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  • Emil Frey Lexus Racing ready for 1000 km at Paul Ricard after Podiums-Success

    Lexus Silverstone 2018

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing ready for 1000 km at Paul Ricard after Podiums-Success

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing is excited for the next race, because with the 1000 km of Paul Ricard one of the highlights of the year is taking place next weekend. The six-hour race is started in the evening with the end at midnight, demanding from both men and machine the maximum of performance and precision. Following the grand podium at the Endurance Cup at Silverstone, the Swiss team takes the successful momentum to the next race weekend of the Blancpain GT Series, aiming to perform strongly once again.

    1000 km and six hours, double the race distance, two stints per driver, the race at Le Castellet serves as a good location for the 24-hours of Spa, taking place end of July. In addition, this is going to be the longest ever race since the Lexus team has been found and the start of the project with the Lexus RC F GT3 in autumn 2016.

    “Paul Ricard will mark another milestone in our development, because so far we have not competed in races that are longer than three hours”, says Hannes Gautschi, Technical Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “However, we know the track quite well from racing there in the International GT Open last year and can look upon some experiences and data. It was important to see with the podium at Silverstone that we are continuously going forward. Now we have to keep working with intensive commitment and then we should be able to achieve another good result at Paul Ricard.”

    Quite often, the weather also makes the race to be a heat battle. “We faced a few issues with the warm track temperatures at Monza, therefore I think we might have some difficulties at Paul Ricard”, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing. “Nevertheless the team is in great spirits after the podium at Silverstone and would like to secure another top result.”

    The third Endurance Cup race takes place 01 and 02 June in Paul Ricard (France). Both qualifying and race take place Saturday, 02 June 2018 and are streamed live at www.blancpain-gt-series.com/watch-live

    For more information, please visit www.emilfreyracing.com

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I was very happy with the performance at Silverstone, because I was able to drive the fastest laptime of the race twice. The whole teamwork is just right and everyone works well together, the hard work is finally paying off. I hope, that we can repeat the success of the sister car and also get a podium finish soon.”

    Christian Klien (A)
    “I am very happy with the development since nobody would have thought a month ago that we would be able to achieve a podium on our own. It is a lot of fun driving at Paul Ricard, because that is the only chance to drive in the dark before we are heading to Spa in July. Silverstone was a great team achievement and now we have to take this momentum forward.”

    Marco Seefried (GER)
    “Paul Ricard will be a tough race, because it’s six hours long and we drive in the dark, anything can happen. Very often it gets very hot there and this year we have another unknown factor with the new tarmac. But we are all in good shape and the team is now even more motivated since the number 114´s success.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
    “We are all very motivated after Lexus´ first podium in the Blancpain GT Series. Since the beginning of the season we have done an unbelievable development. But we must not get lost now and continue our focussed work, then we should look good for upcoming races as well.”

    Norbert Siedler (A)
    “Now we just have to keep doing what we do and then we should be well with it for the next races. Silverstone was good for our car with its fast corners, Paul Ricard will be a bit different, but I am confident that we can achieve points again.”

    Markus Palttala (FIN)
    „Although I don’t think Paul Ricard is quite as good track for the RC F as Silverstone was, it should be OK and we continue working hard to keep the upward trend going. We have tasted the first success and we are definitely hungry for more. I really like this event because it’s longer than a regular BES race – we all get to do 2 stints and the race goes into the dark on Saturday evening. Last time I did this race, we started from the pitlane and finished 3rd so if we do the same faultless job as we did in Silverstone, everything is possible.“

    Lexus Silverstone 2018

    Strong Podium for Emil Frey Lexus Racing in heart-beating final at Silverstone

    The second race on English ground turned out to be yet another good circuit for Emil Frey Lexus Racing. After a last promising appearance at Brands Hatch with satisfying results and points, the Swiss private team presented another strong performance at the fourth round of the season and second Endurance Cup at Silverstone with taking the first podium of the championship in a heart-beating final with the Lexus number 114. The sister car #14 rounded-up the outstanding result with ninth place.

    The team worked on different Setups during Free Practice, but in time for Pre-Qualifying both Lexus RC F GT3 were incredibly strong and surprised the gathered GT3 field with a momentarily best laptime. Thanks to a good balance and Speed through the fast corners, the Lexus #14 and #114 finished the first showdown in third and 14th place, heading into the important qualifying well-prepared.

    The total of 50 competing cars met for qualifying in glorious sunshine on Sunday morning. With three absolute best sector times in section 1 between both Lexus RC F GT3, the team absolved an extraordinary performance and its best qualifying result in the Blancpain GT Series to date. Emil Frey Lexus Racing impressed with P3 for the number 14 and eighth place for the sister car #114, setting the first important milestone for the long race.

    Both starting drivers, Christian Klien (#14) and Stéphane Ortelli (#114) lapped strong lap times at the opening phase of the race, especially in sector 1 they showed once again the best timings, applying pressure from fourth and sixth place. Klien pitted first, but lost immense amount of time due to a broken hammer drill with team-mate Marco Seefried re-joining the track in seventh place. Previously, Ortelli had taken fourth place after the Monegasque set the fastest time of all in sector one and coming into the pits from the leading position.

    Markus Palttala came back into race action in P5, snapping fourth place from the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 after a lap-long battle. The Finn also arranged the #62 Aston Martin accordingly until taking third place in a breath-taking overtaking move on lap 52, only to start his hunt down to the second-placed #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 six seconds ahead of him. Both cars pitted on lap 57 and Norbert Siedler took over the wheel of the #114 Lexus RC F GT3. Siedler re-joined in third with a gap of only three seconds to the #88.

    Seefried handed over the #14 from fourth place to Albert Costa Balboa, who started into the race from eighth place. The Spaniard also underlined the strong performance of the Lexus with absolute best third sector.

    The last third of the race became a heart-beating final for the Lexus crew. Whilst Costa Balboa fought for eighth place with a total of four competitors, driving with part of the car off the track at times, Siedler had his nerves under control in the #114. Just before the end of the race, the #1 Audi was getting extremely close and becoming danger of jeopardising the safely thought third place. But the Austrian kept a cool head and took the first podium finish for the Lexus Team with a gap of 0.5 seconds at the finishing line.

    The next stop in the racing calendar will mark one of the highlights of the year. The 1000 km of Paul Ricard are the only six-hour race and serve as ideal preparation for the 24-hours of Spa at the end of July. Both qualifying and race will take place on Saturday, 2 June 2018 at the South of France.

    Team Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing

    Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “We knew, that Silverstone would suit as a track and we benefited from the data from last year. However, the qualifying result was just fantastic taking into consideration where we started. We were three seconds off the pace at Brands Hatch and now we were able to fight for the front positions on our own – this is a great development for the team and I would like to thank each and everyone in the team. But nobody in the team thought that we could actually achieve a podium and that makes taking third place home even nicer. The result is well-deserved for each team members hard work.”

    Hannes Gautschi, Technical Director Emil Frey Lexus Racing
    “We are very happy with this result. Since Brands Hatch, we made another step for both the whole team and Lexus and are proud to celebrate our first podium position. The number 14 had an incredible third place in qualifying. Christian Klien drove very fast and consistent lap times in the first stint. Unfortunately, we faced a broken hammer drill in the first pitstop. This cost us time, which we could not make up later and ended up in P9 – a Top-10 results, which we were pleased about, because in the end that was our goal. All in all, we had a great team achievement.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “Our start into the weekend was very positive and we could already show a strong performance in Pre-Qualifying. We felt at the beginning that we would have a competitive car and would be strong for the first time since being successful last year. The intensive days in the workshop and the work on-track have proven right and that makes me very happy.”

    Christian Klien (A)
    “We had a very strong Saturday with third place in Pre-Qualifying, but had still lots to prepare for Sunday with both qualifying and the race taking place on the same day. The car was mega throughout the whole weekend and we knew that the first races would be difficult but now we were fighting for Pole Position. The team knew the track very well and that also helped us. We are very happy that our sister car got the first podium.”

    Marco Seefried (GER)
    “My stint was quite difficult unfortunately, because we had issues with the tyre pressure in the front tyres at the beginning. I had a lot of pressure from behind and had to defend strongly. Of course, we are all very happy that our sister car achieved such a great result. They did everything right in the race and now the whole team can celebrate the nice podium.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
    “Silverstone is a track that suited our Lexus very well, we have shown in the past that we are strong especially in the fast corners. It felt just great to be able to fight for a podium. The team supplied us with a super car this weekend. Silverstone is always crazy, with a lot of grip and also physically demanding. I gave my best during my stint and the Lexus was very strong in the Long-runs. I am overwhelmed that we ended up on the podium.”

    Norbert Siedler (A)
    “We continuously work on the progress for the Lexus, but the car is definitely much better than at the beginning of the season, we could already see that at Brands Hatch. We are getting stronger and stronger and I hope that we continue to improve. A big thank you to the team, they have done a great job in the last three months and especially since Brands Hatch and the podium is well-deserved for all their hard work!”

    Markus Palttala (FIN)
    “We had a positive first day at Silverstone. Despite losing quite some time in Free Practice, we showed a good performance in Pre-Qualifying. The Lexus felt a lot better than in Monza. My stint was good and I was able to make up two places. It was really hard to overtake as the other cars were strong in the right places so I had to wait for traffic or mistakes to create an opportunity. Both happened once and I jumped for it. The team gave us a very good car and it feels great to be competitive for the first time this season. I would have never expected that we could drive onto the podium, it’s just a dream!”

    Lexus Brands Hatch 2018

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing takes progress to Endurance Cup at Silverstone

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing continues its tailwind and heading to the fourth round of the Blancpain GT Series. After the successful points finishes at Brands Hatch and the progress over past weeks, the Swiss team aims to secure another top result at the second Endurance Cup, taking place at Silverstone next week.

    At the famous track of Silverstone, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, Emil Frey Racing has got plenty of experience from previous years. The approximately six-kilometre-long track offers plenty of overtaking possibilities and meets the Lexus RC F GT3 with its fast corner combinations. Despite the strong competition of about 50 GT3 cars, the team heads cautious optimism into the second three-hour race of the season.

    “After the encouraging results from Brands Hatch its now down to us to transfer the latest knowledge onto the track at Silverstone”, says Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing. “The fast corners at Silverstone are similar to sector two at Brands Hatch and both tracks are quite bumpy, which makes braking into the corner that little bit more difficult. Therefore, we are not going totally new ways with the Setup, but build upon familiar knowledge and will carry out further optimizations in accordance with our analyses.”

    One glance also goes back to last year’s race weekend of the International GT Open. Emil Frey Lexus Racing secured its most successful weekend of the season at Silverstone with winning the first race and coming third in the second. Despite not having much time between the two races in England, both Lexus RC F GT3 have headed back to the workshop and are now thoroughly checked and prepared. “Despite driving with different tyres than last year, I hope we can still benefit from last year’s data”, adds Hannes Gautschi, Technical Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “After our first Endurance Cup race in the Blancpain GT Series in Monza, the whole team has to switch to the Endurance Cup format again and improve recognized vulnerabilities following the Sprint races at Brands Hatch. We look forward to Silverstone and hope, we can make another step forward at that weekend. “

    Thanks to its continued progress and points results, Emil Frey Lexus Racing currently runs in fifth place of the teams’ standings. “We had quite a difficult start into the season, but thanks to our structured way of working and many hours put in by every team member, we have got to grips with our weak points. We are all very excited ahead of the next race and hope to score some more points”, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing.

    The Endurance Cup takes place at Silverstone (England) from 18 until 20 May. The three-hour race will start on Sunday at 3:00 pm local time and will be streamed live at:

    www.blancpain-gt-series.com/watch-live

    For more information, please visit www.emilfreyracing.com

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)

    “I am really very happy after Brands Hatch, because we have found a Setup for the Lexus that should work more or less with every track. We did not make any mistakes as a team and it is great to see how everyone is working together. It’s just disappointing that we got the penalty at Brands Hatch, because otherwise we would have scored some more points. But we are now in a position to fight for the Top-10, the car feels really great and I am excited ahead of the next race!”

    Christian Klien (A)

    „We continuously improved in the first three race weekends and managed to drive into the Top-10 by ourselves in Brands Hatch. We know Silverstone very well as a team and the track’s characteristic suits our Lexus. We must continue to work purposefully, to make the next step forward, which is definitely possible.“

    Marco Seefried (GER)

    “Of course, I followed the races at Brands Hatch with excitement and I am very happy to see the good results. There is definitely an upwards trend visible and I know, we are well on the way to bring this new-found strength to Silverstone.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)

    “The team has done an amazing job to improve the car that well in such a short amount of time and to make it competitive. I am very proud about the development and now we also must show in the Endurance Cup, that the Lexus has a strong performance. I am looking very much forward to the race.”

    Norbert Siedler (A)

    “Considering that we have been making a big step forward I think it’s fair to say to aim for another Top-10 result at Silverstone. This is of course much more difficult to reach in the Endurance Cup, because there are twice as many cars. But with good teamwork by every member of Emil Frey Lexus Racing, we can achieve this together.”

    Markus Palttala (FIN)

    “We worked very hard to improve our package and we are becoming stronger by each weekend. I was very pleased to see my team-mates getting a Top-10 result at Brands Hatch and even lapping within one second of the leading car. There are many more cars driving in the Endurance Cup and the competition is extremely tight, but I am confident that we will come closer to the top. Personally, I like the track very much and have won there twice already, so I hope we will have a clean race and are able to fight for front positions.”

    Lexus Brands Hatch 2018

    Strong Points Results for Emil Frey Lexus Racing at Sprint Cup in Brands Hatch

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing secured more points in the Blancpain GT Series in today’s two Sprint Cup races. The third round of the still young season took place at Brands Hatch with the Swiss team demonstrating a significant improvement finishing twice in the Top-10 with the Lexus RC F GT3.

    The Lexus crew did not lap a better time than 15th in the free practice sessions, facing initial difficulties, however, these were sorted out by qualifying later on Saturday afternoon. The Lexus RC F GT3 qualified in ninth (114) and 11th (14) place for the first race, and 12th and tenth respectively for the second race, acquiring the best result in qualifying in the still young season – a strong achievement in the highly competitive championship, seeing 13 cars within one second in the first qualifying.

    Race #1, Sunday, 06 May 2018 – 60 minutes
    Both one-hour Sprint race took place on Sunday at Brands Hatch. The first race started at midday and was interrupted after the first lap by the Safety Car. After a good start, both Christian Klien in the number 14 as well as Norbert Siedler in the sister car 114 had a controlled restart with solid stints, winning each one position until the pitstop. Siedler pitted first and handed the steering over to Stéphane Ortelli. Albert Costa Balboa climbed behind the #14 one lap later and returned to the track behind his team-mate. Both Lexus crossed the finishing line after an uneventful second half of the race in ninth and 11th, securing points for Emil Frey Lexus Racing in the Blancpain GT Series.

    Race #2, Sunday, 06 May 2018 – 60 minutes
    The 20 GT3 race cars formed for another race start only 3.5 hours later. Costa Balboa headed into the race from tenth on the grid with the number 14, closely followed by team-mate Ortelli in the 114 coming from 11th. Following an accident on lap one, the Safety Car came on track once again. Both Lexus had a clean re-start. After the pitstops and driver changes, Klien in the 14 had an exciting fight for ninth place and was finally able to pass the #26 Audi. Running in P8, the team received a drive-through penalty with four minutes to go in the race, putting the Lexus #14 all the way back into 15th place. Siedler managed to make up some ground in the sister Lexus #114 and crossed the finishing line in tenth position, securing the second Top-10 finish for the team that weekend.

    The fourth meeting of the Blancpain GT Series season and the second round of the Endurance Cup will take place at Silverstone (England) from 18 until 20 May 2018.

    Team Quote Emil Frey Lexus Racing

    Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “I am very pleased with this weekend’s achievement by the whole team. Albert and Christian had both been here for the first time and also for us as a race team, Brands Hatch was a new track. After the race in Monza we only had two week’s time to prepare for Brands Hatch. In the free practice session, we faced some issues and were far behind. Thanks to efficient team work we solved the problems both quickly and successfully. We could show our best qualifying result so far and both kept and improved the positions in the races. Both races were trouble-free for our Lexus RC F GT3, apart from the annoying and for us still incomprehensible drive-through penalty, but with the two Top-10 results we have shown that the Lexus is a strong car. We are definitely on the right way and this weekend feels like we are doing the right work.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I was really motivated for this weekend. It was a new track for me and I really enjoyed driving here. We won a lot of trust into the car in qualifying as both Christian and me were very happy with the performance. The races were both good and it was a great success for the team getting the first points. Unfortunately, we could not bring home the eighth place we had in hands since we god the drive-through penalty in the second race.”

    Christian Klien (A)
    “We had a good pace in the first race but could not overtake, it’s just difficult at a track like Brands Hatch. I think, both our car as well as the sister car could have gone quicker, but in the end, you have to stay in the race and see where you finish. The team got further points with ninth place and this is a great achievement for everybody. The drive-through penalty was very annoying as we lost out on another good point result.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
    “It is always very nice for me to come to Brands Hatch, because I won my first race outside France here in 1996 so I have plenty of experience and nice memories. We have done a very good job with the engineers this weekend and improved the car continuously. Before the weekend, we were in positive mood, but knew it would not be easy. We drive against teams, that race every weekend and know Brands Hatch whereas we did not have any data. But we have still shown a great performance and are very happy with the well-deserved points.”

    Norbert Siedler (A)
    “It was the first time for the team here at Brands hatch and since we did not manage to test after Monza, we were missing a bit of experience, but we managed to improve over the weekend. First of all, a big thank you to the team who did a great job, because the problems we had on Saturday were quickly resolved. We had a really good car in the race and got some points. The first race was actually quite boring, because we were caught-up behind an Audi. Stéphane had a great stint and fought very hard with the #63 Lamborghini.”

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