IRON LYNX TAKES GOLD CUP PODIUM FINISH IN GTWCE AT NURBURGRING
Iron Lynx and Iron Dames took to the famous Nurburgring for the second GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup round in July and the fourth of the season. Conditions at the Rhineland circuit were mixed throughout the weekend, but the #19 of Rolf Ineichen, Leonardo Pulcini and Michele Beretta, the #63 of Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper, and the #83 of Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting were ready to take on the 5.148-kilometre circuit.
Heavy rain descended as qualifying got underway, but the drivers in all three crews were unfazed. Conditions were at their worst in the first segment, which prompted a lengthy delay in the middle of it. Mirko put in a great lap, putting the #63 car in contention for overall pole position early on. The track began drying during Q2 and into Q3. Good, consistent laps from Leonardo, Michele and Rolf in the #19 car was rewarded with a top-three position in the Gold class.
Strong laps from Andrea and crucially Jordan in the final session put the #63 just 0.130 of a second away from overall pole position, while great runs from Rahel, Sarah and Michelle put the #83 Iron Dames car on pole in Bronze Cup for the three-hour race, and 14th overall among the cars in the top class.
Starting in the top 20 overall, Rolf took the first stint of the race for the #19 and kept out of trouble in the opening corners, working his way up into second in class in the process. Rolf stayed there throughout his stint, battling with cars in the top class before handing over to Michele.
He was able to keep his cool during his stint, maintaining position and holding a comfortable lead over the #30 Team WRT before handing over to Leonardo for the run to the flag. Pulcini was able to extend his lead to the BMW in third, mixing the #19 with Pro Class cars at the end of the race.
What was shaping up to be a promising race ended very early for the #63. Jordan took the start, but was shuffled down the order by several cars squeezing into him. He had gained a position in the next few laps that followed, but contact with the Rowe Racing #98 led to hitting the barrier. Damage to the front-right too much to repair quickly so the team opted to retire before the half-hour mark.
It was a battling comeback from the Iron Dames, who had to climb up the order after contact from behind at the first corner which spun them around. Rahel, who took the start, had worked her way into 10th in class before contact with another car sent her into another spin.
Undeterred, she had fought her way into 10th again before handing over to Sarah. During the Belgian driver’s stint, she was able to close the gap to the cars in front, and when Michelle took over, the #83 had worked its way back into eighth in class.
Michelle battled hard in the final part of the race but dropped a couple of positions back to 12th by the chequered flag in the closely-fought Bronze Cup.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe
Also racing at the German circuit was Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe, with five Iron Lynx entries across all four classes for two 50-minute races.
In the first qualifying, the #89 in Pro-Am was the highest-starting car in its class – sitting in third on the grid. The rest of the cars were poised to move up the order in the race.
Claude-Yves Gosselin in the #4 had the strongest start of the Iron Lynx-run Lamborghini Huracán GT2 EVO cars, moving up to second on the opening lap from sixth, before climbing into the lead when the leader had an issue.
Following the pitstop, handing over to Marc Rostan, the #4 remained in the lead before unfortunately retiring after a spin. In LC Cup, Luciano Privitelio kept the car in the mix in the opening stint before handing over to Donovan Privitelio. In his stint, he was able to climb up the order as the race carried on and took third in class.
Late on in the race, in the Pro-Am class, following a solid stint of Yelmer Buurman, Nigel Schoonderwoerd took his #89 into a final second position after a big fight with other two cars. It was a good day for Emanuel Colombini and Emanuele Zonzini in the #78 entry, with the latter the protagonist of a strong comeback up to third position to round out the Pro-Am podium.
It was an unlucky race for Rodrigo Testa and Ugo de Wilde, who were forced to an early retirement with five minutes left due to a technical issue.
For the second qualifying session, Donovan Privitelio put in the #8 Iron Lynx on pole position in the LC Cup class, with Ugo de Wilde third in Pro and Emanuele Zonzini third in Am.
The race was held in challenging drying conditions and proved tricky for the quintet. After a Safety Car start, the #89 of Schoonderwoerd was out of the race early on, while the second Am car of Zonzini was punted into a spin and into early retirement. Despite the tough conditions, the rest of the entries kept it on the track as the race progressed and through the pitstop phase.
Ugo and Rodrigo took sixth in the Pro Cup, as did Luciano and Donovan in the LC Cup to round out their weekend, with both cars battling throughout the 50-minute race.
Iron Lynx Team Principal and CEO, Andrea Piccini, said: “It was a fantastic effort from the team and drivers in qualifying this weekend and great to see all of them at the front of their respective classes. In particular we are very happy about the Iron Dames taking their first pole with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO 2. Losing two cars in the first corners was a real shock for all of us. Rahel was really unfortunate, as she could not do anything. Jordan didn’t have the best start and ended into a Mercedes sandwich that damaged heavily the car. The Dames put in a determined comeback drive after the contact early on to come away with a solid result. #63 was forced to retire early on after such a strong qualifying where we nearly took pole in really tough conditions. The #19 had a great day, with Rolf, Leonardo and Michele taking a podium – a well-deserved result for that crew.
We are also happy for the three podiums achieved in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe on Saturday in a very eventful race. I wish to thank the whole team for their incredible efforts, hard work, commitment and dedication throughout the first half of this season. Now is the time to recharge and to take a well-earned break over the next few weeks.”