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  • Emil Frey Racing expecting difficult weekend in Barcelona

    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.”

    Emil Frey Racing - Red Bull Ring

    Emil Frey Racing starts second half of season as championship leaders

    • 7th and 8th race of GT Open at the Red Bull Ring in Austria
    • Emil Frey Racing is heading championship leaderboard by four points
    • Swiss debuts at race track in Styria I Home race for Norbert Siedler


    Safenwil (Switzerland), 04th July 2019:
    Next week, the International GT Open Series are going to the Red Bull Ring and Emil Frey Racing is starting into the season´s second half as championship leader at the Austrian Grand-Prix Circuit. The primary objective for the Swiss private team is to get as many important points as possible at the races seven and eight on a currently still unknown track.

    The drivers Albert Costa Balboa from Spain alongside his Italian team-mate Giacomo Altoè are beefed-up ahead of the next round, following the disappointing retirement of the number 63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO at the last race at Spa-Francorchamps – especially, since the #63 has no time handicap for the first race. Despite having to add an additional 15 seconds penalty to their pitstop time, the sister car number 14, with Norbert Siedler celebrating his home race, and the Canadian Mikael Grenier, proofed at Spa already that even a longer obligatory pitstop enables the pair to head onto the podium.

    The fight for the title is also heating-up since the last race at Belgium and will continue in front of a picturesque setting in Austria. Although the Emil Frey Racing drivers have lost the lead of the driver´s championship, they are close to the top with one points respective three points in the positions two and three.

    The next stage after Spa-Francorchamps is the Red Bull Ring, also suited within a mountain panorama at a height of about 700 metres. The technically demanding track is about 50 kilometres outside Graz and offers great diversity around 4.326 kilometres track with a 12 percent height difference.

    The highly anticipated weekend is beginning on Friday, 12th July 2019 with two free practice sessions. The first qualifying is taking place at 11:30 am, followed by the 70-minute race at 5:50 pm on Saturday, 13th July 2019. The second qualifying will go underway at 08:50 am on Sunday, 14th July 2019, with the second race for one hour starting at 02:15 pm. All sessions, qualifying and races are broadcast live by GT Open via: https://www.youtube.com/user/GTOPENseries

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “Many weeks have passed since the last race at Spa, but we used the time for both an intensive data analysis in the workshop as well as a Straight-Line test for further data and analysis of aerodynamic issues in Italy. The team is looking well ahead of the start into the second half of the season and we are becoming stronger by each race as we understand the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO better and better. Each driver pairing respect each other and there is a good dynamic within the team, which is positive for all of us. The car also gets quicker thank to this good and close relationship by each and everyone in the team. We are going to be at the Red Bull Ring for the first time and it will be a great challenge for us.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “We used the time since Spa well and concluded, amongst others, a Straight-Line-Test for the aerodynamic in Italy. As we have not been at the Red Bull Ring previously, it will be a new challenge for us in terms of setting up the car. At first sight, the track looks fairly easy, however in order to be quick it´s a technically high demanding track. There are not many opportunities for overtaking, you need great Top-Speed on the long straight heading to Turn 3 and the relevant braking power as well as stability whilst braking. You also need good mechanical grip for both the low and medium speed areas and a good balance of the car to minimize understeering. We are optimistic that we can continue to show a good performance and collect important points for the championship.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I know the Red Bull Ring very well of course and have been there many times. I have also won a few races like in GT Masters or in Porsche Cup. We are not thinking about the championship yet, although we are currently looking good, but the main goal for Spielberg is to get points, as many as possible and also try and win another race.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I am very much looking forward to race at the Red Bull Ring as I have not been there before and I always really enjoy driving on new tracks. I will prepare accordingly in the Simulator at the Emil Frey Racing workshop and should be ready. Norbert knows the track very well and it´s his home race, so he will try everything to win there. So far, we have done a good job and just needs to keep pushing.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “It is also for me a premiere at the Red Bull Ring. I have been there a few times coaching others but never raced there before. Looking from the outside, the track looks interesting and many drivers have said in the past that it is just great to drive there. It´s a short and to the point and also for the team a debut. Now it´s half-time in the calendar and I am more motivated than ever. I will give my absolute maximum until the end.”

    Giacomo Altoè (ITA)
    “I am so excited ahead of the Red Bull Ring, because it is time that we will stand on the top step once again. We had our chance in the second race at Spa and could have managed it, so we are ready to attack again in Austria. It is for both the team and I the first time at this race track. I have trained a lot in the Simulator and have watched on-board videos to ensure I know the track well before the first free practice.”

    Emil Frey Racing faces Ups and Downs at third Season Meeting of GT Open

    Emil Frey Racing faces Ups and Downs at third Season Meeting of GT Open

    The ups and downs Emil Frey Racing experienced at the third season meeting of the International GT Open in the Belgium Ardennes were suitable for the rollercoaster ride of Spa-Francorchamps. After a phenomenal win for Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier on Saturday, Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoé were forced to retire their #63 Lamborghini following brake problems whilst leading the race on Sunday. After the results from Spa, the drivers have lost the lead in the championship, however are remaining in a promising position with second and third place respectively with one and three points to the leaders. The team is currently running in first place.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 08th June 2019 – 70 minutes:
    A good qualifying result was imperative due to the 15-seconds penalty both cars were facing following the successes from Hockenheim. But the drivers Mikael Grenier and Giacomo Altoé did not disappoint and placed the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini in third (#14) and fifth (#63) place.

    Due to a heavy rain shower, that affected mainly the first part of the track, the race was started behind the Safety Car. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO started from second and fifth on the grid on lap two into the race. Both Grenier and Altoé controlled their positions until the change was on.

    Grenier pitted from second place on lap 12 with a gap of 2.4 seconds to the front runner, Altoé came into the box shortly after to hand the sister car over to Albert Costa Balboa. Both cars had to stop for an additional 15 seconds due to the handicap. After everyone had pitted and the field was sorted through, Siedler was in fifth place in the number 14 car with Costa Balboa running in sixth. Siedler was lapping 8.5 seconds behind the leader at that point of the race.

    Whilst Costa Balboa set the fastest lap time of the race, Siedler also started his charge through the field. The Austrian was coming closer lap-by-lap, going almost one second per lap quicker than his competitors. He took second place on lap 21 and chased Ramos in the #10 Mercedes, who was leading the race. Half a lap later, the Emil Frey driver took the lead of the race going into the La Source hairpin and kept on going his pace.

    Team-mate Costa Balboa was also going well and was almost one second a lap faster than Ramos, on lap 24 he set the absolute fastest first sector. One lap later, the Spaniard made a move past the #10 Mercedes, however due to an advantage during the overtaking he was forced to give back the position to the Mercedes driver on lap later.

    Heavy rain started in the area of Stavelot with four minutes to go until the end of the race. The drivers were driving in extremely difficult conditions on slicks until the Safety Car was deployed with 90 seconds left to race. Up to this point, Norbert Siedler had already a lead of 11.6 seconds and crossed the chequered flag behind the Safety Car as the race winner. Not only did the driver pairing Siedler/Grenier celebrate their second consecutive win, the team also secured its fourth race win in the fifth race of the season – an impressive achievement taking into consideration the time penalties. Team-mate Albert Costa Balboa finished the race in fourth place in the sister car.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 09th June 2019 – 60 minutes:
    The second qualifying was stopped for over one hour following a heavy accident and was only started for ten minutes in due course. Both Emil Frey drivers still delivered a good performance: Albert Costa Balboa placed the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in P2 on the grid, closely followed by team-mate Norbert Siedler in the number 14, who qualified in third place.

    Both Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini had a good start into the 60-minute race in dry conditions, only Siedler lost one position against the #16 McLaren. With 15 minutes into the race, the Safety Car was deployed after a crash by the #5 Mercedes in Le Combes.

    All advantages and time gained by the number 14 were ruined. Costa Balboa continued to make up ground to the leading #20 Mercedes of Onslow-Cole. Siedler was first to put on lap 10 and following the obligatory tyre and driver change as well as the additional 30 seconds penalty time, Grenier re-joined in 19th position. Costa Balboa handed over the car to Altoé two laps later and the Italian took the lead of the race. Shortly after the pitstop, brake problems caused Altoé to go straight in the Bus-Stop-Chicane. He was forced to come into the pits and retired the #63 eventually as race leader with a brake problem.

    Meanwhile, Grenier had a good run through the field in the last remaining Emil Frey Racer and finished the race in a solid ninth place.

    After the two races from Spa-Francorchamps, the drivers have lost the lead in the Drivers’ Championship, however, are remaining in a close fight with second place (Siedler/Grenier) and third place with only one respectively three points behind.

    The next two races are taking place at the Red Bull Ring in Zeltweg (Austria) on 13th and 14th July 2019.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “One again Spa has shown all its facets. Our weather radar was pretty accurate so we were able to plan our slicks well. We adjusted our strategy according to our handicap in the first race and were right there with our performance where we hoped we would be. Thanks to a great pace we were able to win the race on Saturday and brought the #63 home in fourth place, since it already had two handicaps and the additional time would have been too long for Sunday´s race. We had a bitter setback on Sunday. The speed was great and then we had to retire the #63 whilst on the way to yet another great result due to brake issues. It is very disappointing to have experienced this today as we have not grabbed the chance to take more points towards the championship.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “We were able to find a good Set-up for both qualifying and races early on in the weekend and despite the 15-seconds penalties on Saturday, we had a fantastic result for both cars with our strong driver line-up. The Balance-of-Performance was slightly adapted following the weekend in Hockenheim and the chances for all competitors was more equal. But pivotal to our success was the quality of our drivers, which is essential at a race track like Spa-Francorchamps. Unfortunately, we had some issues with the brakes on the number 63 car on Sunday, we are not quite sure where these problems came from and will have to analyse this in the coming days.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I pushed a lot in the race and it was exciting, because I could overtake many cars. It was relaxing in the last two laps behind the Safety Car. Big thanks to the whole team, the Lamborghini was fantastic the whole weekend. Also thank you to Mik, who did a great job in Saturday´s qualifying.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “We had a very good Saturday. Already in qualifying we had a great pace and were pleased with the result. The start into the race was difficult as we were running on slicks and it was still wet whilst also the temperature of the tyres was not quite there yet. The car was running with a good pace throughout the entire weekend and we were consistently competitive. Even on Sunday, we came home in ninth place despite the 30 seconds penalty time.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I am very happy with the result, because with fourth place on Saturday we only had a five-second penalty for Sunday´s race. The car was fantastic, I could overtake many competitors and it would have been a perfect weekend. We were very strong on Sunday and took over the lead after the pitstop – I am sure we could have won the race. It is very disappointing, but we now have to stay focussed and attack again in the next race.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “Of course, I am disappointed as we could have won the race on Sunday. The Lamborghini was very strong and we controlled the race. But then we had the problem with the brakes, which I noticed right after the pitstop. Luckily, I was able to bring the car home safely. We have lost the lead in the championship, but the main thing is to forget about this bad luck and look positively into the future and the next race.”

    Emil Frey Racing heads to Spa-Francorchamps as Championship Leader

    Emil Frey Racing heads to Spa-Francorchamps as Championship-Leader

    With three wins in four races, Emil Frey Racing is currently heading up the Championship Standings in the International GT Open Series and has shown a good performance since debuting with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. One of the highlights of the year is taking place next week: the upcoming two races are being hosted at the legendary rollercoaster Formula-One race track at Spa-Francorchamps.

    The demanding track suited within the Belgium Ardennes is the longest in the calendar, stretching over 7.004 kilometres and offers plenty of diversion with its many altitudes and 21 corners. Back in March, the Swiss team concluded a two-day test at the track and since its latest upward trend, especially the improving performance in qualifying, is well-prepared for the next race weekend. However, Francorchamps is also known, amongst its famous waffles, for its unpredictable freaky weather, which has often led to chaos with strategies.

    The eagerly awaited weekend will kick-off with two free practice sessions on Friday, 7th June 2019. The first qualifying will take place on Saturday, 08th June 2019 at 11:20 am, followed by the 70-minute race at 4:45 pm. The second qualifying is at 10:35 am on Sunday, 09th June 2019, with the one-hour race later the same day from 03:05 pm. 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
    “Following our double victory at Hockenheim, the team confirmed its performance from the opening round. However, we are now facing a 15-seconds time penalty for the next race at the obligatory pitstop. Of course, it will be very difficult to drive in the Top-10 with this handicap. In case we will not drive onto the podium in Saturday’s race, the handicap will be deleted again. Therefore, we have to try our best to get some points on Saturday in order to be able to fully attack again on Sunday. In previous races, we have proven that we can achieve a good result even when coming from a difficult starting point.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “I think, the upcoming weekend at Spa-Francorchamps will be difficult for us. Despite having shown an increasing performance, we will be lacking power due to the current BoP-classification, especially at a track like that with its altitudes such as Eau Rouge or the long left-corner at Blanchimont. The track suits us, however, from a handling point of view and as always we will do our best and we will see if we can achieve another victory in the third race weekend.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “Of course, we are optimistic ahead of the third round of the season after our double victory and I think we can achieve another good overall result. It will be more difficult than previously though as we have a certain basic weight with our Lamborghini and this will have an impact with all the height differences at Spa.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I am looking forward to Spa, because it is one of my absolute favourite circuits. We hope, that we will be competitive with our performance with all the altitudes. You could see at Hockenheim that once we are in traffic, we are not as fast as the McLaren or Mercedes. But we had good and promising test there in March so I think it should be another good weekend for the team.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “We have shown a good team work at Hockenheim and after the tests we had at Spa, I am confident that we will drive onto the podium again. We are currently leading the championship, but it is too early in the season to think about that. It still feels good though and I am very motivated to keep or even extend that lead after Spa.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “I know the track of Spa-Francorchamps quite well as I drove there a few times last year. Especially after the success from Hockenheim we are quite confident, because we had a good and successful test program at Spa. But we don’t know yet how strong our competitors will be and the first session on Friday will show, where we are.”

    Double-Pole-Position is followed by Double-Victory for Emil Frey Racing at Hockenheimring

    Double-Pole-Position is followed by Double-Victory for Emil Frey Racing at Hockenheimring

    Emil Frey Racing presented itself from its strong side once again at the second race meeting of the International GT Open. After a solid race on Saturday at the Hockenheimring, both Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO took the front row in qualifying on Sunday morning. A straight start-to-finish victory followed on the double pole position for Norbert Siedler and Mikael Grenier in the number 14 car, closely followed by the sister car number 63 of Albert Costa Balboa and Giacomo Altoé. After the great success, the Swiss team is once again leading both the team’s and drivers championship.

    In both free practice sessions on Friday, the team worked to find the ideal Set-up for the coming days after having tested here two weeks ago in the rain only. With seventh and ninth as well as fifth and tenth respectively the two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO were running in the competitive midfield.

    Race 1 I Saturday, 25th May 2019 – 70 minutes:
    After a short delay, the first qualifying of the weekend went ahead on Saturday midday in sunny conditions. The 24 competitors did not give anything away with the first 16 cars running within one second at the start. In a difficult 30-minute session, which was shortly interrupted due to an accident, the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini qualified in 7th place for Mikael Grenier in die number 14, whilst Albert Costa Balboa put the sister car number 63 into eight place.

    Both Lamborghini pilots had a good start and whilst Costa Balboa stormed to gain two positions on the first race metres, he was forced to settle back in eighth place after the first lap. The Safety Car was deployed on the second lap following an accident at the hairpin, bringing the field back together. It was “Go, go, go” again on lap 4. After Costa Balboa going passed the McLaren of Kodric on lap 8, the Emil Frey Racing cars were flying in formation around the track in sixth and seventh place. At this time in the race, a total of four cars were fighting closely for position six, which Costa Balboa took over from his team-mate Grenier going into Turn 6 on lap 10.

    Grenier pitted on lap 14 and after the obligatory 15-seconds extra time due to the race win from Paul Ricard, Norbert Siedler joined the race again in P13. Costa Balboa came into the pits as one of the last cars and handed the number 63 over to team-mate Giacomo Altoé, who re-joined in 11th place.

    Both Siedler (in P8 after lap 25) as well as the young 18-year-old Altoé made steady progress. Altoé took fourth position from the #59 McLaren of Chaves on lap 27 and was running in second place in PRO. Siedler had a fierce fight with the Aston Martin of Turner for a number of laps. On lap 29, he exited the hairpin better and drove past the Aston Martin on the run towards Turn 7.

    Towards the end of the race, Altoé put pressure on the #20 Mercedes of Pierburg only to overtake him on the last metres of the race – however, a three-second-penalty put him back from third into fifth place (P3 in PRO). Siedler crossed the finishing line as seventh overall and fourth in the PRO-Class.

    Race 2 I Sunday, 26th May 2019 – 60 minutes:
    Both Norbert Siedler (#14) as well as Giacomo Altoé (#63) set the absolute best lap time on their first fast lap out on track in qualifying. Siedler had another good run on his ninth lap and secured Pole Position. Altoé completed the great result by storming to take second place on the grid by a fraction of 0.005 seconds behind his team-mate – Double Pole Position for Emil Frey Racing for the weekend’s second race.

    Both Lamborghini drivers kept their positions at the start whilst Siedler was able to pull away to a gap of three seconds. Altoé was put under pressure of the incoming #96 Aston Martin in third place, but was able to push on the performance to also extend to a gap. Siedler was the first to pit of the two Emil Frey racing cars, coming into the pits on lap 17 with Altoé handing over the car number 63 to Albert Costa Balboa on lap 18.

    The number 14 remained in the lead following the pitstop and Costa Balboa fell back into third place behind the Aston Martin after having had the obligatory five extra seconds added to the pitstop time. However, the Spaniard was able to pass the Aston Martin on lap 24, overtaking the competitor going towards the Mercedes grandstand to take second place.

    The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO number 14 and 63 crossed the finishing line in formation, securing the first-ever double victory in the history of Emil Frey Racing with a gap of almost ten seconds.

    The next two races will take place in two weeks with the International GT Open Series visiting Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) on 8th and 9th June 2019.

    Team Quotes

    Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing
    “We were able to improve the qualifying’s performance on Sunday. Of course, we are starting to understand the for us still new Lamborghini better lap-by-lap. Once we had a clear road ahead, we were very strong, but once we were stuck in traffic, McLaren, Aston Martin and Mercedes were far quicker than us. In Sunday’s qualifying, we had a bit of luck with our double pole since two competitors didn’t or couldn’t finish their fast laps, therefore realistically speaking we would have ended up in third and fourth place. All-in-all, the result was very good and shows we are on the right way. We still had to fight very hard in the race on Saturday and were constantly running on the limit. Our pace in Sunday’s race was better and we controlled the race. It was fantastic to have secured a double victory. It was a strong team and drivers achievement.”

    Jürg Flach, Technical Director Emil Frey Racing
    “It was not that easy to find the right Set-up for the dry and warm conditions, after having tested her in the rain before. The grip level and track characteristics here at Hockenheim are not comparable to the other tracks where we have driven on this year. We managed to change a lot on Friday ranging from the tyre pressure to the damper settings. We were not quite happy on Saturday, we exceeded our expectations in qualifying but were lacking pace in the race. Qualifying on Sunday showed that once we can push for one clear lap we are very fast.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #14

    Norbert Siedler (AUT)
    “I am very happy to have secured the first Pole Position for Emil Frey Racing with the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. The performance in qualifying has improved a lot as we have put in a lot of emphasis into the Set-up work and different changes. But we had no chance against our competitors on the straights with the current Balance of Performance. Overtaking was extremely difficult and I was only able to overtake the Aston Martin, for example, as I exited the hairpin better. I would not have expected to be able to pull away on Sunday. I had a good start and a gap early on, which I managed to keep. Big thank you to the whole team for a great job throughout the entire weekend.”

    Mikael Grenier (CAN)
    “I think, we could have been better in qualifying on Saturday, but the red flag happened at a bad time for our tyre management. The Pole Position on Sunday was great. We had to work on our race pace this weekend. Despite the 15-seconds time penalty, we had a decent race on Saturday and were only 12 seconds behind the second place. It is fantastic that I have won a race here at my very-first race weekend at the Hockenheimring. It has been a great team result with P1 and P2.”

    Driver Quotes Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO #63

    Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
    “I had a good opening lap going into the first race, but then I had an incident with two other car, I was hit and I lost the positions again. Then I was running behind Mikael (Grenier) and I was pushing a lot. There was a car losing oil and I got it all on my windscreen and another car went out on the grass putting all the dirt on my windscreen too, so visibility was very bad and for four or five laps I orientated myself on the curbs to stay on track. So, I was not fast enough because I had this handicap. It went much better on Sunday and I could take full advantage of the Lamborghini’s performance with fast lap times.”

    Giacomo Altoé (ITA)
    “I like the track at Hockenheim a lot and it was great fun racing here, because the field was so close together, which is great for the championship. The lap times were very tight in qualifying. We had to fight with the performance a little due to the BoP, we drove on the limit at all times, but that is part of Motorsport and we have to accept it. It had some great battles in the race on Saturday, but in the end we didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. The double victory and another podium for us on Sunday was a great round-up for my first weekend 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.”

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