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  • CHALLENGING DAYS OF TESTING IN LE CASTELLET

    CHALLENGING DAYS OF TESTING IN LE CASTELLET

    • New Pirelli tires require a lot of changes in setup
    • Driver Giacomo Altoè unable to participate because of travel ban
    • Changes and adjustments in race calendar due to COVID-19


    Le Castellet (France), March 13th 2020

    Emil Frey Racing was met with sunny weather and a few challenges. Despite the fact that the team fully expected to encounter some difficulties with the new Pirelli tires, the complexities were still bigger than initially anticipated. The test’s main objective was to gather learnings with regards to the Pirelli tires and to optimize the setup for the qualifyings and the longrun-performances. The return to the GT World Challenge Europe also brought with it a few changes in the sports regulations, which the team had studied with great care and then applied and reinforced on-site. On the first day, the car #163 finished a total of 102 laps, whereas the Lamborghini Huracán with #14 was able to finish a total of 83 laps. On the second day, the main objective was to further improve the two Lamborghinis’ performances.

    On day two, #163 completed 120 laps, while #14 was able to complete 132 laps. Car #163’s fastest lap time was 1:53.728, with Franck Perera behind the wheel. Ricardo Feller was able to go on record with the fastest lap time for car #14, clocking in at 1:54.166. Overall, there were 32 teams and 50 cars that took part in the test on day two.

    On the 12th of March, the SRO officially announced that the season opener would be postponed in response to Covid-19 (also known as the Coronavirus). The initial season opener in Monza, which was to take place from April 17 – 19, was therefore cancelled. Brands Hatch is currently listed as the first race on this year’s race calendar. However, as the current global situation is growing even more critical, it is to be expected that there will be more changes to the race calendar 2020. Nevertheless, the SRO did stress that this year’s season would still comprise of 10 race weekends, given precautionary measures are met.

    Unfortunately, complications resulting from the travel ban have made it impossible for driver Giacomo Altoè with #163 to participate at the official test.

    Emil Frey Racing is happy with the test results and will continue to work on sharpening its performance in time for the season opener.

    Team statements

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti (Team Principal)
    It’s a very particular situation at the track – a lot of precautionary measures are affecting the series, which is understandable. Despite not knowing when and how the series continues, we have to always be fully prepared, so that we’re ready for the first race. The safety of our employees and their families is our top priority and we’re taking the situation very seriously. We’re always monitoring and strictly adhering to all mandates.

    Jürg Flach (Technical Director)
    We were able to wrap up the two days at Paul Ricard without any major technical problems and gathered important data with regards to the new Pirelli tires. This data is now going to be assessed – taking into account the conditions at the track – so that we may able to apply these as important learnings for our upcoming race. Generally speaking, it’s not easy to find the perfect calibration for maximum tire performance, but I am confident that we will make significant progress in time for the season opener.

    Driver Statements Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #163

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    I am thankful for the intense and successful couple of test days here at Le Castellet. I would also like to thank the SRO for the professional implementation and communication. Covid-19 makes it a tough situation for us all. But everyone is genuinely trying to make the best out of it. We have once again been able to test the limits of the car and I am positive that it will be a good season for us.

    Giacomo Altoè (IT)
    I of course think it’s a pity that I couldn’t be there because of the circumstances surrounding Covid-19 and the corresponding measures that Lamborghini Squadra Corse had to take. I would have loved to test the car and the new tires with the team. Still, I was in constant contact with my co-drivers Costa and Perera and am convinced that we performed well. I hope that the situation globally will soon improve, so that we may fully focus on the season.

    Franck Perera (FR)
    It was a very intense and valuable two days in my homeland. It’s test days like these that are crucial for the right setup. Especially in our case, since we have new Pirelli tires. We were able to finish a lot of laps and were able to carry out important tests. Overall, I feel it went very well and that it was very helpful. We are now in a position to apply numerous learnings. I would like to thank the team for the great support and my co-drivers who did a great job. I am excited for the upcoming season.

    Driver Statements Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AT)
    The tests in France went well and I am very happy about it. We got a lot of testing done which is why I feel optimistic. The engineers will now analyze the data and piece together the most important components, so that we may use these learnings to our advantage at the next test. I hope that the the Coronavirus situation will improve soon, so that we may start the season 2020 at full speed.

    Mikaël Grenier (CAN)
    These were two revelatory days at Circuit Paul Ricard. We learned a lot and already got the chance to successfully implement learnings from our last test. We were able to complete numerous laps without encountering any mechanical problems. We now know where we need to improve what and I am very much looking forward to completing the first race.

    Ricardo Feller (CH)
    I am very satisfied with the completed test. Starting with the first session, we were able to continuously improve the car’s performance. The whole team worked calmly and professionally. We also got the chance to really get a closer look at the tires and I am very positive about the forthcoming first race.

    HERE WE GO! EMIL FREY RACING IS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SEASON OPENER

    • First official test at Circuit Paul Ricard
    • Emil Frey Racing starting with two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
    • Back to the premier class: GT World Challenge Europe

     

    Safenwil (Switzerland), March 10, 2020:
    It couldn’t have concluded better for Emil Frey Racing in 2019, at the International GT Open Series: Bagging the title for overall winner as well as winning the Driver’s Championship with the number 63 and the Vice Driver’s Championship with the number 14. These accomplishments were testament to our hard work and built a strong foundation for our return to the premier class of the GT3-Sport: the GT World Challenge Europe (formerly known as the Blancpain GT Series). The most prestigious car manufacturers and most established racing teams take part at the GT World Challenge with up to 60 racing cars. This year, manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Mercedes, Audi, Aston Martin and many more will be at the start line. The race series promises, once again, a lot of excitement that gets motorsports’ heart rates racing.

    This coming Thursday and Friday, all teams meet in Le Castellet (FR) for the official first test of the GT World Challenge Europe. However, preparations for the season and private tests have already begun for Emil Frey Racing at the end of 2019. The two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO cars have been checked and re-checked and checked again to ensure that they will pull off a superb performance and deliver satisfying results. The ambition is to consistently stay ahead and to continue the successful cooperation with Lamborghini Squadra Corse.

    The interplay between the new Pirelli tires and the Lamborghini are of paramount importance in the test in Le Castellet – especially since last season, Emil Frey Racing was still using Michelin tires in the GT Open. To find the optimum car setup, the focus lies on maximizing the Pirelli tires’ performance and to find a calibration that the drivers can effectively translate into great driving. As car-related preparations are just one part of the formula for a successful season, our drivers have also been optimizing their fitness. Over the course of the last winter season, our drivers were tested on endurance, speed and reaction. The results were more than positive and show that we are ready for a long season.

    The official test run starts with a «morning test session» on Thursday, the 12th of March at 9:00 and ends on Friday, the 13th of March at 18:00. Emil Frey Racing will be reporting live from the track on social media.


    Team statements

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti (Team Principal)
    We used the time during the off season to gather and analyze data and to apply new-found learnings to improve our race cars. Furthermore, despite a successful season, we made small mistakes here and there, which were all reviewed and assessed in order to avoid repeating them in the coming season. I am very happy with the preparations and the progress of the team in the past few months. Now is the time that we go to the start line and let the first race give us a clear view of where we stand. Also, the two new drivers proved themselves to be great additions to the team during the tests. I am convinced that my team is ready for the new season and am very much looking forward to the season opener and to returning to the most competitive GT-Series worldwide.

    Jürg Flach (Technical Director)
    The pre-season’s tests focus lay on the new Pirelli DHE tires. We are more than satisfied with the results thus far. That being said, we are continuously improving the setup for the qualifyings and races with quali- and race-simulations to ensure that we are fully prepared for the GT World Challenge Europe. We are looking forward to the coming season and hope that we will come back strong – together with Lamborghini Squadra Corse. In the past year, our group grew into a strong team and we will take this challenge on together, with the right amount of respect for the race.

    Driver Statements Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #163

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    Finally! The first official test of the year in Le Castellet is just around the corner and I am thrilled! I’m excited to meet all other drivers and teams and to get a chance to first measure up against other teams. Obviously, it’s not going to be the same as during a race weekend, but it is still important for us to test our cars and I hope that we will bring back home a lot of valuable learnings.

    Giacomo Altoè (IT)
    Thinking about the coming season fills me with excitement and I am very much looking forward to the first official test in Le Castellet! That track has always been challenging, which is why we’ve been working with great care to ensure all details are taken into consideration in order to be fully prepared for the first race of the season. Let’s go!

    Franck Perera (FR)
    As a Lamborghini-factory driver I am thrilled to participate in this year’s endurance races at the GT World Challenge Europe for Emil Frey Racing. We have a strong team, a great line up of drivers as well as a really strong car. The level of professionalism of the participating teams promises to make this an exciting season. I am eager to meet the other teams to get a first idea of what the season might bring.

    Driver Statements Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AT)
    I am thrilled that the new season is about to start. We have been preparing intensively and according to plan to make sure we’ll be fully equipped for the first race. I am looking forward to start once again at the GTWCE.

    Mikaël Grenier (CAN)
    I am so happy about being part of the GT World Challenge Europe this season. For the upcoming official test, we are focused on our program to optimize our cars with the new Pirelli tires. I am looking forward to a great season.

    Ricardo Feller (CH)
    I’m looking forward to the first official test drive at Circuit Paul Ricard as it offers a first glance at the competition. However, we won’t be focusing too much on our competition, but instead will be making sure that we adhere strictly to our test program and continue to optimize our Lamborghini Huracán GT3.

    EMIL FREY RACING RETURNS TO THE PREMIER CLASS OF GT3 SPORT IN 2020

    • Joining the GT World Challenge with two Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 EVO
    • Emil Frey Racing enters both cars in the PRO-Category
    • New race drivers: Franck Perera (France) and Ricardo Feller (Switzerland) will be supporting the regular race drivers
    • Thorough preparations taking place during off-season

     

    At the end of the past season, Emil Frey Racing had celebrated 8 victories – three of which were double wins – from a total of 14 races. Owing to this achievement, the Teams’- as well as the Drivers’ Championship of the International GT Open Series was won. Shortly thereafter, the team began to prepare for the new Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 EVO and worked on continuously developing the car further. Emil Frey Racing as well as Lamborghini Squadra Corse are very happy with the partnership. As such, the decision was made to take on a new challenge as partners.

    After a solid performance in the International GT Open Championship, a comeback into the GT World Challenge Europe (formerly known as Blancpain GT Series) is in order.

    The GT World Challenge Europe is the most competitive GT3-Series worldwide. The amount and density of professional teams, engineers and race drivers is incredibly high. Emil Frey Racing is taking on this challenge with both Lamborghinis in the highly competitive PRO-category.

    Mid-November, the race drivers and the team could get a first run with the new Pirelli tires on the Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 EVO, during a test drive in Paul Ricard. Data collected during the test drive are now thoroughly analyzed to maximise the cars’ performances. At the beginning of the year, more test drives will take place to fully prepare for the start of the 2020 season in mid-April, in Monza.

    GT World Challenge Europe
    The GT World Challenge Europe comprises of 10 rounds – five of which are Enduranceraces. The other five are Sprintraces. The season kicks off on the 12th and 13th of March with official test drives in Le Castellet. The first racing weekend takes place from the 17th until the 19th of April in Monza (IT).

    Racing Calendar 2020

    Monza17 – 19 AprilEndurance
    Brands Hatch2-3 MaySprint
    Silverstone9 – 10 MayEndurance
    Circuit Paul Ricard29 – 30 MayEndurance
    Zandvoort26 – 28 JuneSprint
    Misano3 – 5 JulySprint
    24 Hours of Spa23 – 26 JulyEndurance
    Nürburgring4 – 6 SeptemberEndurance
    Budapest25 – 27 SeptemberSprint
    Barcelona9 – 11 OctoberSprint

     

    Franck Perera and Ricardo Feller back up regular race drivers
    The four race drivers (Albert Costa/Spain, Giacomo Altoè/Italy, Norbert Siedler/Austria and Mikaël Grenier/Canada) delivered solid performances on- and off-track and secured positions in Emil Frey Racing cockpits for the coming season. As the Endurance races require three drivers per car, Emil Frey Racing is happy to add two new race drivers to the team. With 35-year-old Franck Perera from France, the team is proud to have a seasoned driver on board. Perera has been a hub driver for Lamborghini since 2018 and has been able to celebrate considerable success. Additionally, Emil Frey is thrilled to welcome Swiss racer Ricardo Feller (19) to the team. Feller lives in Oberentfelden; a mere 10 minutes away from the Emil Frey Racing Workshop in Safenwil. Emil Frey Racing is confident to have found 6 very strong pilots.

    Driver #163

    • Albert Costa Balboa (Endurance & Sprint)
    • Giacomo Altoè (Endurance & Sprint)
    • Franck Perera (Endurance)

     

    Driver #14

    • Norbert Siedler (Endurance & Sprint)
    • Mikael Grenier (Endurance & Sprint)
    • Ricardo Feller (Endurance)

     

    Quote Lorenz Frey-Hilti (Team Principal)
    After a successful season with Lamborghini Squadra Corse and the corresponding wins of the Teams’- and Drivers’ Championships in the International GT Open, it is now time for a move up and a comeback into the GT World Challenge Europe. I am looking forward to continuing our success of 2018 at the GT World Challenge Europe in 2020. I am very pleased with Lamborghini’s professionalism and the constructive exchange between engineers and drivers. The GT World Challenge is the premium class of the GT3-Sport. The level is intensely high. The drivers and their teams are very accomplished and experienced, but I am confident that, with hard work, we will learn fast and make the best out of what we have. Our goal for the first season is to be the best Lamborghini team and to consistently be in the Top Ten.

    Quote Giorgio Sanna (Head of Motorsport Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.)
    After the first winning season in the International GT Open Series 2019 with Emil Frey Racing we are glad to support the team in a new challenge as the GT World Challenge Europe, with two cars in the PRO class driven by experts and young talented drivers and supported by an extraordinary team. We look forward for a successful 2020 season.

    Quote Jürg Flach (Technical Director)
    The move up into the GT World Challenge means a return to Pirelli tires, after having used Michelin during the last season. We’ve already completed a first round of test drives in Paul Ricard in mid-November, which was very valuable for us to prepare for the new season. Over the course of the winter, we will analyse the data we collected to improve our cars’ performances. Together with our race engineers, our drivers will routinely be using our simulators to train for the upcoming races.

     

    Quote Driver #163

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    2019 was an amazing year, starting with new team mate and new car as is Lamborghini, taking the first win in the first attempt and then fighting until the last race to get the title! For next year we will be back to the best and hardest GT Championship of the world, the GT World endurance and sprint races. I’m really looking forward to start this season with my new team mate Franck Perera and my now old friend Giacomo! Now it’s time to prepare my body and my mind to be stronger than ever and be ready for it!

    Giacomo Altoè (IT)
    I’m really pleased to continue my partnership with Emil Frey Racing for the 2nd year in a row, after the successful season in GT Open this year. It’s a dream come true to be competing in the most competitive GT3 championship in the world together with my second family and Lamborghini. I’m also really happy about the #163 drivers lineup. It will be a pleasure to share the car again with my mate Albert, he is like a brother to me now! I’m really happy to have Franck onboard for the endurance races and I’m sure we will work all together for the same goal. I’m already looking forward to the new season and I can’t wait to start the new season with the winter test!

    Franck Perera (FR)
    I’m really happy to join Emil Frey Racing as Lamborghini Squadra Corse driver to race in GT World Challenge Europe in Endurance Cup. The team has a high-level performance for many years on track, but also have a unique and professional off-track approach. I’m very excited to share #163 together with fast and great driver as Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoè, fresh winners of GT Open. I’m looking forward to start working together, let’s push for it!

     

    Quote Driver #14

    Norbert Siedler (AT)
    I’m already looking forward to the next season after a great and successful run in the GT Open Series, where we, as a team, were able to fully maximize our potential. The test drives begin in February. We are working very hard to find the perfect balance for the first race. I am very positive, as the whole team is incredibly professional and everyone is sharing and working toward the same goal. I’m excited for a great season – together with Mikaël, and of course, our newest addition, Ricardo.

    Mikaël Grenier (CAN)
    I am very much looking forward to take on my third consecutive season, together with Emil Frey Racing. We finished the season successfully. However, since our last race, our focus has already been on the season of 2020, well aware of the fact that the GT World Challenge is the most demanding GT3-Championship – it’s our greatest challenge yet. Nonetheless, we will give our very best during the whole season and put our learnings from the past season to good use. I’m also excited to once again drive Sprint- and Enduranceraces with Norbert, to continue where we left off in 2019.

    Ricardo Feller (CH)
    I’m superhappy to be a part of Emil Frey Racing. For me it is a great honor to fight for the Swiss team in the long distance races of the GT World Challenge Europe. I’m also happy to share the #14 Lamborghini with Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier. I think we are a good team. The conditions are more than promising, but I think the central role in 2020 will be the new Pirelli tyre. We will do everything we can to make the best use of the tyre and hope that it fits well with our car.

    EMIL FREY RACING IS BEAMING WINNER FOLLOWING VICTORY IN BOTH GT OPEN TEAM AND DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP

    • Swiss Team secures Team and Drivers Championship
    • Giacomo Altoè youngest-ever GT Open Champion


    Monza (Italy), 13th October 2019:
    Emil Frey Racing completed its success at the International GT Open season final in Monza (Italy). After the Swiss team had taken the teams championship on Saturday already, the drivers Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoè secured the Drivers Championship in their number 63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. The 19-year-old Giacomo Altoè is therefore the youngest-ever winner of the GT Open in the history of the championship. The sister car with the number 14 completed the story and brought home the runners-up title in the drivers standing. The debut year of the cooperation between Emil Frey Racing and Lamborghini Squadra Corse could not have found a better ending.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 12th October 2019 – 70 minutes:
    Saturday was the first day of decisions. The first milestone for a good race result was set by the drivers Albert Costa Balboa (#63) and Norbert Siedler (#14) in qualifying with Pole Position and fourth on the grid. Following a fantastic start, Costa Balboa won the run up to the first chicane and headed as race leader into the first lap.

    The sister car was the first to pit coming from P4. Until the pit stop window, the Spaniard had extended his lead by more than seven seconds. After the obligatory 25 seconds handicap time during the pit stop, Altoè re-joined his home race in fifth place in the number 63, whilst Grenier in the sister car followed closely in P6.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 13th October 2019 – 61 minutes:
    The day in the Autodromo Nazionale Monza was to be a special one and an exciting race awaited the GT Open fans. The Emil Frey Racing drivers underlined the performance of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO already in qualifying with Mikael Grenier, who still had a chance to grab the drivers title alongside team-mate Norbert Siedler, taking Pole Position. Giacomo Altoè set the 5th fastest time in the number 63 car.

    Grenier remained in the lead whilst Altoè lost one position to the Mercedes of Tom Onslow-Cole. Shortly after a moment of shock went through the Emil Frey Racing garage when the Mercedes of Agostini touched the Italian´s number 63 slightly in the first chicane, however, lucky the title contender was able to continue without any damage.
    Whilst Grenier defended his lead against the McLaren, he pitted on lap 12 to hand over the number 14 to his Austrian team-mate Norbert Siedler. Altoè came to the box three laps later with Costa Balboa re-joining the race right ahead of the #6 Mercedes. The Spaniard also had a scary moment as he was forced to drive through the barriers of turn 1 following a fight for positions.

    After all pitstops, the number 14 was listed in fourth place and Costa Balboa was running in sixth place at the time. First of all, Siedler was able to take P3 from the #16 McLaren, then started his charge for second position, which the #17 McLaren was keeping.

    Costa Balboa was also making ground and took fifth place from the #20 Mercedes. Lap after lap, Siedler had a great battle for second podium position, however, the Austrian did not take any unnecessary risks.

    In the end, a third place for the number 14 was sufficient to secure the runners-up title in the Drivers’ Championship despite the same points as the McLaren competitors. Costa Balboa crossed the finishing line in P4 with the number 63, winning the outright and PRO Drivers Championship.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “I am very proud of the team who has worked very hard to achieve this success. We went into the last and final race on Sunday super motivated as ever as we were still fighting for the drivers title. It was a very exciting matter as both our driver pairings were able to still win it. We are very happy, that after a great race we managed to also win the Drivers championship and secure first and second place.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “The season was a great challenge for us as we started into a new project with Squadra Corse which did not leave us with enough time to go testing or for the general preparation ahead of a season. With further wins and podium finishes we underlined our ambitions for the title. I am very proud of our team and to be part of this success story. We achieved the absolute maximum for us and Lamborghini Squadra Corse with first and second place in the Drivers’ Championship on Sunday.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I would like to thank the whole team for a great job not just this weekend. We are happy with the second place in the Drivers Championship. Today, we reached the best result for us as the McLaren was so quick on the straights and I was not able to overtake. I also did not want to take any risk to ensure we have the second place in the championship secured.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I already felt on my first stint that the Lamborghini was going really well. When I came into the pits for a tyre change, I told the team not to change anything else as I felt I could to Pole Position with this car. I believed in my capabilities. We showed once again this weekend that the Lamborghini is a very fast car. We still had a small chance of winning the drivers title, but in the end we did not wish anyone bad luck and so it was ideal for the team after having won the teams title already – in the end we work as a team and we were successful.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “We had a super qualifying on Saturday and had the absolute best starting point. Taking into consideration how much we had to fight on Friday, we had a strong comeback. Big thanks to the team as they worked late into the night on Friday to get the cars ready. I had the best car I ever drove this weekend. I am super, super happy to have won the drivers title.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “I think, we had a great weekend and we made a huge step forward from Friday to Saturday and managed to already win the teams championship on Saturday. The whole team did a fantastic job and I would like to thank everyone who supported me on my way to achieve my dream. Thank you all!”

    Emil Frey Racing heads to Season Final in Monza as Title Contender

    • Preview about the title fight in the International GT Open
    • Championship contender Giacomo Altoè celebrates home race at season final
    • Team heads into remaining championship races well-prepared


    Safenwil (Switzerland), 08th October 2019:

    The season is coming to an end. Just six months ago, Emil Frey Racing started into the collaboration with Lamborghini Squadra Corse and the cooperation with the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO. Emil Frey Racing has absolved 12 exciting races at six rounds at some of the most breathtaking race tracks in Europe. Now the final showdown awaits this coming weekend, the last sprint in the fight for the title in the International GT Open Championship. The season could not come to an end at a more suitable place for the highlight of the year than the famous Grand-Prix-Tack Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which is both the home of Lamborghini and Giacomo Altoè.

    Eight race victories, three of those as double victory can be credited to the Swiss race team. At only three races one car did not see the chequered flag – an impressive achievement. However, the stress is now on the focus of the last and all-decisive round of the season and to switch to attack mode. Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoè are heading-up the drivers table with 11 points. Emil Frey Racing has a 14-points lead in the team’s standings.

    Back in 2017, the title was very much in reach, however, an unfortunate weekend ruined all hopes for the final triumph. Therefore, all stops have been pulled ahead of the last round. In addition to meticulous preparations in the workshop in Safenwil as well as driver trainings in the very-own Emil Frey Simulator, the team also underwent a two-day test at Vallelunga.

    Emil Frey Racing has set everything in place in order to finish this season as the beaming winner of the International GT Open.

    The race meeting of the International GT Open in the Parco di Monza begins on Friday, 11th October 2019 with two free practice sessions. The first qualifying takes place at 10:05 am on Saturday, 12th October 2019 with the 70-minute-race following at 03:15 pm. On Sunday, 13th October 2019, the second qualifying also takes place at 10:05 am and the very final race in the afternoon from 02:50 pm.

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

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

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “The team is very much looking forward to the season final and we really would like to take home the titles. So far, we had a good season, but there were also some disappointments along the road of many successes. Furthermore, the time handicaps due to podium finishes are always a great strategic challenge in the International GT Open Championship. The cooperation with Lamborghini started very well and we as a team worked very well with the new cars. We were close to winning the title once already. This time we are not letting the win slip away again, but it will be very close as usual. Monza will be one very exciting weekend.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “Following the return from Barcelona, we measured and checked the Lamborghinis thoroughly. Some parts related to the drive shaft as well as the chassis were controlled, and crack tested. We also participated in a two-day test in Vallelunga to be best-prepared for the Low-Down-Force weekend at Monza. Since we managed to extend our lead in both the team and drivers’ standings, we must focus to defend our lead with two strong qualifying and races at Monza. We get the chance to find the optimum Set-up on Thursday at the official test of the GT Open to ensure to have a good performance. I believe in our team and the competitiveness of our cars. I am heading optimistically to Monza but with a certain respect, as we cannot allow any mistakes to happen.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “Monza will not be easy for us. The track features many straights and we will have to see if we can keep up with the McLaren. But we will do all necessary optimizations to ensure we will be the great team on Sunday evening.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “It´s hard to believe that Monza is already the final race of the season. It will be a difficult weekend for us, as we are not as strong with the top-speed as the McLaren, but we will give our best and push. Our goal is to win the championship for Emil Frey Racing and Lamborghini. So, we will pull out all the stops to make it happen.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “Monza is the absolute high-speed track. At the same time, it´s the home race for my team-mate and the home of Lamborghini. I am very motivated and excited to come as the leader of the championship to the final race of the year. We have many possibilities and I am confident that we will succeed.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “Monza is my home race and already the last of the season. I am very excited. In my opinion, some of our competitors will work better with the track in Monza than we with our Lamborghinis. Nevertheless, the focus is on winning the title and we will see where we will stand in the end.”

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

    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.”

    Mixed Feelings for Emil Frey Racing at Red Bull Ring Debut

    • Fifth race win in eighth race of the year
    • Number 14 suffers disappointment in home race for Siedler
    • Swiss Team now running in 2nd place with 5 points behind Championship Leaders


    Zeltweg, Red Bull Ring (Austria), 14th July 2019:
    The mountain panorama of the Red Bull Ring reflected the feelings for Emil Frey Racing at their debut at the Austrian track with its highs and lows. Whilst the number 63 celebrated race victory on Saturday, taking over once again the lead in the championship, the number 14 experienced a disappointment with a penalty on Saturday and a technical issue on Sunday leading to a retirement. After the unsatisfying results, the Swiss team is now running in second place in the championship with a gap of five points.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 13th July 2019 – 70 Minutes:
    Friday´s results from the free practice sessions took to believe a good performance for qualifying and both Emil Frey Racing drivers did not disappoint in Saturday´s first timed session. The Canadian Mikael Grenier put the #14 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, which went into the race with a 15-seconds penalty, into a promising third place. Team-mate Albert Costa Balboa set the fifth-fastest time in the sister car #63, heading into the 70-minute race without a handicap.

    The start already was thrilling. Three cars went parallel towards the first corner. In the mix-up, Grenier lost a position and was forced to go wide through the off-track areas. Costa Balboa was luckier at the start, racing closely behind his team-mate going up the hill toward Turn 2, in which Costa Balboa past Grenier in a fair maneuver.

    Therefore, the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini were running in P2 and P3. Costa Balboa managed to close-in on the two seconds to the leading McLaren, whilst also having gained an advantage of about two seconds ahead of team-mate Grenier. Grenier for his matter also had a comfortable gap of 2.5 seconds ahead of the #59 McLaren before the pitstop window opened.

    The Canadian pitted first and local hero, Norbert Siedler, returned to the track in P12 following the 15-seconds penalty time. Costa Balboa inherited the lead on lap 19, coming into the pits two laps later to hand over the #63 Lamborghini to team-mate Giacomo Altoè. The Italian re-joined in P2, taking the lead of the race on lap 27.

    Siedler managed to make up ground and was fighting of various overtaking attempts by the #96 Aston Martin whilst running in fifth place. However, an additional time penalty of 12 seconds (Stop time at pitstop too short, overcrossing the white line at pitlane exit) threw the #14 back into seventh place eventually.

    Meanwhile, Altoè controlled the race, extending his lead more and more and coming home with a gap of more than 13 seconds to the second-placed car. After the second win of the season for the number 63, the driver pairing Costa Balboa and Altoè have taking over the championship´s lead once again.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 14th July 2019 – 60 Minutes:
    The second qualifying on Sunday was extremely tight. Giacomo Altoè reached the third-quickest time in the number 63, whilst team-mate Norbert Siedler landed in 9th place with only 0.3 seconds Altoè.
    Both Altoè and Siedler lost one position at the start. The race was without any problems for the Italian in the number 63 Lamborghini until the pitstop – although he was not able to close the gap to third place, he managed his fourth position well. Siedler, who was first to stop at the Emil Frey Racing garage, improved by one place until his pitstop. Grenier returned to the track in tenth place. Shortly after the number 63 pitted as well and following the 15-seconds handicap due to the victory from Saturday, Costa Balboa re-joined in 12th place.

    The gaps between the various competitors were much closer than seen in recent races. Both Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini were able to improve on their positions after the pitstops and showed great overtakings.

    Whilst Grenier was running in fourth place, Costa Balboa took over fifth position on lap 26, running two seconds behind his team-mate.

    On lap 32, both Grenier and Costa Balboa, who had meanwhile closed the gap to the Canadian, went past the #20 car of Pierburg. The fight for positions was heating up with ten minutes to go until the end. Whilst the race lead was safe in the hands of the #96 car and second place occupied by the number 17, the fight for the last remaining podium step in the 200th race of the International GT Open had begun.

    Costa Balboa had the direct championship competitor Martin Kodric in the #59 McLaren right at his tail and whilst trying not to lose any time to Grenier had to avoid giving Kodric a chance of overtaking.

    The drama took place on lap 36. Grenier´s number 14 started to slow down all of a sudden going towards Turn 3, enabling Costa Balboa to take P3. With three minutes to go until the finish-flag, the Emil Frey Racer was slowing down and returned to the pits right before the end of the race.

    The close fight between Costa Balboa and Kodric was hit with a beat on the very last lap. The #10 Mercedes quietly running in P5 suddenly made a move and did not only take the place of Kodric, but also managed to pass Costa Balboa who was forced of the ideal race line. The podium finish in the historic race was now out of reach within a matter of corners left in the race, with the Spaniard crossing the finishing line in fifth place.

    Following the disappointing result on Sunday, Giacomo Altoè and Albert Costa Balboa are now sharing the lead of the championship with 70 points alongside Kodric and Chaves. The head-to-head fight will continue at the next round at Silverstone.”

    After the two races at the Red Bull Ring, the Championship is heading into its long summer break. The International GT Open will commence once again on 07th and 08th September 2019 at the traditional Formula One Track at Silverstone (England).

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

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “We were all very much looking forward to our debut at the Red Bull Ring and as nice as the victory on Saturday was, the disappointments definitely outweigh this, especially Sunday´s race. Despite all I have to say the team did once again a great job and we were able to bring some important points home. The Championship is still open, even in the teams points table we are only five points behind the leading team. Now we are heading into an almost two-months break and are already looking forward for the season to continue at Silverstone in September.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “The weekend was not easy. With our current Balance of Performance, it is difficult to keep-up with our direct competitor, McLaren. The number 14 suffered an electrical problem during Sunday´s race, leading to miss fires, gear problems and eventually to the retirement. Even though the number 63 did not reach the podium, we are now heading into Silverstone´s race without a handicap.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “This was certainly not the weekend I had in mind for my home round. It probably was the most disappointing weekend of the season for Mik for me. The race on Sunday was especially hard, having to retire looking so good for a podium finish. But now we have to focus on the last remaining races, but first of all its summer vacation time.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “It is a disappointing weekend from our side, after a good qualifying result on Saturday we were hoping to score many points. Saturday´s race was good except my mistake on the pit entry when I crossed the white line, and today we were looking like third place for us, but we had a mechanical issue. We had to retire with three laps to go. Our focus is now on Silverstone.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “The start was good, and I was already running in third place running up towards the second corner, thanks to my team-mate Mik (Mikael Grenier) for the fair move and I was able to take second place. Finally, luck was on our side after the great disappointment from Spa and the lost victory. We are back, we are back in the run for the championship and now we have to be intelligent for the upcoming races.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “I am very happy about winning the race, especially since the team is always working so hard and have deserved the win once again. My race on Saturday was fairly quiet I just tried not to take any risks. Of course, Sunday was very disappointing, because everyone wanted to be on the podium of such a historic 200th race. But now we are heading into the summer break, recharge our energy and will fight back in Silverstone.”

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