Solaris chasing more Italian GT podium finishes

Thursday, June 09, 2016

This season Solaris Motorsport changed its face and took one more step forward, becoming Aston Martin Racing Team Partner. An important recognition for the Pescara-based team, now serving as reference for the historical English brand in Italy. This new status also includes a close partnership with Prodrive, the factory developing the British GTs. Francesco Sini and Max Mugelli are the two drivers selected to drive the brand new Vantage GT3 in the Italian GT Championship. Mugelli is in his second experience with Aston Martin: in 2006 the Italian driver won the European Aston Martin Racing Cup, winning a test with the BDRS9 GT1.

After the first two rounds and four races completed, Sini and Mugelli have already conquered the first podium for the English coupè and the end of the Imola Race 1, showing constantly improving performances. Before the start of the Misano Word Circuit round, we had a chat with Max Mugelli, the new member of the Solaris Motorsport family.

Max, how do you judge this first part of the season?

 "Positive, for sure, but we raced just two rounds, so it is very early to evaluate the season. Furthermore, in two of the four races we did, we found wet conditions and it could probably rain again in the Misano weekend. By climbing on the podium in Imola we reached the first goal of the season, but now we are focused on something more concrete. You know, the more you get the more you want and now..."

Was it difficult to find the right feeling with the Solaris Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3?
"Traction was one of the things I appreciated more from the beginning, it can give us a big help on the twistier tracks, I didn't find big difficulties with the Aston Martin, except the normal ones when you drive a new car."

How far is the development of the car?

 “We started the right way thanks to the great job of the team and to the close partnership with Aston Martin Racing. I'm confident that this important sinergy will help us to grow quickly in the near future. But we need to improve our performances in qualifying: we have a good race pace, but we miss the right sprint on the single lap in qualifying. First of all, I need to improve myself in it: my purpose is to be 3-4 tenths quicker than what I did until now."

This year you found a new team and your new team-mate, Francesco Sini, was one of your strongest rivals in the last four seasons, how do you feel?
"Great, from the first day! From my point of view, Solaris Motorsport has its best qualities in passion and professionalism. On one hand you can feel like at home, and on the other one the expertise of the technical staff, together with the Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive support, make me confident to race always on top. I think Francesco and I are one of the most competitive duo, though we raced only four races together. We faced in the past as rivals but we always had very different cars, so it was difficult for me to know his real value. Now I race with him and I can say he is very competitive both in races and in qualifying: we often compare our thoughts during the weekends and we can learn a lot from each other, with the goal to be a solid and competitive duo."

What do yo expect from the rest of the season?

 "It's always very hard make predictions, but I'm confident I can fight constantly for the podium positions. My personal goal is to reach again the podium, hoping to climb on the highest step! It will not be easy, the Italian GT Championship level grew a lot compared to last season, but this is one more incentive for us."

The Italian GT Championship will move this weekend to Misano, what do you expect?
"We arrive at Misano World Circuit with the same goal than in Imola: grab the podium at least in one of the two races. We didn't have the time to test the car on this track, but I think our Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will be competitive here. The only one variable we cannot control will be the weather and unfortunately we will probably find heavy rain again. I'm just hoping we will not have once more the same condition we had in the Imola Race 2, where, due the weather conditions, the only one real protagonist was the safety car!"

The third round of the Italian GT Championship from Misano World Circuit will kick-off on Friday, June 10th with the two session of free practice, scheduled at 11:25 AM and 3:25 PM. On Saturday morning the green light for the two qualifying sessions, one for each race, will turn on at 9 AM and 9:25 AM. Race 1 will start at 2:50 PM on Saturday, June 11th, while Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday, June 12st, at 3:15 AM. Both the races will be live streamed on the official website of the Italian GT Championship

Source material - Solaris Motorsport
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