Puncture scuppers rapidly improving pace at Zandvoort
The Sky Tempesta Racing pairing of Chris Froggatt and Giorgio Roda faced tough battles and overcame a puncture to secure seventh and tenth-in-class finishes in the latest rounds of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup, held at Zandvoort, Netherlands, on the 19-20 June 2021.
Competing in the Silver Cup, Roda set a fastest lap of 1:36.205 in the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 around the 4.259km, 14-turn Dutch track to secure a ninth-place start on the grid.
Lining up amongst the 27 highly-competitive contenders, Roda had a positive start and maintained position in the early stages of the race. Despite being new to the track, the Italian driver battled hard and by the mid-way pit-stop, he handed over the car to Froggatt in eighth place. Unfortunately some time was lost in the pit-stop, but Froggatt continued the team’s form in amongst the fast-paced action to finish the 37-lap race seventh in class.
For Sunday’s qualifying, Froggatt set a fastest lap of 1:35.823 to start from eighth on the grid. Learnings from race one enabled the team to rapidly improve its pace over the course of the weekend, and Froggatt’s excellent pace allowed him to gain positions in the opening laps. However, on lap five, a collision with the #52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 caused a puncture and forced the Sky Tempesta Racing #93 Ferrari back to the pits. The repair time cost the team two laps, and despite Roda’s best efforts during his elongated stint, it was impossible to recover the lost time during the sprint race. Roda crossed the finish line tenth in class.
Sky Tempesta Racing secured 3.5 points during the course of the weekend, putting it eighth in the Silver Cup Teams’ Standings, with drivers Froggatt and Roda sitting joint 11th in the Sprint Cup Silver Drivers’ standings.
Chris Froggatt: “It was a challenging weekend at Zandvoort. We knew it would be tricky as we didn’t have much running ahead of the racing getting underway. It was a new track for Giorgio and he did a fantastic job of getting up to speed. By the second race we were in a pretty strong position in terms of pace. Unfortunately, contact with another Ferrari in the first ten minutes resulted in a puncture, which took us out of the running. Regardless, we changed the tyres and carried on, with Giorgio taking a longer stint to make the most of the seat time, and he was showing constant progression. It was a shame for the result, but a positive weekend in terms of learnings and continuing to move forward and make positive progress. Next up is Misano, which we see as the best opportunity for a strong result as it’s a track we both know really well.”
Giorgio Roda: “Sadly, the weekend’s results did not reflect our performance. We lost around 10 or 12 seconds in the race one pit-stop, so finished in P7, but I think we had the potential to finish P5 or P6. In the second race, the contact was a real shame. We had really improved our pace compared to race one, and both Chris and I put in strong drives. The result could have been very different. However, we look forward to the next race at Misano. It’s a track we know really well, and I won there last year, so we are happy to race there and look forward to a more positive weekend.”
The next round of the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup takes place at Misano, Italy, on 2-4 July 2021. Prior to this, the team will take part in the Total 24 Hours of Spa test at the Belgian track on 22-23 June 2021, which will prepare the team for the legendary endurance race on 29 July – 1 August 2021.