FIRST FIA WEC PODIUM FOR IRON LYNX #60 IN TEAM'S HOME RACE AT 6 HOURS OF MONZA
The historic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza hosted the final European round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, with teams looking to make the most of the rest of the season following the Le Mans 24 Hours. The legendary ‘Temple of Speed’ also played host to the home event for the Iron Lynx outfit in a race which featured several different strategies playing out as Safety Cars throughout affected the running order during the race.
In qualifying, Iron Dames’ Sarah Bovy got the fastest lap time in during the 15-minute session securing pole for the all-female line up and a crucial extra championship point. Claudio Schiavoni, in the #60 Iron Lynx Porsche 911 RSR – 19, put in a good effort to secure 12th on the grid in class.
Taking the start for the six-hour race was Sarah and Claudio, and the Iron Dames entry vaulted into a safe lead in the early stages. 15 minutes into the race, a Safety Car was brought out and this wiped the Dames’ lead and changed the strategy, with Claudio among those pitting and Sarah staying out when the opportunity to do so arose. When racing resumed, Sarah maintained her form by building a big gap to the cars behind.
As the race progressed, Claudio continued to put in consistent times that kept the #60 firmly in contention for a good result, while Sarah built up a stronger lead. As the two-hour mark approached, Claudio, on the alternative strategy, pitted for a third time for a dash of fuel before handing over to Matteo Cressoni while Sarah looked set to hand over to Michelle Gatting just after the two-hour mark.
However, a second Safety Car wiped out the Dames’ lead and delayed her stop, putting the #85 on the back foot, but brought the #60 towards the front of the order. When racing resumed, the #85 had ground to make up, and Michelle was able to put in some good moves on the track, including a great pass around the outside of the fast Curva Alboreto, while keeping good lap times to move her way up the order and ending up in a battle with the #33 Corvette Racing as the race approached the second half. Meanwhile, Matteo’s great lap times had put the #60 in contention for a podium before handing to Alessio Picariello.
Alessio carried on the strong run for the #60, passing several cars which had stayed out during the first Safety Car. Once the Iron Dames #85 had pitted again, both cars were sitting in the top five and in the mix as the strategies started to converge. Another Safety Car, this time with about two hours to go, once more hampered the Dames’ progress. Despite that, Michelle’s efforts were strong enough such that when Rahel Frey took over, she was in fifth place in class, while Matteo’s and Alessio’s strong stints put the #60 in the mix for second place.
Alessio completed the race for Iron Lynx, while Rahel maintained fifth position for Iron Dames once all of the pitstops have concluded. Alessio had a comfortable lead over the GR Racing entry, and extended it as the race concluded, while Rahel safely brought the Iron Dames #85 home in fifth place to secure a fourth successive top-five finish and move up to second in the class championship. The podium finish for the #60 marks the best result for the car since entering the FIA WEC full-time in 2021.
Italian GT Endurance Championship
Iron Lynx made its first appearance in the 2023 Italian GT Endurance Championship at the Mugello Circuit in the GT Cup Am class, making up a double-header of home races for the outfit.
The #208 Lamborghini Huracán ST EVO2 driven by Donovan Privitelio and Luciano Privitelio started the two-hour race from seventh in class, having shown good times in qualifying including topping the first of the three sessions. Donovan took the wheel for the first stint, holding position in the opening stages before working his way up to fifth. A Safety Car delayed the opening of the first pit window. On the restart, there were incidents just moments later which brought out a Full Course Yellow, which then became a Safety Car.
Donovan handed over to Luciano having been in the podium places through the pit cycle, and the times in the middle stint of the race were consistent, which meant that the Iron Lynx entry was in position for a good result when Donovan took the car back over for the final stint. As the race headed towards its conclusion, Donovan kept out of trouble, made moves on track and climbed up the order to finish fourth in class by the chequered flag.
I am incredibly happy to see the #60 Iron Lynx car take a podium finish at our home race after a great battle throughout the six hours. Doing so on home soil, at an iconic venue such as Monza, just makes it even better. All three drivers drove very well, and this is a fine reward for the team’s great effort.
The Iron Dames all drove valiantly, amazingly well and without mistakes. It was a pity not to see them take at least a podium finish after all their efforts. Without the timing of the Safety Cars, they had the potential to take their first victory here, but it did not go their way today.
At Mugello, it was a strong showing for Iron Lynx with the #208 driven by Luciano and Donovan Privitello just missing out on the podium places after some great battles late in the race.Iron Lynx Team Principal and CEO, Andrea Piccini