- 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.
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.