying second in class and sixth overall. In the race, Arno battled hard to bring the car home in seventh in class, while Michelle took third place – her eleventh podium of the season.
With the Trofeo Pirelli title a real possibility at the end of race two, Michelle just needed to retain her podium form – but an electronics issue on her Ferrari in fog-delayed morning qualifying left the Dane without power. The safest solution was a last-minute car change and the whole team went to work to prepare the car for the race.
Starting last on the grid of 21, Michelle had serious work to do in an unfamiliar car, but stormed through the field in the early stages, making up ten positions in four laps. Unfortunately, her charge had taken its toll on the tyres, and without a safety car to close the field up, Michelle finished eighth overall and sixth in class, with Arno also taking sixth in Trofeo Pirelli Am after starting seventh.
Michelle continues to lead the championship with 152 points and a 29-point lead with 35 points available at the final rounds at Mugello in November. Two more points finishes will make Michelle the first woman ever to win the Trofeo Pirelli Europe.
At Spielberg for Italian Formula 4, Iron Lynx’s Leonardo Fornaroli continued his fight for a top spot in the championship, taking sixth place in race one, and second place from pole position in race two. Iron Dame Maya Weug finished sixth in class in race one, and sixth again in race two, having won ten positions in a race interrupted by multiple safety cars. Pietro Armanni had a more trying time – having made up five places to twelfth in class in race one, he was eliminated from race two by a competitor.
The third race began under the safety car due to sudden rain, sending most of the field into the pits for wet tyres. In 21st, 29th and 30th positions by the third lap, Leo, Maya and Pietro kept the cars on the track and gained a total of 36 positions between them, finishing seventh (Leo) plus ninth in class (Maya) and twelfth in class (Pietro).
Team Principal Andrea Piccini commented: “We are all behind Michelle as she strives to become Trofeo Pirelli champion. The teamwork to recover from the technical issue suffered in quali and her recovery drive on Sunday were proof that we never give up. Our F4 challengers also delivered strong results – Leo was fastest in quali with a magnificent pole position and drove three strong races to put himself third in this very competitive championship. Maya and Pietro suffered a bit in qualifying but despite that, they managed to show good pace in all three races, making some great moves and recovering many places”.
Iron Lynx will be back at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend for the European Le Mans Series plus the Michelin Le Mans Cup. Iron Lynx currently heads the ELMS GTE and Le Mans Cup GT3 standings as both series enter their penultimate racing weekends.