11 May 2021

Sky Tempesta Racing steps up to the Silver Cup challenge at Magny-Cours

Sky Tempesta Racing steps up to the Silver Cup challenge at Magny-Cours
Chris Froggatt
GT World Challenge Europe

Chris Froggatt and Giorgio Roda contested in the opening round of the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours, France, on 8-9 May 2021. It was the first time that the pairing had competed together, battling a 27-strong grid over two one-hour sprint races in the Silver Cup to claim eighth- and sixth-place class finishes and bring home 6.5 points for the team.

During Saturday’s 20-minute qualifying session for Race 1, Froggatt set a fastest lap of 1:36.693 around the French circuit, putting the #93 Ferrari 488 GT3 sixth in class on the grid, with just 0.560 seconds separating the team from overall pole position.

With the one-hour race taking place after dark, it added an extra challenge to the already fiercely- competitive series. Particularly for Roda, who was new to the Magny-Cours circuit. Froggatt kept consistent pace during the opening half of the race, maintaining sixth in class before opting for a late pit-stop, which put the #93 at the front of the field. Handing driving duties over to Roda, he emerged from the pits sixth in class and jostled with the ensuing pack before crossing the finish line eighth in class.

During Sunday’s qualifying, Roda set a fastest lap of 1:37.530 to put the pairing ninth in class. With such a strong grid of 27 cars, it was difficult for newcomer Roda to improve position and he handed the car over to Froggatt on lap 16. A safety car period ensued, with Froggatt able to start making his way through the field and improve position when racing resumed. A further safety car followed, leaving just three minutes on the clock for the final restart. Froggatt crossed the line sixth in class.

Sky Tempesta Racing secured 6.5 points, with drivers Froggatt and Roda sitting joint seventh in the Sprint Cup Silver Drivers’ standings.  

Chris Froggatt: “We knew it was going to be a tricky weekend with Giorgio and I racing together for the first time – a new circuit for him and a new class for me. It started off pretty well; thanks to Brice our engineer we had a really fast car. By pre-qualifying we set a lap time fourth overall, so looked strong going into the qualifying session. The car felt good during my qualifying session and I think we had decent pace, qualifying sixth in class. It was exceptionally close – just over half a second separated us from overall pole position. Of course night races are always tricky, and I was helped as I experienced it last year. The second race was more positive: Giorgio’s pace was good and we were lucky with the safety cars, so we were bunched up and able to overtake a few before finishing the race sixth.”

Giorgio Roda: “This was my first race with the team and everyone made me feel very welcome. It was also my first time at Magny-Cours, so Race 1 was difficult to get good pace at night while learning the track, especially after having just seven or eight pre-qualifying laps in the dark. In Race 2 I had a good start, staying away from trouble and trying to be consistent as I could. Chris did an excellent job in amongst the safety car periods to overtake and put the car in P6. It’s a hugely competitive series – all 27 cars on the grid are really strong – and I learned a lot from Chris and the team. Plenty of time will be spent on the simulator learning Zandvoort ahead of the next round, as this is also a new track for me. Although I’d have liked a stronger start, I’m confident of improving and having a positive championship. I take away the positive learnings for next time out at Zandvoort.” 

The next round of the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup takes place at Zandvoort, Netherlands, on 18-20 June 2021. Ahead of this, Sky Tempesta Racing will compete in the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000km, the next event on the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup calendar, which takes place on 28-30 May in France.