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    Weekend Notebook: Ferrari 296 GT3 wins 24 Hours of Nürburgring qualifying race

    The Ferrari 296 GT3 once again made the headlines at the legendary Nürburgring circuit, thanks to the success of the Frikadelli Racing Team in the qualifying race for the endurance event at the Green Hell. The first podiums came in Barcelona in the ELMS and the Le Mans Cup.

    Maranello 27 aprile 2023

    The legendary Nürburgring circuit once again saw the Ferrari 296 GT3 take the honours, with Frikadelli Racing’s victory in the qualifying race for the endurance event at the Green Hell. The first podiums came in the Elms and Le Mans Cup in Barcelona. In the Britcar there was another win in Class B.

    24 Hours of Nürburgring. The Frikadelli Racing Team claimed a historic win for the new Ferrari 296 GT3. It came in the four-hour race, an event that allows teams and drivers to test the cars on the iconic German track ahead of the next edition of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring (in May). The win secured a place for the crew in the qualifying session reserved for a limited number of cars, held in the days before the endurance event. 

    First to take the chequered flag was Felipe Fernandez Laser, driving the Rinaldi Racing-run Ferrari to victory, 1"935 ahead of the number 2 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Also enjoying the win alongside Laser were Nicky Catsburg and Earl Bamber. The number 30 Ferrari, after starting fourth on the grid with Catsburg at the wheel, took the lead in the early stages, edging away in the opening stint. Bamber kept control during his stint, before Fernandez Laser overcame the downpours to give Maranello’s latest GT car its maiden win in the overall standings. The previous triumph – the first in the history of the 296 GT3 – had taken place in the Pro-Am class, also at the Nürburgring, during a round of the NLS championship. The 24 Hours of Nürburgring is scheduled for the weekend of 20-21 May.

    ELMS. The 4 Hours of Barcelona, the opening round of the 11th season of the European Le Mans Series, with a 42-strong field of cars taking the start, got underway with a double podium for Ferrari. The number 50 Formula Racing entry with Mikkel Mac, Johnny Laursen and his son Conrad had to settle for second place, after a lengthy battle for the top spot with the day’s winners Proton Competition with a gap of just 1"408. The pole position of the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE, however, was not enough to ensure first place across the finish line: the number 66 of Lorcan Hanafin, Martin Berry and Jon Lancaster, after being sanctioned with a drive-through, posted third. Fifth was the Spirit of Race Ferrari of Duncan Cameron, David Perel and Matthew Griffin, while sixth was the number 51 of AF Corse with Kriton Lentoudis, Rui Aguas and Ulysse De Pauw. Seventh was the number 57 of Kessel Racing with Takeshi Kimura, Gregory Huffaker II and Frederik Schandorff.

    The second round of the championship was originally scheduled from 5 to 7 May at Imola, but building work delays – carried out on the grandstands and the pits of the Italian racetrack – have prompted the organisers to postpone the race to a date yet to be decided. The cars will therefore be on the track on 16 July for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet.

    Le Mans Cup. First podium for the new Ferrari 296 GT3 in the first round of the Le Mans Cup championship contested in Barcelona. It was produced by the Hiroshi Koizumi and Kei Cozzolino pairing who, after battling with the leaders throughout the entire race, took third with the number 51 AF Corse car. Ninth was the Piacenza-based team’s sister car, driven by Frenchmen Charles Henri Samani and Emmanuel Collard. The next date, given the delays in modernising the Imola circuit, is scheduled for 9 June with the Road to Le Mans.

    Britcar. The second round of the British Endurance Championship, a two-hour race held on the Brands Hatch track, gave victory in the B class to RNR Performance Cars’ number 55 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo with John Seale and Jamie Stanley taking turns at the wheel.

    Fourth place in the C Class went to the 458 Challenge fielded by the same team and crewed by Chris Goddard, Charlie Hand and Charlie Hollings. The next round of the British Endurance Championship will be on 27 May at Oulton Park.