Promising debut for Solaris in Italian GT

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Solaris Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had a positive debut in the Italian GT Championship last week in Monza. In a series that revealed a very high level, with lap times lower than the BES ones clocked one week before, the Vantage GT3 driven by Francesco Sini and Max Mugelli showed great performances on the dry track, ending very close to the P4, and some difficulties on the wet, inevitable reckoning of any new challenge.

After having ended the Friday’s FP2 in the Top5, the Solaris Motorsport Vantage GT3 catched in the Saturday qualifying session the fifth row for the Race 1 with Max Mugelli and the third row for the Sunday Race with Francesco Sini. The Pescara-native driver took advantage of two sets of new tyres and he closed his lap in 1’47:696. A chrono that could have allowed the Solaris Motorsport Aston Martin to start in the top rows of the BES and impressed the Aston Martin Racing crew in the box, because the time was some tenths faster compared to the one signed a week before by the Vantage in the BES.

The Race 1, which opened the 2016 Italian GT Championship season, saw the Solaris Motorsport Aston Martin protagonist of an huge comeback from the tenth spot on the grid until the sixth position under the checkered flag, thanks to a solid race by Sini and Mugelli. The result could have been better, potentially a fourth place, without a problem during the pit stop who slowed the English coupè. On the dry track, the Vantage GT3 showed performances and pace similar to the cars on the top in the charts.

The result of the Saturday Race boded an interesting Race 2, but the rain copiously fall before and during the race changed the plans of the Solaris Motorsport guys. Without data on the Italian tracks in wet conditions and so without a reference setup, the English coupè struggled to find the right pace under the rain, bringing home the maximum result catchable in a difficult situation, with a P7 on the finish line, bagging good points for the championship.

Happy in half Francesco Sini, divided between the awareness to have a great car and the inevitable difficulties of any new project: “I want to see the positive side of this weekend. In qualifying I clocked a time faster than the Aston driver in the BES and in the race, on the dry, we showed a great potential. And this is good. Unfortunately, in the second race we paid the price of the novitiate, that’s it. Furthermore, Monza is probably the worst track for us, the Vantange prefers more the bends than the straights, so these results are even more confortable by this point of view.” Said Sini, who is confident for the rest of the season: “Next races could be most in favour to our Aston Martin, if we will make a good work, we can race stably on the top of the charts.”

“The first sensation is positive.” commented Max Mugelli “We leave Monza knowing we are very competitive on the dry, where we risked to catch a P4, but also well knowing we have to work on wet conditions setup. Unfortunately we were the only Aston Martin on the track and we not had landmarks to follow, but anyway we gained usefull experience. The level of the Italian GT Championship is very high and it was very important to not have done mistakes and to have brought points at home. Now we are going to Imola for a test session in order to find a better feeling with the car and we will see the behaviour of the car on a track like this.” said the Ronta-native driver, who added “I found a good feeling with all the Solaris guys and I appreciated a lot the support of Prodrive and Aston Martin Racing during this weekend!”

“If we take a look to the lap times we can be satisfied, with these chronos we could have been protagonist in the BES and, above all, we are on the same level of the other Aston Martin teams with more experience.” said Roberto Sini, Solaris Motorsport Team Principal, who leads the team with the support of his sons Francesco and Laura. “It is a good start, but the Italian GT Championship revealed a very hight level. Max and Francesco are improving their feeling with the car km by km and next rounds should bring us tracks more in favour. This week we have planned a test session in Imola in order to prepare the race in the end of May. If you want to stay on top in a championship like this, you need to be always competitive.” said Sini, who added: “For sure I want to thank Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive for the moral and material support they gave us this weekend. We are all part of a big family and if we keep to work close all together we could reach great results!”

Next round of the Italian GT Championship is scheduled on the Imola track at the end of May.

Source material - Solaris Motorsport
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