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  • Emil Frey Racing extend championship lead after third double victory of the year

    Emil Frey Racing extend championship lead after third double victory of the year

    • Double victory on Sunday after difficult rain race on Saturday
    • Local hero Costa Balboa with impressive Pole Time on Sunday
    • Lead in both teams and drivers’ championship confirmed

    Barcelona (Spain), 22nd September 2019:

    Emil Frey Racing has secured its third double victory of the year in Barcelona (Spain). Following a difficult wet race on Saturday with the results four and 11, the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO kept the field of the International GT Open on their toes and achieved a masterly double victory. After this strong performance, the Swiss are now heading to the season finale at Monza with a close gap ahead in both the teams and drivers’ championship tables.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 21st September 2019 – 70 minutes:

    The 24 participants were greeted by uncharacteristic weather chaos on Saturday. After the Series had tried out a new qualifying format at the last round at Silverstone, the Organization went back to its original system at Barcelona: 30 minutes and one driver per car. The conditions were not ideal for the Emil Frey Racing pilots Norbert Siedler and Giacomo Altoè with heavy rain and 19°C. However, both drivers showed a good performance in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO and secured second on the grid (number 14) and fourth place (number 63).

    The GT Open field started into the 70-minute race under a cloudy sky and a still damp track. But the start went everything but planned. Siedler was forced into a spin by an Aston Martin in the very first corner. But the Austrian was able to continue driving and started his charge through the field from P14. Meanwhile, Altoè had a lucky escape from the chaos in the first corner and managed to take the lead of the race.

    One lap later, Siedler already found himself in 10th place. Following a short Safety Car, Altoè was under pressure by the Mercedes of Fabian Schiller and had to give up the lead of the race shortly after. Siedler was putting in one overtaking move after another and was already in P6 on the tenth lap. The track was getting drier and drier, however, it seemed it was not dry enough for Slick tires yet. The big question during the pitstop window was the right tire choice for the remaining laps and whether to choose Slicks or not. The team decided to put wet tires on the number 63 whilst the number 14 was fitted with slicks. As no more rain occurred and after a few laps it was apparent that the correct choice of tires would have been the Slicks.

    Altoè pitted on lap 15 and the local hero Albert Costa Balboa took over the number 63 after the obligatory 30 seconds extra time, putting in the fastest first sector straight away. Siedler came into the pits with three minutes remaining of the pitstop window and handed the number 14 over to Mikael Grenier.

    After the pitstops, the number 14 was running in P8 and the number 63 in P5. However, the team took an unfortunate decision in terms of tire choice and so Albert Costa Balboa was not able to keep position in the #63 Lamborghini, dropping down all the way to P11. The Canadian Mikael Grenier, meanwhile, was making good progress, but an over-excited Chaves in the McLaren behind him run hard into the chicane and touched Grenier, who in due course lost positions. By the time of the chequered flag, Grenier improved again and was waved through in the fourth position.

    Despite the disappointing race, Costa Balboa and Altoè remained leaders in the drivers’ championship whilst Emil Frey Racing was now on even points with Teo Martín Motorsport.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 22nd September 2019 – 60 minutes:

    Following the rainy Saturday, the sun was beaming again over the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday. And Emil Frey Racing experienced a shining moment in qualifying for the second race. The Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa demonstrated in true fashion the sheer performance of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, setting one fastest lap after the next and securing Pole Position on his home track. Team-mate Mikael Grenier was also putting in a good job and set the 4th fastest time in the number 14.

    Costa Balboa remained in the lead at the start whilst team-mate Grenier escaped the sandwich of Emil Frey Racing´s strongest competitor, Teo Martín Motorsport, taking the third position whilst going into the first corner. Costa Balboa controlled the race from the very first lap and extended his lead to up to five seconds. Grenier was also running safely in third and fought-off any attacks by the #16 McLaren.

    The Canadian was the first Emil Frey Lamborghini to pit on lap 14 with Costa Balboa following one lap later. Just at the moment when Giacomo Altoè exited the pitlane, Siedler stormed down the start-finishing-straight in the sister car. The Austrian stayed behind the championship-leading-car, however, the tires on the number 14 were up to temperatures and Altoè let his team-mate pass eventually to take the lead of the race.

    Siedler kept the lead and took race victory for the number 14. Altoè crossed the finishing line in second place and completed the third double victory for the Swiss Lamborghini Team of the season.

    The great season final is taking place in Monza (Italy) on 12th and 13th October 2019.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing

    “Our great team work has shown once again this weekend. After the wrong tyre choice for the number 63 on Saturday we weren´t put down and attacked fully again on Sunday, showing the great performance of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. I am very pleased to celebrate another double victory. Our strength was already visible during qualifying on Sunday and both Albert Costa Balboa and Mikael Grenier secured great grid positions, forming the basis for a successful race. Despite leading the championship table ahead of the season final, everything can still happen.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “We tried to have a good basis for Sunday´s race with the results on Saturday, however, we should have changed on slicks on the number 63 which we wrongly didn´t do. Today, we kept the number 14 in the front to ensure the better handicap for Monza as well as the option for a better position in the team championship.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I had to give my everything during my stint as Giacomo was pushing very hard. I think I pushed too hard at the beginning because I lost the optimum of the tires. But the short Safety Car helped me and afterward it was better. Thank you to the team who did a fantastic job this weekend.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “My stint on Sunday was ok, I was stuck behind the number 17 as their speed on the straights was too good and there was no chance to overtake. But on the other side, we knew we had less handicap than the others, so we kept calm. Norbert completed the job and we are really happy to be back up on the first step, after having had a string of bad luck lately. It feels good to be back.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “It is just amazing to have Pole Position on my home track. It was a very black day for us yesterday, we didn´t manage the race well, chose the wrong tires and didn´t take a risk. But we had one set of fresh tires for qualifying this way. We answered on Sunday and started into the race with a little handicap. It was a tough race, but the team did an amazing job and we are all very happy to have another double victory, this time in front of my home crowd and my family.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “It was a perfect team result! Double victory again is an amazing result, congratulations to our sister car for the win! Now, we are heading to Monza leading the championship and we will do the last effort for the final win!”

    Emil Frey Racing expecting difficult weekend in Barcelona

    • Races 11 and 12 of the International GT Open in Barcelona (Spain)
    • Home Race for Albert Costa Balboa
    • Emil Frey Racing with large time handicap in the first race

    Safenwil (Switzerland), 16th September 2019:

    Last week, Emil Frey Racing secured many important points on their way to fight for the championship titles in the International GT Open Series. The Swiss managed to extend their lead in both the drivers and teams championship standings, following two victories and two podium finishes with both their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in Silverstone. This coming weekend, the second-to-last round of the championship is taking place in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya, but the Lamborghini squad is facing a large time handicap due to their successes from Silverstone.

    Emil Frey Racing already took to the 4.655-meter-long Grand Prix Circuit, which is located outside Barcelona, testing their then-new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in the winter months. Not only are the existing data and analysis an important help for the team, but Albert Costa Balboa will also show an extra portion motivation at this home race being the local hero and title aspirant.

    Despite being already nominated as the favorites, the 17 points advantage for Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa and the Italian Giacomo Altoè can be diminished with one average weekend. Emil Frey Racing has got a lead of 12 points in the team standings, closely followed by the competition. In any case, the next two races will be decisive for the title win – it remains exciting.

    The second-to-last race weekend of the International GT Open will go underway on Friday, 20th September 2019 with two free practice sessions. On Saturday, 21st September 2019, the first qualifying takes place at 10:55 am, with the 70-minute race following from 04:10 pm. The second qualifying will start at 09:30 am on Sunday, 22nd September 2019 and the final and second race for one hour at 2:20 pm.

    All practice sessions, qualifyings, and races are broadcast live via https://www.youtube.com/user/GTOPENseries

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing

    “Following the successful weekend at Silverstone we are now going to face a difficult task for the whole team with the next meeting. Although we have tested with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO at the race track of Barcelona in the winter, and despite having the relevant data and a good performance, we have a large time handicap for Saturday and Sunday. You never know where you will end up in a race like that. We are putting all our focus on having an impeccable weekend and we will see, what will be possible despite the time handicaps.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “The weekend in Silverstone could not have been more successful for us as a team. We are now heading to the second-to-last race meeting in Barcelona. Due to our good results from Silverstone, we are looking to have a time handicap of 15 seconds for the number 14 and 30 seconds for the number 63 in the first race on Saturday. Nevertheless, we are heading optimistically into the next races and will try to extend our lead of 12 points in the team’s championship.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “The upcoming weekend in Barcelona will not be easy for us, as we have a time handicap on both cars for the 70-minute race on Saturday. But we hope to be able to fully attack again on Sunday.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “The team did a great job at the last round and we will continue to work hard to extend our lead in the team standings in Barcelona. But it will be a difficult weekend, especially the race on Saturday as we have 15 seconds on our car. Therefore, our main focus is on the race on Sunday where we hope to end up on the podium once again.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “Silverstone was just great! Now we remain very focused and take the full potential. I am very much looking forward to my home race, but for sure we have bad luck with the handicap. But we are a strong team, Giacomo is getting better and better and I am optimistic, that we will have a good weekend. It will be difficult to take the victory with the handicap, but everything is possible, and we will experience an exciting weekend.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “We managed to take the full points home in Silverstone and that was important. Barcelona will be very difficult, but we will give our best. The car is good, the performance as well and we have all the features to achieve another good result.”

    Emil Frey Racing dominates GT Open Weekend at Silverstone

    • Team secures front row twice at Lamborghini debut at Silverstone
    • Costa Balboa/Altoè extend lead in the championship following two victories
    • Sister car Siedler/Grenier climbs on the podium twice

    Silverstone (England), 08th September 2019:

    Emil Frey Racing outpaced their competitors this weekend: with two strong race victories in the ninth and tenth race of the International GT Open Championship held at Silverstone (England), the Swiss team impressed the entire starting field. The team set the groundwork for a successful result in each qualifying session, securing an Emil Frey Racing front row for both races at the legendary Formula One track. Celebrating their second double victory of the season on Saturday, celebrations continued on Sunday with a one-three finish despite handicaps of 15 respective ten seconds for the number 63 and number 14. Following their two wins, Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoè are now heading-up the driver´s championship by 17 points. Emil Frey Racing are closely in first place with a gap of 12 points.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 07th September 2019 – 70 minutes:

    A new qualifying format was introduced for the last third of the season. From Silverstone, the grid position is determined on the basis of the average best lap of each driver. The track presented itself with some damp spots in places whilst Mikael Grenier absolved the first 15 minutes in the number 14 Lamborghini to take fourth place. Albert Costa Balboa secured provisional Pole Position in the sister car with the number 63.

    The second 15 minutes of the new qualifying promised some action, too. After a short red flag, the team-mates Norbert Siedler and Giacomo Altoè undercut their respective sector times and didn’t give anything away. In the end, the number 63 stayed ahead and secured Pole Position for the first race. Norbert Siedler completed the front row for Emil Frey Racing with second place thanks to a strong lap.

    Altoè and Siedler headed into the race directly in front of their main championship rivals of team Teo Martin. Altoè kept the lead going into the race, Siedler lost one position. After the first corner, four cars were involved in an accident that called the Safety Car on track. It took 24 minutes for the race to go green again. Altoè only had four laps left in his stint until the pitted for the driver change. Albert Costa Balboa re-joined ahead of the #59 McLaren, whilst Siedler kept extending the gap in the front as he was the only one of the leading cars who hadn´t been to the box.

    Mikael Grenier took over the number 14 Lamborghini on lap 14 and set the absolute best first sector time. Costa Balboa rolled through the field and on lap 15 overtook team-mate Grenier to take first place again. Grenier was now running in P2 with eight seconds clear of the third-place competitor Chavis in the #59 McLaren.

    Once more, the race was interrupted by a further Safety Car period on lap 17, after a car had caught fire. The Emil Frey Racing cars remained in the lead four laps later. Meanwhile, the #10 Mercedes was running in P3 and was closing in on Grenier, however, the Canadian fought back and had a gap of 0.479 seconds when crossing the finishing line in second place.

    After Costa Balboa had taken the race lead, he did not look back and secured the third win of the season for the number 63 car this year. After Hockenheim, Emil Frey Racing also celebrated the teams’ second double victory of the season.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 08th September 2019 – 60 minutes:

    The second qualifying was also dominated by the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO. First of all, Albert Costa Balboa put in a fabulous time, seeing him 0.634 seconds ahead in provisional Pole Position. Team-mate Giacomo Altoè completed the job with another good performance and secured the second Pole Position for both the number 63 and the team. The sister car was also competing strongly with the number 14 of Grenier and Siedler coming home in second place, completing another first front row for Emil Frey Racing.

    Albert Costa Balboa headed into the race with a 15-second handicap, Mikael Grenier still had to ten seconds on top. Costa Balboa stormed away right at the start had a lead of 1.5 seconds after one lap. On lap four, he was faster than anyone out on track by 0.2 seconds in the first and second sector. Grenier was put under pressure by the #10 Mercedes at the beginning but managed to pull away by one second eventually.

    The number 14 was first to come in for the driver change and after the ten-second extra time, Norbert Siedler came back on track in fourth place. The Austrian set a benchmark straight away and set the absolute best second and third sector time.

    The number 63 pitted with a gap of almost 15 seconds and Altoè re-joined the race in second place – an impressive achievement taking into consideration the additional 15 seconds at the pitstop.

    Altoè chased the leading #17 McLaren, but shortly before the end of the race, the car was given a one-second penalty. Therefore, all the Italian had to do was to control the gap and even when crossing the finishing line in second place, he would win the race.

    The top four drivers with Siedler rounding up the group were coming closer and when finishing the race, Altoè was 0.6 seconds behind the leader. Altoè secured his and Costa Balboa´s second win of the weekend, whilst Siedler and Grenier celebrated another podium finish this weekend with P3.

    The second-to-last race meeting of the 2019 season will already take place at the Grand Prix Track in Barcelona (Spain) from 21st until 22nd September 2019.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing:

    “The entire team has shown an impressive achievement this weekend with two victories and the podium finishes. We did not know at the beginning where we would stand since we had not driven at Silverstone with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. However, the engineers together with our drivers quickly managed to find the right Set-up and we already attacked in the qualifying. Silverstone has once again proven to be a good ground for us and we are excited to see, what the fight in the title race will have in store for us at Barcelona.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing:

    “It was a fantastic weekend. We continuously improved the car coming from the free practice sessions and found a good Set-up for both qualifying and races. Our analysis of the data had shown us the right direction and our driver realized the good car performance impressively.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)

    “We pretty much knew after the weekend at the Red Bull Ring that we had no chances of winning the drivers’ championship. So, our goal is now to support the team and the number 63 to win the championships. We aimed to finish in fourth place on Sunday to avoid a handicap for the race at Barcelona.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)

    “The weekend was ok for us. Our goal is to help the team and the sister car at this point. We did all we could on that side so we can be happy about that.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)

    “I felt not very well during my stint on Saturday and went for a check-up into the medical center. What was really wrong with me, we don´t know but I got the all-clear to race on Sunday. Qualifying was great on both days and especially important on Sunday, as we started the race with 15 seconds handicap. I like the new format as I can push myself to the limit. Giacomo is doing really great, he learns quickly and takes on any help we give him. I am very proud of my team.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)

    “This really was a perfect weekend. Twice we took Pole Position, twice we won, just amazing! I would like to thank the team and Albert for doing such a great job. For me, the race on Saturday was easy as I just had to do a good start and then there was the long Safety Car. I only had a few laps left to attack, but the car was great and I pushed a lot until I came in for the pitstop. I am very happy and it is also looking good for us in the championship.”

    Emil Frey Racing eagerly awaits next race weekend at Silverstone

    • Race 9 and 10 of the International GT Open at Silverstone (England)
    • Costa /Altoè share lead in Driver´s Championship
    • Emil Frey Racing heads into Race 1 at Silverstone without pitstop handicap

    Safenwil (Switzerland), 03th September 2019:

    With the fifth round of the International GT Open Championship at Silverstone (England) this coming weekend, the two-month-break for Emil Frey Racing is finally coming to an end. Having taken back the lead in the Drivers’ Championship at the last round at the Red Bull Ring, the Swiss team is excitingly looking forward to the ninth and tenth race of the season. Emil Frey Racing has had many good results at the Grand Prix Circuit of Silverstone in the past. Following an intensive preparation phase, Emil Frey Racing is ready to fully attack after the summer break.

    The drivers Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoè are currently sharing the lead of the championship with their competitors Chavis and Kodric in the #59 McLaren, both having scored 70 points to date. Their team-mates Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier are still looking promising with their fifth place and a gap of 15 points. Emil Frey Racing is five points behind the leader in the teams standing – the goal is set to minimize the gap this coming weekend.

    The team is heading to the legendary race track of Silverstone with great memories. In the 2015 season already, the team surprisingly secured third place around the 5.8-kilometer-long track in the PRO-AM Class of the Blancpain GT Series, racing their own developed Jaguar XK. In 2017, the team secured Pole Position in the GT Open Series and last year they stormed to take the first podium of the Blancpain GT Series season with the Lexus RC F GT3. The chances are looking bright for the Swiss Lamborghini squad to have yet another good weekend at Silverstone.

    The third to last race meeting of the International GT Open goes underway on Friday, 6th September 2019 with two free practice sessions. The first qualifying will start at 10:50 am, followed by the 70-minute race from 04:15 pm on Saturday, 7th September 2019. On Sunday, 8th September 2019, the second qualifying takes place at 10:05 am and the last race for an hour starts at 03:00 pm.

    All training sessions, qualifyings and races are broadcast live on GT Open:

    For more information, please visit www.emilfreyracing.com.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “Ahead of the next round I have every reason to be proud so far about the season. Thanks to the close working relationship with Squadra Corse we managed to quickly adapt the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO to different track layouts. The continuous progress has also been reflected in the good results. But we also had to experience some retirements, which cost us important points on the way. The important thing is not to make any mistake in the next races and to take home as many points as possible – otherwise it will be difficult in the running for the championship title as our competition is very strong.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “The cars were disassembled and checked after the Red Bull Ring. We particularly focused on finding the reason for the number 14´s retirement in the second race. Afterwards, be completed the cars and underwent a short shakedown in Anneau du Rhin at the end of August. We are driving in Silverstone without and pitstop handicaps. The track will suit us from both the layout as well as for our drivers. However, we have not been to Silverstone with the Lamborghini yet. Therefore, we have to find a good Set-up during the free practice runs for both qualifyings and races.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “The break has been quite long and I am glad to be jumping back in the car this coming weekend. We will also give our best at Silverstone once again despite our gap of a few points and will try getting closer. The McLaren were running very well on the straights at the Red Bull Ring, we should be much closer at Silverstone.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “The first part of the season went well for both me and the team. We learned a lot about the for us new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO and won three races. We are happy about that. Of course, the last meeting at the Red Bull Ring was disappointing, as we lost the chance of many points. The stress must now be on scoring as many points as possible.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “The race at the Red Bull Ring went exactly as we planned it. Now we are going to Silverstone and I am very motivated. We are in a good position to drive at the front again. Silverstone has always been a good track in the past – for both me and the team. The car drives well and Giacomo is doing a great job. I have prepared myself very well over the summer break and I am excited to see where we will stand at the end of the championship.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “I was getting quite bored during the summer break. Silverstone should suit the Lamborghini well and I am very much looking forward to the race. Taking into consideration the championship it is very important to score many points. The team works very well to ensure we have a good and competitive performance for the last coming races.”