Following the rain chaos from Budapest last week, the next stop is already in the waiting for Emil Frey Lexus Racing, and that track is also infamous for its freaky weather. The big final of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup is taking place at the Nürburgring next week in which the Swiss team is aiming for a strong performance in order to strengthen its third position in the overall standings of the Blancpain GT Series team rankings.
Markus Palttala had already replaced Stéphane Ortelli in the Lexus RC F GT3 #114 last weekend at the Hungaroring. Stéphane Ortelli is still on his way to a good recovery. However, the races at the Nürburgring are still too early and the Monegasque is handing over his cockpit once again to the quick Finn.
Last year, the then still newly found Lexus-Team celebrated its debut in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at the Nürburgring with its guest appearance. At the time, the team had to find its way around the new format, the competitors and last but not least the Pirelli tyres. Following the performances from the 2018 season, the team is aiming to achieve a good result. “Our best positions in the Sprint Cup have been a fifth place at Misano and lately a sixth place at Budapest, this is something we would like to repeat at the Nürburgring to score as many points as possible looking at the championship”, says Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal Emil Frey Racing.
“The Nürburgring is always good for a surprise, not least because of the weather. Since we participated in both races last year, we can now rely on important data and facts, which surely will help us in our preparation phase. Unfortunately, we will have to do without Stéphane Ortelli again, but his health and his road to recovery have absolute priority and we hope to have him with us for the start at the big season final at Barcelona”, continues Lorenz Frey-Hilti.
The last Sprint Cup weekend will take place from 14 until 16 September 2018 at the Nürburgring (Germany). The two qualifying sessions are starting on Saturday, 15 September from 09:30 am, followed by the first race at 02:10 pm. The second race of the weekend takes place on Sunday, 16 September 2018 at 04:00 pm. All sessions and races are broadcast live at: www.blancpain-gt-series.com/watch-live
Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #14
Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
“We achieved our maximum at Budapest and I was pleased with my personal performance. Now we are heading to the Nürburgring, a track which is known for its rain. We managed to get some good information about the Pirelli rain tyres in the heavy rain from Budapest, because we had not been able to test them that often so far. I think, the experience from Budapest will help us at the Nürburgring.”
Christian Klien (A)
“I hope, we can secure the same good result at the Nürburgring as we did in the first race at Budapest. The track should suit our car a little better. Our goal is to finish the last Sprint Cup weekend of the season with a top result.”
Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #114
Markus Palttala (FIN)
“While Stéphane is making good progress with his recovery, I’m happy to fill in for him one more time to allow him a bit more rest before his comeback. I don’t think Nürburgring is an optimal track for the Lexus RC F GT3 but it should suit us better than the Hungaroring. Last year, I qualified outside of Top-20 but managed to climb all the way to 4th, so it’s a track where you can pass. The target is, as always, to score points for the team championship, but I’m secretly hoping we’d be in shape to fight in the Rop-5.”
Norbert Siedler (A)
“I am excited about the race at the Nürburgring. It is practically my second home since I also drive there in the VLN Championship and I am there about 15 times a year. I think, we should look good for the last Sprint Cup weekend as the track suits the Lexus.”