Italian racing team, Iron Lynx, experienced a weekend of mixed emotions in Bahrain for the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the final round of Italian F4 in Monza.

With the team gaining valuable experience on its pace throughout the season so far, Iron Lynx was able to seal its first pole position in the qualifying for the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Bahrain with Rino Mastronardi at the wheel of car #60, setting a time of 1:58.687 in the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

The race got off to a clean start in the blistering Bahrain heat. Car #60 was started with Rino, teamed with Matteo Cressoni and Andrea Piccini. Starting at the front of the field following his strong qualifying result, Rino did well to hold off the AF Corse car widening the gap within the first fifteen minutes providing great expectations for the team. But due to a technical issue the car had to head to the pits and re-joined at the back of the field.

With the pitstop meaning car #60 was now at least two laps down from the rest of the field, Cressoni and Piccini both drove a brilliant stretch, trying to collect valuable knowledge and learning of the track ahead of next weekend’s race. Taking the wheel for the final stint, Andrea Piccini brought the car home safely in twelfth place.

Marking the first time in Bahrain, the Iron Dames car #85 started in eleventh place following a warm and tough qualifying session. Sharing the car with Rahel Frey and Katherine Legge, Sarah Bovy started the race putting in a mighty first hour quickly making up positions taking the car from P11 to P6.

Bovy gained a further position by the end of the second hour mark before handing over to Katherine Legge under full course yellow conditions. Legge lost ground, due to traffic and another full course yellow, but fought hard to regain the positions in order to handover to Rahel Frey in P5, who put in a strong performance to pilot the car home in eighth position.

Iron Lynx team principal, Andrea Piccini, said: “Bahrain is a tricky circuit. The heat combined with very low grip conditions makes this a very harsh track and requires great sensibility from the drivers to manage both the tyres as well as the traffic on track. I am immensely proud of our first pole position at the FIA World Endurance Championship, and I am also happy with the pace showed by the Iron Dames. We’ll benefit from the experience gathered here to come back even stronger for the final round next week.”

Also taking place this weekend was the final round of the Italian F4 in Monza. This saw Iron Lynx regulars, Pietro Armanni and Leonardo Fornaroli, and Iron Dame Maya Weug, take part in three races across Saturday and Sunday on wet track conditions.

Armanni was able to fight for the rookie podium in all three races showing great pace and progress in the qualifying and fought hard through the field to achieve the podium in race one.

Fornaroli’s final round was very unlucky. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to defend his third place in the Championship due to a suspected fracture on his wrist following an incident in race two, resulting in him finishing fifth overall in the season.

This weekend provided valuable experience for Weug on wet track conditions. She showed great improvements finishing race three in the top 15 and winning the women’s championship.

Commenting on the final round of Italian F4, Piccini said: “We have demonstrated great pace with Leonardo in most of the races this year, always fighting for the top positions; he deserved a much better result in the end, but that’s racing. Pietro has also put in some strong results this season, achieving several rookie podiums and has shown solid improvements throughout, performing well among the rookies. Finally, Maya has shown true determination and got off to a good start, managing to finish ahead of a much more experienced field to win the women’s championship.”

Iron Lynx will remain in Bahrain where the team will take part next weekend in the 8 Hours of Bahrain, the final round in the FIA World Endurance Championship.