Sky Tempesta Racing: 2021 Pro-Am Champions!
Sky Tempesta Racing was crowned 2021 Pro-Am Champions at the season finale of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup. Contested in Barcelona, Spain, on 9-10 October 2021, the team secured both the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles after finishing the season’s final three-hour endurance race in fourth place.
Sky Tempesta Racing topped the Teams’ Standings after securing 104 points over the course of the season. Chris Froggatt and Jonathan Hui finished first and second in the Drivers’ Standings – Froggatt claimed 101 points and Hui 95 points, after Hui was unfortunately forced to miss the opening round due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
For the season finale, the duo was once again joined in the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 by Italian driver Rino Mastronardi. In qualifying, Mastronardi took to the 4,675m, 16-turn track for the first session, setting the fifth-fastest lap of 1:46.236. Hui followed this with a 1:46.728 that put him third fastest during the second session. Froggatt achieved an impressive 1:45.772 lap time in the final session. All hugely competitive times, the team’s combined average lap time of 1:46.245 put the #93 on pole position for the final round, getting the weekend off to a fantastic start.
Hui lined up on the grid to take the first stint of the three-hour endurance race. He made a strong start, his pace and consistency enabling him to maintain the class lead before handing over to Mastronardi on Lap 34. During the middle stint, the Italian driver put in a strong fight in amongst the highly competitive field, continuing to hold the Pro-Am lead despite pressure from competitors in other classes.
This lead was maintained until almost the end of the second hour when a pit infringement during the final driver handover to Froggatt resulted in the team receiving a drive-through penalty. Froggatt took the penalty almost immediately and spent the final laps of the race focusing on consistency and keeping the #93 out of trouble. Froggatt crossed the finish line fourth in class, securing 12 points, which was more than enough for Sky Tempesta Racing to be named 2021 Pro-Am Champions.
Chris Froggatt: “What a brilliant weekend! We had one goal – to secure the championship – and we did it! Overall, the weekend was challenging for all ferrari crews so we knew it would be a case of driving our own race. We needed to concentrate on limiting mistakes and banking as many points as possible. I am so proud of everyone involved in this journey, and it’s only the beginning for the team – we look forward to more success in seasons to come.”
Jonathan Hui: “Mission accomplished! It was a perfect conclusion to what has been a three-year journey into the highest level of endurance GT racing for Sky Tempesta Racing. It was not an easy race weekend for us as we struggled to find an ideal setup for the Ferrari. All the hard work paid off in qualifying when we were able to achieve a surprise pole position. In the race, we were in a strong position for the majority of the first two hours and I was able to maintain the class-lead comfortably until we were served with a drive-through penalty for a pit-stop infringement. Overall, I’m pleased with my performance this weekend and, as expected, a top job by both Rino and Chris. All that’s left to do now is to celebrate this monumental achievement by the team!”
Rino Mastronardi: “I’m obviously delighted for the team in achieving its goal and winning the title. Of course, Chris and Jonathan did most of the work as I only joined them from the Nürburgring event. They were in a great position and it did put me under a bit of pressure to join the team while it was at the top of the standings – I couldn’t make any mistakes. Luckily we are celebrating the title, and hopefully we can continue working together next year.”