Solaris leave GT Open on a positive after fraught start

Monday, May 01, 2017

Having already had to build up a new race car just to be at the event, Italian team Solaris Motorsport will be somewhat relieved that the first round of the International GT Open is now behind them and they have points on the board as they now prepare themselves for the next round.

As far as we can make out the new V12 Vantage GT3 had had little or no shakedown testing prior to being dispatched to Portugal last week and the team still had much to do in terms of learning the characteristics of their new creation as well as bedding in two drivers.

At least during the available Private Testing and Free Practice sessions, drivers Franesco Sini and Mauro Calamia pounded in a decent number of laps together with progressive better lap times as they began their very late pre season testing!!

Indeed, when it came to qualifying for Race 1 all at the team should have be proud that Calamia's lower mid table starting position as a job well done considering their earlier predicament. Unfortunately, their lack of track time came back to bite them after a terrific opening stint from the new Swiss driver after the handover.

Having elected not to change tyres at the stop, Sini would find himself back in the pits twice more searching for answers to his ongoing handling problems. The team have advised that the non changing of tyres was not the immediate issue and nor were issues arising out of contact on track.

Data acquired in Race 1 at least allowed them to make changes to the car overnight, ready for Sini to undertake qualifying duties for Race 2 but with the rubber laid down the day before being washed away by overnight rain at least the 'green track' would help to level the playing field.

Sini eventually qualified the #007 car in P9 and less than 1.5 seconds behind the pole setting Garage 59 McLaren in a difficult drying track scenario.

The changes made overnight continued to help as the team persevered to find their natural level within this years highly competitive field of 22 cars. At the half way mark Sini handed over the car to Calamia from tenth yet by the time the pit cycle had been completed the #007 had moved up to P7.

That was how the race finally ended securing them a crucial four championship points.

Next round if rom Spa Francorchamps in about four weeks time. That shall also allow the team to test on setup ready for a track that has historically boot always favoured the V12 AMR.

Photo credits - Fotospeedy

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