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    Weekend notebook: success at Hockenheim and in Thailand

    Maranello 13 maggio 2024

    The best results of the weekend for the Maranello manufacturer came from Germany and Thailand. At the Hockenheimring, there was success in the International GT Open and GT Cup Europe, as well as a series of excellent finishes. A class victory also came in the GT World Challenge Asia held in Thailand, while Conquest Racing finished 15th in the IMSA race.

    IMSA. An unlucky race at Laguna Seca for Conquest Racing in the fourth round of the IMSA championship. After performing well in free practice and setting the ninth fastest time in qualifying, Albert Costa and Manny Franco, at the wheel of the number 34 Ferrari 296 GT3, were first held up by a collision and then forced to retire 33 minutes from the end of the 2-hour, 40-minute race.

    The next race in the championship will be Sahlen's Six Hours of Watkins Glen on Sunday 23 June. Five Ferraris are expected to line up for the event, which will be the third in the IMSA Endurance Cup.

    International GT Open. Excellent performances and podium finishes for the Ferrari 296 GT3s at Hockenheim in the second round of the series. Standing out were the two victories for the Prancing Horse in the Pro Am class, with Marco Pulcini and Eddie Cheever III in the number 27 of Spirit of Race winners in Race-1 and fourth overall, and the racing one team with Ernst Kirchmayr and Luca Ludwig who, after retiring in the first race due to a collision, took the win in the second, ahead of another Ferrari pairing, Brazilian drivers Marcelo Hahn and Allam Khodair, in the number 16 of AF Corse.

    Pulcini and Cheever, sixth in Race-2, thus consolidated their lead in the standings ahead of Giorgio Sernagiotto and Alessandro Cozzi in the number 25 of AF Corse, who took a fourth and a fifth place in their class. Also in Pro Am, top ten finishes went to Laurent De Meeus and Jamie Stanley, fifth in the first race in the number 55 AF Corse-run car, which also saw seventh place for Hahn-Khodahir in the number 16. Gino Forgione and Michele Rugolo were ninth in the number 88 of Spirit of Race.

    Additionally, there was a podium place in the Pro class courtesy of the Spirit of Race pairing, Nicola Marinangeli and Vicent Abril, whose steady and determined performance took the number 51 car to third place before being forced to retire during Race-2.

    Twin fourth places, lastly in the Am class, for the Polish team Olimp Racing, with the number 5 entrusted to Stanislaw Jedlinski and Krystian Korzeniowski.

    The next round of the championship is scheduled in a fortnight, on 26 May, at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

    GT Cup Europe. Ferrari celebrated another triumph on Sunday at Hockenheim once again thanks to Luca Ludwig. The German, after winning the International GT Open race, crossed the finish line first in the second GT Cup round, together with Spaniard Ivan Velasco at the wheel of the number 80 488 Challenge Evo of MERTEL Motorsport. The pairing redeemed themselves in the best possible way following their sixth-place overall finish in Race-1, which came after leading during the initial phase of the race.

    Adding to the weekend's trophy haul for the Maranello colours, was the runner-up spot in the Am class for Spanish drivers Fernando Navarrete and Álvaro Lobera, in the number 81 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, also with MERTEL Motorsport, who came seventh in Race-1.

    The German team registered sixth and seventh places in Pro Am, for the number 85 with Jorge Cabezas alongside Swiss driver Anny Frosio, and ninth and fifth places for the number 84 driven by Stefano Bozzoni and Arturo Melgar. In the same class, fourth place in Race-1 went to Rossocorsa Racing with Lorenzo Ferdinando Innocenti and Niccolò Schirò who then finished eighth in the second race.

    For the other MERTEL Motorsport cars involved in the Am class there was a double eighth place for Laura Van den Hengel and Alba Vázquez in the number 83, and a sixth and fifth place for the number 86 of Martinus Richter and David Kajaia,

    The third round of the series will be held in Belgium, at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, on 26 May.

    GT World Challenge Asia. A triumph and two class podiums, as well as several podium places in the top ten for the four Ferrari 296 GT3s taking part in the second round of the championship, contested in Thailand at the Chang International Circuit.

    The victory came in the Am class, thanks to David Tjiptobiantoro and Italian driver Massimiliano Wiser in the number 75 of Garage 75, the winner in Race-2 after finishing in second place in the first race.

    The other Ferrari podium was claimed in the second Silver Am race by Andre Canard and Finn Gehrsitz in the number 296 of Absolute Corse, fourth in Race-1.

    In the Silver class, the LMcorsa team with the number 60 of the Japanese Ryo Ogawa and Shigekazu Wakisak scored twin fourth places, while Harmony Racing was fifth with the number 77 of Liang Jiatong and Kailuo Luo, who retired from Race-2.

    Following the next round on 7-9 June at Sugo, which is solely for the Japan Cup, the GT World Challenge Asia looks forward to the seventh and eighth races of the season, scheduled from 21-23 June at Fuji International Speedway, also in Japan.

    13 maggio, 2024