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  • Debut: Emil Frey Racing to premiere at the Hockenheimring

    Debut: Emil Frey Racing to premiere at the Hockenheimring

    Debut: Emil Frey Racing to premiere at the Hockenheimring

    Following the successful start into the season and taking two race victories at the opening round of the International GT Open in Paul Ricard, Emil Frey Racing is looking forward to its upcoming debut at the Hockenheimring next week. For the first time, the team from Switzerland, which was founded in 2011, will participate in a race at the traditional Formula-1-Racetrack. Despite heading-up the points table in both the team’s and the drivers’ championship, Emil Frey Racing is going to Germany with cautious optimism.

    Emil Frey Racing took advantage of a test possibility at the Hockenheimring last week in order to prepare for the next and second season meeting of the International GT Open. Heavy rain and cold interrupted the program during the two days testing. However, the team was still able to test different Set-ups for rain qualifying and races in the wet in addition to getting to know the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO better.

    The 4.574-metre-long Grand-Prix-Track, which was re-built in 2002, offers a good combination of high- and low-speed corners and some good chances for overtaking – all attributes, that play into the hands of the Italian racing car.

    The weekend at Hockenheim will start on Friday, 24th May 2019 with two free practice sessions. The first qualifying and race will commence on Saturday, 25th May 2019 with the second qualifying and race to follow on Sunday, 26th May 2019. All sessions and races are broadcast live via GT Open.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/GTOPENseries

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “Unfortunately, we were unable to carry out our test program as planned due to the rain at Hockenheim. We were still given new knowledge about the Lamborghini and will transfer these into the coming race weekend to further work on our performance. We had a strong start to the season and that showed us that we are working into the right direction. We still have to stay focused at work in order to avoid any mistakes. I am optimistic about Hockenheim and think we can deliver another good result, but we must be better in qualifying.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “It will be the very-first time for us to race at Hockenheim. Unfortunately, we could not use our tests last week as well as hoped as it more or less continuously rained during the two days. But we gained relevant data and learned the track, since both Mikael and Giacomo had not been there before. If the race weekend takes place in sunny weather, we will have to work on a fitting Set-up in the training sessions on Friday.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I have raced in Hockenheim a few times, the last time was in the GT Masters in 2017. It should be our goal to aim for a podium finish and get into the points twice. Mercedes and McLaren surely have an advantage at the moment and will therefore be our strongest competitors.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I am very excited about Hockenheim. Last week, I drove the track for the first time during our tests. We have to continue to work on our performance to get quicker as we were not amongst the fastest cars in Paul Ricard. Our main focus will be on the qualifying runs since we have to improve there. We have to continue to work in the same professional way as we have done since the beginning of the year and always get the maximum out.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I was happy that we managed to test last week before we are heading into the next race meeting. We need more test days to get to understand the car much better. We were strong at Paul Ricard, but we also had a little bit of luck on our side. I drove in Hockenheim for the last time eight years ago and I look forward to returning to this track.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “It will be the first time for me to race at Hockenheim and I am very excited about it. I think, both Mercedes and McLaren will be our strongest opponents in the PRO-Class, but we are looking good after the tests and I look forward to the next race meetings.”

    Emil Frey Racing celebrates double triumph at GT Open Season Opener at Paul Ricard

    Emil Frey Racing celebrates double triumph at GT Open Season Opener at Paul Ricard

    Paul Ricard, Le Castellet (France), 28th April 2019:
    Emil Frey Racing returned to the International GT Open with a great comeback. At their debut with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, the Swiss team secured race wins in both races at the season opener at Paul Ricard. The number 63 of Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoé was successful in the first race on Saturday and finished the race on Sunday in P4 despite the obligatory time penalty. The sister car of Nobert Siedler and Mikael Grenier experienced a rollercoaster of emotions: following a disappointing retirement on lap one due to an unlucky accident, the Austrian/Canadian duo stormed to take a well-deserved race victory on Sunday. It was a successful beginning with the new racing cars, after the team also won in their first race when debuting in 2017.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 27th April 2019 – 70 minutes:
    The first qualifying of the season took place in sunny but windy conditions and Mikael Grenier (#14) and Albert Costa Balboa (#63) fought in their Lamborghinis for the best grid positions. Costa Balboa was right in the hunt for the front positions from the beginning of the 30-minute session, in the end the #63 driver settled in fourth place. Team-mate Grenier positioned the sister car in ninth place. Due to a lot of traffic on track around Grenier, he was not able to improve on his position.

    Whilst both drivers started well into the race, Grenier’s ran in the #14 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO was already finished going into Turn 5. The Emil Frey Lamborghini was damaged following an optimistic overtaking move by another competitor, leading to Grenier having to limb back to the pits and retire after just one lap. However, the team had one more hot iron in the fire with the number 63. In the first stint, there was a great battle for positions three and two, in which a total of four cars were running within just two seconds. Just before the pitstop window, Costa Balboa was running in an overall third place and soon took over P2 and the lead in PRO. As soon as the Spaniard had a clear road ahead, he set the up to then absolute fastest first sector and the quickest race lap of 2:01.020.

    The number 63 pitted on lap 18 for the driver change and team-mate Giacomo Altoé returned to the track in second place – right in front of a group of five cars. On lap 20, Altoé took the lead of the race from the #10 Mercedes after a courageous overtaking manoeuvre.

    There was Motorsport at its best in the final ten race minutes. The #59 McLaren was only a fraction behind Altoé, but the 18-year-old Italian was cool and despite a number of attacks by Chaves kept his head down. With a gap of just 0.5 seconds, Altoé crossed the finishing line as the race winner, securing victory in the first race for Emil Frey Racing with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 28th April 2019 – 60 minutes:
    Emil Frey Racing improved in the second qualifying and Giacomo Altoé as well as Norbert Siedler took the starting positions fourth and seventh respectively in their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO.

    The second race of the season started on Sunday afternoon, seeing a collision with a number of cars shortly after the green flag, which led to a Safety-Car Phase. Siedler took advantage of the starting chaos and stormed from seventh into fourth place (P3 in PRO), closely behind team-mate Altoé, who was running in third (P2 in PRO).

    The race continued on lap 3. Siedler was put under pressure by the #21 Ferrari of Matt Griffin for many laps, however, kept his position until the pitstop. Due to the fight at the front, both Altoé and Siedler managed to close the gap to the leading competitors. Onslow-Cole took the lead of the race on lap 8 and Altoé was right at the tail of the #6 Mercedes of Rovera in second place.

    The team pitted Siedler right at the beginning of the pitstop window and Grenier returned to the track as the first car from all the ones having headed into the pits. Altoé came into the pits one lap later and after the obligatory time penalty of 15 seconds due to their race win the day before, Costa Balboa re-joined the race in P14.

    Grenier took the lead of the race in his number 14 Lamborghini after the Top-5 of PRO-AM and AM went into the garages, leading by three seconds. Costa Balboa also made progress and was running in tenth place at the time (fifth in PRO).

    Grenier extended his lead to five seconds, however, as the end of the race was coming closer, so was the #10 Mercedes. Costa Balboa closed-in on a group of four PRO-AM, but had overtaking them one lap later. He also took fourth place of the Aston Martin shortly after.

    Following the great disappointment on Saturday, Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier took a well-deserved race win and completed Emil Frey Racing’s triumph at their debut weekend.

    The next round of the International GT Open will take place from 25th to 26th May 2019 in Hockenheim, Germany.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “It really is unbelievable that we won our first race with the Lamborghini, especially since we saw in qualifying and at previous tests that both the McLaren and Mercedes are very fast. The team did a great pitstop and we fought hard for 70 minutes and in the end, it was just enough. Unfortunately, we lost our number 14 early on due to an unnecessary accident by a competitor, which was very sad. We had a good qualifying with fourth and seventh place on Sunday and at the moment we have to be satisfied with that, because the McLaren and Mercedes are very quick on the straights. During the race it was difficult to overtake. Despite the 15-seconds penalty time the number 53 had a good race. With victory for the sister car our weekend went just great, and we can be very pleased. But there is still room for improvement. The car is still new to us, but so far we are happy how things are going, the car could deliver its capabilities together with the drivers.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “This weekend exceeded my expectations by far. It is an unbelievable result taking into consideration the short amount of time we had available to prepare. We did everything right under the given circumstances, apart from the unlucky accident in the first race. I am proud of my team. Mercedes and McLaren were all-in-all stronger than we were. We have to continue to work on the car’s balance and on the tyres, as well as on the performance for low and highspeed.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I was lucky at the start, because there was an accident in the first corner. I was able to drive from seventh into fourth place and that was very good. I handed the car to Mikael who did a great job. Many thanks to the whole team, they did an amazing job throughout the entire weekend.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “Unfortunately, we suffered bad luck in the first race. After the start someone tried to overtake on the inside going into Turn 5 and didn’t leave us any room. Our car was damaged and I had to come into the pits and retire the car. But luckily, we had a better race on Sunday. Towards the end I saw the Mercedes coming closer, but I knew of my advantage and with only a few laps to go until the end, I didn’t risk anything.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “It truly was a great day. We got the maximum out with fourth place in qualifying. I had a really great stint with great battles for third and second place. We did a great job with our pitstop strategy and we gained one position. Of course, I am very happy about the first win with Lamborghini in the first race, but there are plenty more to come and we have to stay focused and continue to improve.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “I think, our pace was good in qualifying. We could have challenged for second position, but the entire field was very close. The second row was a good starting point for both races. My first stint on Saturday was really crazy, the McLaren was pushing hard, but I did not make any mistake and we did it in the end.”

    Let’s go: Emil Frey Racing is keen for season to start

    Let’s go: Emil Frey Racing is keen for season to start

    There is only one week to go until the International GT Open’s season opener with its eagerly awaited debut for Emil Frey Racing with its Lamborghini. The Swiss team competes once again in the GT3 Championship following a successful season back in 2017. Next week, the team will start into the first of seven race meetings. After good tests at three different race tracks, the team is ready for the new big challenge.

    Both Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO were delivered to the workshop in Safenwil only in February. Despite missing the first official test days at Paul Ricard, the team showed fast lap times with the Lamborghini at Barcelona at the second tests. Two further tests followed at Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, which could also be concluded well.

    The International GT Open promises to be an exciting one this year with an entry list of more than 24 cars. The Championship gained more and more high-branded teams and drivers over the past years. Emil Frey Racing with its two Lamborghini will face competition from brands such as Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Audi, Aston Martin and many more. In 2017, the Swiss team around Lorenz Frey-Hilti fought for the championship title right down to the last race and finished the year in third place overall eventually.

    The first race meeting will start with two test sessions on Thursday to be followed by two free practice sessions on Friday. The first decider will take place on Saturday, 27 April 2019, with the first qualifying at 10:30 am and the first race at 03:30 pm. On Sunday, 28 April 2019, the second qualifying (10:30 am) and the second race (03:00 pm) will round-up the weekend. All qualifying sessions and races will be broadcast live by GT Open: https://www.youtube.com/user/GTOPENseries

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “The Lamborghini is a totally new race car for us. The time we had to prepare was very limited and we certainly have potential to optimize. The car reacts very sensitively when making adjustments and only small changes to the Set-up result in a big reaction in terms of the handling. Something that is very positive with the Lamborghini is that when the engineers work into one direction, quite often it goes the way you hope for.
    We certainly need more time to get the maximum out of the car on one fast lap. We have done both Quali-runs and simulations, but they have not been perfect. The Long-runs have been very good, and the most important thing is that the car is very reliable. We are well-prepared for Paul Ricard and excited for the start.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “At the moment, we do not know where we are compared to our competitors, however, you can expect that the competition is very strong. We will use the two test sessions and use our knowledge so far for the track at Paul Ricard. We must stay focused for both trainings and qualifying to ensure a good result and a good starting point for the races – to achieve a podium finish would be an amazing result considering the short amount of time we had to prepare for the season.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I am very motivated to start with a new year in the GT Open this year. I work especially hard on myself, because this year counts, and we must show the potential of both the car and the team. My personal goal is to compete for the championship and I will do everything to achieve that. I am very happy for the season to start.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “I drove at Paul Ricard last year and I like the track. I don’t really want to rate our chances ahead of the weekend, but I am sure we will give our best and then we will see where we stand at the end. We know our goals and are working on it and push to run at the front.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I think, we have a good chance to compete at the front at Paul Ricard. The track at Le Castellet suits our Lamborghini – so we should not have any excuses.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I am looking forward to the first race at Paul Ricard. It is always difficult to know ahead of the first race where you are. We have to continue to improve, but during the winter tests we worked a lot and we will give our maximum to achieve the best possible result at Paul Ricard. Our goal is to win races.”

    Emil Frey Racing concludes successful test program with Lamborghini

    Emil Frey Racing concludes successful test program with Lamborghini

    Emil Frey Racing absolved its final two test days ahead of the start of the new season last week. The Swiss concluded their on-track preparations at the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. In the weeks leading up to the season-opener at Paul Ricard, the team will work meticulously in the workshop at Safenwil. Following the last test, the Canadian Mikael Grenier, who already had one season with the team last year, was confirmed as the fourth driver.
    Since the arrival of the two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, Emil Frey Racing took to three different race tracks for their test program. After the first impressions, the teams looks positively to their second season in the GT Open.
    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP) and Giacomo Altoé (ITA) were already confirmed as driver pairing, now the team also confirmed Canadian Mikael Grenier as team-mate for the Austrian Norbert Siedler in the second Lamborghini. Grenier convinced the team at the tests and is therefore starting into his second season with Emil Frey Racing.
    Emil Frey Racing participates with two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO the International GT Open Championship with its seven race meetings at some of the most beautiful tracks in Europe. The season will kick off at Paul Ricard (France) on 27 and 29 April 2019.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “So far, the various tests went well. We realised pretty quickly, that the car is almost fully developed from a technical point of view. We received amazing support from Lamborghini and were able to work well even ahead of the first test thanks to the experience we received. At the first tests, we didn’t face any technical issues. We received very good and detailed feedback from our drivers. With this information and the collected data, we continuously improved the car’s performance. I am very pleased to confirm Mikael as our driver. Now we are looking at a few weeks preparation at Safenwil before the season starts – we are ready.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO is a very well and fully designed product, however, we still need to understand the characteristics and specifics of the car in order to find the right Set-up for different race tracks. We chose Barcelona, Monza and Spa for our test program as they are part of our racing calendar whilst also featuring High, Low and Medium Downforce. The Lamborghini feels at home on every track and after our experience it has a lot of potential. We are pleased with the results to date and are optimistic for the new season.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I like the way we work with the new car and also how we work on understanding the Michelin tyres. The competitiveness in the GT Open Championship is very high. The tests went well, we are learning a lot and trying different things. Next time we sit in the car it will be at the first race at Paul Ricard. Personally, I will now focus on my preparation for the season and am excited for it to start soon.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “I am very excited for the season. Emil Frey Racing is a great team that has worked on a high level for many years. I am also working hard to achieve the best possible result with the team.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I am excited for the new project, because I have already driven Lamborghini in my career. It is a really great GT3 car that has been tested thoroughly. There are no issues whatsoever with this car. Now, we have to focus getting to know the Set-up as it is a new car for the team.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I am very happy to be back with Emil Frey Racing for a second season and even more happy to start the new project with team with Lamborghini. We had a good winter testing as it is a new car for us and we had a lot of work to do. I am also happy to be racing together with Norbert (Siedler), we will work hard all season and see what happens at the end.”

    Emil Frey Racing to start with two Lamborghini in International GT Open in 2019

    Emil Frey Racing to start with two Lamborghini in International GT Open in 2019

    Following Emil Frey Racing’s official announcement of the cooperation with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the Swiss team is pleased to reveal further information about the upcoming season.

    Emil Frey Racing will compete with two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in the International GT Open in the 2019 season. Both race cars will participate in all seven race meetings. The season will kick-off with the season opener at Paul Ricard (France) on 27 and 28 April 2019 and will end with the final and at the same time home race for the Italian squad at Monza on 13 October 2019.

    The long-term Emil Frey Racing driver, the quick Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa, is provided with an equally fast new team-mate on one of the two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. The Italian Giacomo Altoé has driven successfully in the Italian Formula 4 Championship as well as in the TCR Middle East Series and furthermore, has vast experience with Lamborghini.

    The experienced Austrian Norbert Siedler will also remain within the team. For the upcoming test in Barcelona, he will share the cockpit with the Canadian Mikael Grenier, who raced for Emil Frey Racing last year already. The final driver pairing will be announced following the tests.

    Both Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO arrived at the Emil Frey Racing headquarters at Safenwil two weeks ago. Prior to the start of the season, there will be three intensive test programmes to be concluded on the tracks of Barcelona (Spain), Monza (Italy) and Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium).

    “We are very excited about the new challenge this year”, says Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing. “We were already taking part in the International GT Open with Lexus two years ago. Further to that, we finished the season in third place overall, very close to the overall champions. We are looking forward to a revenge with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO this year. This will be a huge challenge for us, because the competitions is strong, and we are participating with a race car that is still new to us. I am curious to see what the test days will show.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing, adds: “Following the success last year we are starting fully motivated into this season and are looking forward to the cooperation with Lamborghini Squadra Corse. The preparations ahead of the pre-seasonal tests have been, due to the tight timing schedule, quite intense, but positive at the same time. In the upcoming tests we will focus on getting to know the race cars, gather experience about the Setup, tyres and systems as well as working on the car’s performance to be best-prepared for the start of the season at Le Castellet at the end of April.”

    Emil Frey Racing to cooperate with Lamborghini Squadra Corse

    Emil Frey Racing to cooperate with Lamborghini Squadra Corse

    Following the most successful year in the history of Emil Frey Racing, the Swiss Team is pleased to announce a new cooperation. With only a few weeks to go until the European Motorsport season kicks off, Emil Frey Racing confirms the cooperation with the Italian car manufacturer Lamborghini.

    “Just ahead of the expiry of the homologation for our own developed Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar, we concluded the project by winning the Silver Cup in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup last season”, says Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing. “We were able to support Lexus with the GT3 Project from the testing and developing stages (2015/2016) to the finished, homologated race car (2017/2018). We are proud to have demonstrated the Lexus´ competence in the world’s most competitive GT championship by winning the six-hour-race in Paul Ricard and taking third place overall in the championship.

    “Now we are pleased to start a new project with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, a renowned sport car brand within Motorsport. Both parties are offered the perfect platform to use synergies and realise set targets”, concludes Lorenz Frey-Hilti.

    “We are glad and very excited to have Emil Frey Racing as a new team, joining us for 2019” says Giorgio Sanna, Head of Motorsport Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. “The team has a great on-track experience, but they also have an off-track approach that is very unique. We look forward to working closer together and welcoming them to the family to achieve important results in the next future.”

    Further information about the upcoming season will follow shortly.

    Lexus Zolder 2018

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing’s Highlights of the Year 2018

    The first season for the Lexus RC F GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series is history since the last race in Barcelona. Following a modest start to the season, the Emil Frey Lexus Racing Team managed to close the gap swiftly and climbed onto the podium in only the fourth round of the championship in the most renowned GT3 Series in the world. Something that would have been difficult to understand at the beginning of the year, was reality at the end: until the finale race the Swiss led the Endurance Cup and secured second place with only six points missing to win the Cup. Additionally, Emil Frey Racing secured its best-ever team result with third place in the overall Team Championship.

    Hopes were high after the successful winter tests. However, in Zolder, a former Formula One track that requires hard driving over curbs featuring many tight corners, the performance did not match. The disappointment was great with two results outside the Top-10. Emil Frey Lexus Racing was also lacking a fair amount to the top teams at Monza, the high-speed temple. But with 17th and 21st position in the race in a field stronger than 50 cars the team was slightly optimistic.

    Then followed the English double-strike with the Sprint Cup in Brands Hatch and the Endurance Cup in Silverstone. The first rewards were earned at the first engagement at the legendary track of Brands Hatch. Twice the team finished in the Top-10 and was satisfied with the turn taken. Two weeks later at Silverstone, “The Home of British Motorsport”, the team could not have asked for a better place for their first success. With P3 and P7 in qualifying and P3 in the race for the number 114 the first step onto the podium was done – an incredible achievement reflecting the immensely intense team work.

    One of the toughest tests was due with the 1000 km of Paul Ricard: 1000 km on a modern and fast track, serving as preparation for the famous Total 24 Hours of Spa. Qualifying showed once again a thriving form with 4th and 8th place. The race should become one of the greatest thrillers of the year. The number 14 Lexus RC F GT3 was constantly running at the front. One hour before the end of the race the team was running in a great second place – then the incredible happened: Albert Costa Balboa found himself suddenly right at the tale of the Bentley number 7 and great two-way battle came head-to-head in the finale laps of the race. Left, right and centre, the Spaniard tried everything until he managed the impossible by taking the race lead three corners before the chequered flag, storming to take the very first overall victory for Lexus and the Emil Frey Racing Team in the Blancpain GT Series.

    Following the grand victory in France, the journey continued satisfyingly with three Top-10 results at the difficult track of Misano, in which the #114 quite incidentally secured its best-ever Sprint Cup result with P5. The highlight of the season was next with the Total 24 Hours of Spa, but despite the #14 Lexus making its way into Super Pole, more than 13th place in the race was not possible. The 24-hours-race was more than overshadowed by the heavy accident by Stéphane Ortelli in the Emil Frey Lexus RC F GT3, who was forced to pause from racing until the season final.

    Budapest was the next stop after a one-month summer break. Everyone expected a high-temperature heat battle, but severe rain and thunderstorms dominated the second-to-last Sprint Cup weekend at the Hungaroring. It was not an easy race. Despite difficult conditions, the #14 managed its best result with 6th place. The Sprint Cup Final took place at Nürburgring where Albert Costa Balboa showed once again a strong performance, storming to take second place in Q1. Unfortunately, the team was not able to take advantage of the good starting position and reached the positions fifth and nine and seventh and eighth respectively in the last two Sprint Cup races.

    The Swiss Privateer arrived at the great Season Final at Barcelona as leaders in the Endurance Cup. But the last race weekend of the year would ironically become the darkest of the year. With a disappointing qualifying including technical issues, further technical problems found their ways into both cars during the race, leading to the retirement of both Lexus RC F GT3.

    Despite all, the team secured for the first time in the history of the Swiss racing team the second place in the Endurance Cup as well as an outstanding third place in the overall standings. The groundwork for the future has been laid after a good debut year and the preparations for the 2019 season can begin.

    “For us it was the first full season with all ten races in the Blancpain GT Series and I think it could not have been more diversified”, reflects Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing. “We were fighting with immense difficulties at the beginning, especially with finding the right Set-up with the Pirelli tyres, which were new for us this year. But once again our team demonstrated professional team work, continuously trying to find improvements day and night to make the Lexus RC F GT3 competitive in a matter of short time. The accident at Spa was a huge shock to all of us, and I was very happy to see Stéphane Ortelli race with us again at the season finale at Barcelona. We set a few milestones with a podium and a race win. Now we have to take the experience and the data from this year and use them for the preparations over the winter to use for next year – to attack even stronger. I am immensely proud of our team and the development we have gone through and I am excited to see the next steps.”

     

    Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup: Race Results 2018

    Lexus RC F GT3 #14Lexus RC F GT3 #114
    Zolder Race 1N/CP 14
    Zolder Race 2P 20P 13
    Brands Hatch Race 1P 11P9
    Brands Hatch Race 2P 14P 9
    Misano Race 1P 9P 5
    Misano Race 2N/CP 8
    Hungaroring Race 1P 6P 11
    Hungaroring Race 2P 13P 14
    Nürburgring Race 1P 5P 9
    Nürburgring Race 2P 7P 8

    Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup: Race Results 2018

    Lexus RC F GT3 #14Lexus RC F GT3 #114
    MonzaP 17P 21
    SilverstoneP 9P 3
    Paul RicardP 1P 35
    Total 24 Hours of SpaP 13N/C
    BarcelonaN/CN/C

    Overview Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup Team Championship

    PostitionTeamPoints
    1Belgian Audi Club WRT123
    2AKKA ASP119
    3GRT Grasser Racing Team95
    4Attempto Racing83
    5Sainteloc Junior Team77.5
    6Emil Frey Racing50.5
    7Kessel Racing26.5
    8Black Falcon25
    93Y Technology11
    10Team Parker Racing Ltd7
    11Audi Sport Slovakia4
    12Andrew Watson3
    13Rinaldi Racing2
    14Boutsen Ginion Racing1

    Overview Blancpain GT Endurance Cup Team Championship

    PostitionTeamPoints
    1AKKA ASP123
    2Emil Frey Racing119
    3Black Falcon95
    4Belgian Audi Club WRT83
    5Bentley Team M-Sport77.5
    6Walkenhorst Motorsport50.5
    7Strakka Racing26.5
    8ROWE Racing25
    9AF Racing AG / R-Motorsport11
    10Sainteloc Junior Team7
    11SMP Racing4
    12GRT Grasser Racing Team3
    13RJN Motorsport2
    14Garage 591
    15Manthey-Racing2
    16Attempto Racing1

    Overview Blancpain GT Series Overall Championship

    PostitionTeamPoints
    1AKKA ASP198
    2Belgian Audi Club Team WRT174
    3Emil Frey Racing123.5
    4GRT Grasser Racing Team121
    5Sainteloc Junior Team109.5
    6Attempto Racing93
    7Black Falcon78
    8Bentley Team M-Sport50
    9Walkenhorst Motorsport44
    10Strakka Racing44
    11ROWE Racing43
    12AF Racing AG / R-Motorsport39
    13SMP Racing29
    14Kessel Racing26.5
    15RJN Motorsport26
    16Garage 5920
    17Manthey-Racing12
    183Y Technology11
    19Team Parker Racing Ltd7
    20Audi Sport Slovakia4
    21Andrew Watson3
    22Rinaldi Racing2
    23Boutsen Ginion Racing1
    24Ombra S.R.L.1
    Lexus Barcelona 2018

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing secure third place in Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup despite double retirement

    The Emil Frey Lexus Racing Team suffered a great disappointment at the season final of the Blancpain GT Series in Barcelona (Spain) and narrowly missed out on winning the Endurance Cup Title. Following a difficult start, the team was facing engine problems on both Lexus RC F GT3 and had to retire both cars early in the race. Despite the unsuccessful race, the team is pleased about securing third place in the Endurance Cup Team Championship and with that obtaining the best-ever result in the history of Emil Frey Racing in the Blancpain GT Series.

    The team around Lorenz Frey-Hilti had imagined their start into the last race weekend a little different. With P25 and P40 as well as 37th and 33rd place in Free Practice respectively Pre-Qualifying, the team was way beyond their expectations. It continued to be turbulent on Sunday morning with the three 15-minute qualifyings. Expect for the last session, both the first and second were dominated by yellow and red flags, making it almost impossible to set fast lap times due to heavy traffic. In addition, lap times of the second qualifying were cancelled, which made the final starting positions a disappointment. Moreover, the #114 suffered problems with the oil pressure and the car had to be towed back into the pits.

    At exactly 03:00 pm, 52 GT3 race cars made their way into the final formation lap only to then put their foots down to give their all with the flying start into the 10th race of the year. Marco Seefried started in the number 14 Lexus RC F GT3 from 19th on the grid and made-up one position at the start. After issues with the oil pump the engine on the #114 was changed and in due course, Stéphane Ortelli started into the race from the pitlane.

    Seefried had improved by one further position and was running in 17th place when he suddenly lost power on lap ten. The Lexus driver steered the number 14 into the pits and following a quick check, the team had to retire the car with a broken exhaust in the garage.

    Meanwhile, Ortelli showed all his class, gaining position after position. On lap 31, the Monegasque was ranging in P27 and pitted to hand the car over to team-mate Markus Palttala. The Finn returned in 28th place and was already running in P25, after he had taken two positions on one lap only. With a laptime of 1.48.900, he was doing similar lap times to the leading car at the time, the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with 1.48.400.

    But as with the sister car, the #114 Lexus RC F GT3 also suffered a technical failure. Whilst running in P23 another engine issue occurred and the car had to be parked in Turn 9. Despite both retirements, Emil Frey Lexus Racing secured third place in the overall Team Championship – a considerable achievement in the debut year with the Lexus RC F GT3.

    Team Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “We have had other things on our minds for our last race of the year, that’s for sure. Throughout the whole season, the Lexus RC F GT3 shown with its reliability, today we lost both cars due to technical failures. It is very disappointing for the whole team. We were so close in taking home the team title in the Endurance Cup and that would have been a very strong achievement. Despite today’s disappointment, we still look with pleasure at our first season of the Blancpain GT Series and are pleased to have secured third place in the Endurance Cup Teams Championship. We had a great podium and a fantastic win at Paul Ricard. We showed that we are competitive, and we will now work even harder over the winter to prepare for next season. We would like to congratulate all winners in the Blancpain GT Series for their victories. Thank you to each and everyone in the team, to Lexus and our drivers for a great year. We will come back stronger next year.”

    Hannes Gautschi, Technical Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing
    “To this date, we could say that in the two years that we have been running with the Lexus RC F GT3, we never suffered a technical failure that led to a retirement. The reason for today´s retirement was a broken exhaust collector. We had an issue with the oil pressure on the #114, which prompted us to change the engine. Why we still had the retirement in the race, we have to analyse. The current data do not give enough analyses, but it looks like it was in the engine area again. The mechanics did a fantastic job between qualifying and race, which unfortunately didn´t pay off and now the disappointment is of course very high. Nevertheless, we gained a lot of experience this year, we learned a lot and celebrated some achievements.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “Our qualifying was ok in the end, but we were not where we wanted to be. We were missing a few tenth of a second to the front runners. We had a lot of traffic, on my fastest lap I overtook six cars. We made another improvement from qualifying to the race and the Lexus felt good. I am so disappointed that I did not get to race in my home race and that we had to retire the car after only ten laps. Nobody wants to finish the season with such a tragic end.”

    Christian Klien (A)
    “Very sad and disappointing with the failure, because we were fighting for a good position in the final. But that’s racing! All in all, we had a very good first season with the Lexus RC F GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series, especially with winning in Paul Ricard.”

    Marco Seefried (GER)
    “I lost power going into Turn 3 and I noticed that one cylinder was missing, but I did not get an alarm. When I was in the garage we saw that the exhaust was broken. We had not contact with another car, it simply broke. It would have taken too long to change, so unfortunately, we had to end the race. It is very sad, that we did not win the Endurance Cup, we were so close.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
    “First of all, it was a great team achievement to change the engine so quickly. The car was flying and was very strong and positive for a long time. At one stage we were one of the fastest cars on track. Unfortunately, we had to finish the race early with a problem on the engine. But that does not change the fact that we had a fantastic year with our first podium and our first victory. We are capable of doing it, today is a sad story. But that’s racing and we must accept it. For me personally I was very happy to be back in the car and give 100 percent. I am excited about the winter and the preparations for next year.”

    Norbert Siedler (A)
    “Unfortunately, we had a weekend that was different to what we had expected. After a very good test in the winter we thought we would have the speed to race at the front, but that was not the case. The guys improved the car a lot between yesterday and today, we could have had a much better position in qualifying. Unfortunately, we suffered an issue with the engine in Q2 and had to start the race from the pitlane. We suffered the same issue during the race. Stéphane and Markus both had great stints and we were already in the Top-20 – what a shame! Thanks for the great achievement by the whole team, to change the engine so quickly. Thank you also to the whole team for this season, it was great to be part of it!”

    Markus Palttala (FIN)
    “With technical problems in today’s qualifying and race, the year obviously didn’t end as we wanted. However, I’m looking back at a positive season. Everyone has been working hard from the first test back in February and we made massive steps leading to our podium at Silverstone and the win in Paul Ricard. As always, there were some ups and downs during the season, but we came here leading the team championship and every single person in the team can be proud for being in that position.”

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing set their eyes on Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Title

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing set their eyes on Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Title

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing is looking forward to the great season final of the Blancpain GT Series. Next week, the Endurance Cup is taking place with the last race of the season at Barcelona (Spain). The team is able to secure the Endurance Cup title as well as Third in the overall championship in its debut year with the Lexus RC F GT3 in the top-class GT3 championship. Emil Frey Lexus Racing is also very pleased about the return of Stéphane Ortelli, who will climb behind the wheel of the Lexus #114 again.

    With two results outside the Top-15 at the season opener at Monza, the start into the Endurance Cup season went everything but great, the team around Lorenz Frey-Hilti managed a huge leap forward at the second race at Silverstone already, climbing onto the podium in third place. Only two weeks later, the sensation was perfect with the fantastic win of the 1000km at Paul Ricard with the Lexus RC F GT3.

    Following the shocking moment at the Total 24 Hours of Spa and the accident of Stéphane Ortelli, the Lexus-Team would like to deliver a good performance at the season final at the 4.655-metre-long Circuit de Catalunya just outside of Barcelona in a bid to keep the nose ahead in the fight for the championship title. “Barcelona is a track that suits us, however we only have two weeks’ time to prepare everything”, says Hannes Gautschi, Technical Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “At the moment we still lead the Endurance Cup by a fraction. Our goal is to keep the lead and score as many points as possible to also secure a top-result in the overall ranking.”

    In the Overall as well as in the Endurance Cup Standings the fight is extremely tight. Currently, Emil Frey Lexus Racing is ranging in fifth place overall in the team standings, however there is only a gap of 2.5 points to third place. The Swiss Team has the lead in the Endurance Cup, but must maintain the advantage of only four points ahead of the AKKA ASP Mercedes team.

    “Now it all comes down to the championship. We are ready and will give everything. In order to keep the lead in the Endurance Cup and maybe even finish the Team Championship on the podium, we need a top result. All title candidates are all within a few points. It will be a very exciting final. It would be a great achievement for both Lexus and our team, to reach the title of the Endurance Cup for the very-first time in the history of Emil Frey Racing”, says Lorenz Frey-Hilti. “The whole team worked continuously to keep finding improvements and even when we had set-backs and not such good results, another strong race followed. As for Barcelona I am confident and excited to also have Stéphane back in the cockpit who can support us again.”

    The finale Endurance Cup weekend takes place on 29 and 30 September 2018 in Barcelona (Spain). Both qualifying and the race are taking place on Sunday, 30 September 2018 from 09:00 am respectively 03:00 pm and are broadcast live via the following link: www.blancpain-gt-series.com/watch-live

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I am very excited ahead of my home race at Barcelona. I am planning a great party with my family and my friends and it will be great. I am 100% sure, that we will have a great race. The winter tests were positive and from the track characteristic is Barcelona good for the Lexus.”

    Christian Klien (A)
    “Barcelona is a track that is good for us, because we have tested there a lot and we know it well with the Lexus. We really would like to attack once more and fight for the championship.”

    Marco Seefried (GER)
    “I have a good feeling for Barcelona, it has shown that we are well-organised on tracks with a new tarmac and Barcelona is one of them. Therefore, everything should function well, the team is doing better and better anyhow. We are also all very happy, that Stéphane is with us for the season final.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Stéphane Ortelli (MCO)
    „I am very happy to start again for Emil Frey Lexus Racing at Barcelona. The last race of the year is always something special and I will give my best to support the team and my driver colleagues as best as possible to secure the title in the Endurance Cup. I would like to thank everyone for the many well-wishes I received, I was very pleased about that.“

    Norbert Siedler (A)
    “I think, we should be competitive in Barcelona. The tests in the winter showed that we are doing good there and the track is similar to Silverstone and Paul Ricard, on which we were very successful.”

    Markus Palttala (FIN)
    “After Nürburgring, Barcelona should be better for us. The track has a new tarmac and much more grip, which always helped us in the past. I am expecting a very strong appearance from us, because we have always been strong in the Endurance Cup. Our goal is of course the championship title.”

    Lexus Nürburgring 2018

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing ends Sprint Cup Final with Top-10 results

    Emil Frey Lexus Racing has concluded its first season of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup with solid Top-10 results in the two races at the Nürburgring. Following a very good second place on the grid for the first race, the Swiss team secured P5 and P9 as well as seventh and eighth place in Sunday’s race. In its debut year in the highly competitive Sprint Cup Series with a total of 13 teams participating, the Lexus crew finished in an overall sixth place.

    The track in the Eifel showed itself from its autumn side with cool temperatures for the two Free Practice session on Friday. Both Lexus RC F GT3 were facing considerable difficulties and drove lap times in the back field. All the more surprising was the first qualifying session, which took place in unusual dry and sunny weather at the 5.2-kilometre-long track. The Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa put the magic on the tarmac, qualifying the #14 in second place for the first race and securing the best-ever qualifying result of the season. Meanwhile, team-mate Norbert Siedler in the sister car finished in 13th place.

    Unfortunately, the team could not take the momentum into the second session, with both Lexus RC F GT3 finishing the qualifying in sobering positions 13 (#114) and 15 (#14).

    Race #1, Saturday, 15 September 2018 – 60 minutes
    Costa Balboa had an exciting opening lap into the one-hour race and following a short off into the grass whilst fighting for positions, he had to let the #1 Audi of Riberas pass him. But the Spaniard was on fire and drove the fastest times in sector 2 and 3 for a number of laps. Team-mate Siedler had a more quiet race and improved by one position on the second lap.

    Everything was put on reset after a short Safety Car period and the re-start on lap 8 went without any issues. Costa Balboa was able to close the gap to the #1 Audi once again, taking many hundreds of seconds of his competitor in each sector. Whislt the Audi pitted, Costa Balboa stayed outside trying to make as much time as possible until the came into the pits from the lead of the race for the obligatory driver change. Unfortunately, the pitstop went not perfectly well for the #14 and valuable time was lost in the end. Christian Klien returned in seventh place onto the track and made-up one more position until the finish.

    The sister car #114 pitted two laps earlier on lap 12 and Markus Palttala joined the race in P11, improving by one more position. Due to the later disqualification of a Lamborghini, both Lexus RC F GT3 gained one more place in the results standings, eventually finishing in P5 and P9.

    Race #2, Sunday, 16 September – 60 minutes
    In the late summer sun, the finale Sprint Cup race of the year started. Christian Klien in the #14 had a fantastic start and was able to improve by five positions. Team-mate Markus Palttala had bad luck with traffic and was also pushed of the track with the Audi number two on the first lap, however, he took 12th place shortly after off the #55 Audi.

    Klien was overtaken by the #87 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on lap 12 and pitted on lap 13 from 11th place, closely followed by the sister car #114.

    Back in the race, Costa Balboa lapped once again the fastest third sector in the #14. Both Lexus RC F GT3 absolved the last Sprint laps at the Nürburgring in formation and crossed the finishing line in seventh and eighth place.

    The season final of the Blancpain GT Series will take place with the Endurance Cup in two weeks at Barcelona (Spain).

    Team Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing

    Hannes Gautschi, Technical Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing
    “Last year, we participated here at the Nürburgring as guests in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and back then we did not really find our great love to the Nürburgring. We could see that again on Friday and we eventually fought to find the right Setup. We were all confident for the races after the second place in qualifying. In the end, we managed to bring home four Top-10 finishes, which is still a good result for the whole team.”

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “We had a rather difficult last Sprint Cup weekend here at the Nürburgring. The performance of all competitors was once again strong and our speed was not enough to drive by ourselves into the Top-5 in the races. Despite all, Albert showed a great achievement in qualifying and secured us the first starting position from the front row with the Lexus in the Blancpain GT Series. We have learned a lot in our first Sprint Cup Season and we will intensively analyse during the winter and work towards becoming more competitive in the short and intense Sprint races next year. This year we could see, that the Lexus RC F GT3 shows its full potential in the long-runs and long distance races. It was an exciting season with a steep learning curve, now we are all excited for the big season final at Barcelona in two weeks.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “Qualifying was fantastic. To be honest, I did not expect that performance by our car. I was very proud of the team for the big step we had made since Friday. It was the first time, that we started from the front row with our Lexus in the Blancpain GT Series. Unfortunately, I was pushed off the track in the first corner and lost two positions, but that’s racing, I had nothing to lose. In the second race, I drove the second-fastest lap and I am very happy about that.”

    Christian Klien (A)
    “Our race on Saturday was very difficult, you drive your guts out the whole 30 minutes of racing. The car was difficult to drive on the limit. But if we look at where we were on Friday, we made a huge jump forward, nobody would have expected us to be second in qualifying and fifth in the race. But our pace was not enough to fight for the front positions.”

    Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114

    Markus Palttala (FIN)
    “I think, we did a good job. We fought with many problems on Friday, but the car was running much better on Saturday. Unfortunately, both Norbert and myself could not get the maximum out of the tyres and therefore we qualified in disappointing positions. But we saw with the sister car that more is possible so we took a few Setup options for our car as well. But I still think we had two good races. In the end, we finished both in the Top-10, for a Top-5 finish we are not quick enough at the moment.”

    Norbert Siedler (A)
    “We had two difficult races, but especially in the second race we had a great charge through the field. If we had qualified better, it would have been a lot easier. I was caught behind a Mercedes in the first race and it was not possible to overtake, that’s why we pitted early to avoid losing more time.”

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