Ferrari says goodbye to the French circuit of Paul Ricard, the scene of the 1000 Kilometres, the second race of the GT World Challenge Europe - Endurance Cup season. In the Pro class, the Maranello manufacturer took fifth and seventh place for the Francorchamps Motors AF Corse-run 296 GT3s, numbers 71 and 51. While in the Bronze class Andrea Bertolini claimed runner-up spot with the AF Corse team.
Robert Shwartzman, 296 GT3 #51: “During the first stint I tried to do my best: the pace was good as was the overall balance of the car, while I struggled more on the straights and in traffic. After the pit stop the situation improved, I felt more grip and I had more fun behind the wheel. I am quite satisfied, but aware that there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Nicklas Nielsen, 296 GT3 #51: “It was not an easy race. During my two stints I did quite well, especially in the first one. Battling through the traffic was not easy; we struggled with overtaking, which was also evident in the first part of the race. Now, we are looking forward to the next race which will be held at the legendary setting of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.”
Alessio Rovera, 296 GT3 #51: “At Paul Ricard we were not able to challenge our main rivals for a place on the podium. The test, however, ended up giving positive indications that help build our confidence for the third round of the Endurance Cup in Belgium.”
Daniel Serra, 296 GT3 #71: “At the start, we dropped a few positions in a very frenetic phase of the race due to the many cars on the track. In the race we had very good cornering speeds, but we suffered a bit on the straights and it was not easy to move up. My 296 GT3, here at Paul Ricard, was well balanced. Looking to the future, we will have to find the conditions to perform at our best at the top speeds which is where we suffer the most.”
Davide Rigon, 296 GT3 #71: “I got off to a very good start in the 296 GT3 taking over from Daniel, then I found myself stuck in the middle of a lot of lapped drivers who didn’t give me space and didn’t always respect the blue flags. Then, in the ‘hottest’ phase, there was a collision with the number 63 car which caused me to lose several seconds. We leave Paul Ricard with some positive indications regarding the overall balance of the car, and the management of the tyres, aspects that became very evident in this race. We still have to work, however, to improve some aspects, but I am confident ahead of the next round at Spa.”
Antonio Fuoco, 296 GT3 #71: “It was a positive race from the point of view of the feeling with the 296 GT3 and the reliability of the car. We fought for a top-5 position which I think was the best result we could have achieved here at Paul Ricard. We leave Le Castellet with this knowledge and we are already thinking about the next round of the championship, the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, a very good race for every driver, where we hope to be in the battle for the podium.”
Andrea Bertolini, 488 GT3 Evo 2020 #52: “Stepping onto the podium is always a thrilling experience. Today here at Le Castellet the satisfaction is even greater because with Louis - who I have been racing with for many years - we have chosen to change category this year to race together with Jef. The first objective this year is to help Jef grow as a driver, but we have other goals: to finish in the points and to get onto the podium, a result we have achieved today. Now we are looking ahead, hoping for a win. It would be extraordinary if this could happen at the 24 Hours of Spa in such a legendary race which, with a greater points haul, is also fundamental towards the final championship standings.”