Strong pace and performance for Sky Tempesta Racing, but challenges limit the results at Misano
It was a challenging weekend for the Sky Tempesta Racing duo of Chris Froggatt and Giorgio Roda as they contested in the Silver Cup class of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup, held at Misano, Italy, on 3-4 July 2021. Within a highly-competitive field, the pairing faced difficult comebacks on the tight Italian track to end the weekend with eighth and ninth-place finishes.
Around the 4.226km, 16-turn circuit, Roda set a fastest lap of 1:33.419 during the first of the weekend’s qualifying sessions, just 1.026 seconds adrift of the class polesitter, putting the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 11th on the timesheets. However, a five-place grid penalty for previous track incidents meant the team would start Saturday’s race from the back of the field.
Off the start line, Roda began a hard charge to gain positions but in the opening laps the Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari was tagged from behind by the #188 Garage 59 Aston Martin, with the contact resulting in a spin. Despite having good pace, attempts to climb through the highly-competitive field during the 60-minute sprint race were scuppered by the track’s limited overtaking opportunities and a full course yellow in the latter stages. Froggatt, who took a strong second stint, crossed the finish line eighth in class.
During Sunday’s qualifying session, Froggatt set a fastest lap of 1:32.500 to line up ninth in class on the grid. As the pack jostled for position at the race start, Froggatt climbed a place to eighth, where he ran consistently until a collision up ahead promoted the Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari to sixth as the pit window opened. Froggatt handed over driving duties to Roda, who returned to the pack in ninth place and maintained this position until the chequered flag.
The weekend resulted in 3 points for the team, with Sky Tempesta Racing running tenth in the Silver Cup Teams’ Standings and drivers Froggatt and Roda joint 13th in the Sprint Cup Silver Drivers’ standings.
Giorgio Roda: “Unfortunately, we didn’t get the results that reflected our pace and performance in Misano, mainly because we couldn’t give the maximum in qualifying to improve our lap times. Race one was difficult with the five-position grid penalty, which made the recovery from this really hard. In race two, we started and finished the race in P9. At Misano, there are not many points to overtake, so despite the pace being there for both Chris and I, overtaking was difficult. I’m really happy with the car and the great job the team did over the weekend. Our race performance is strong, but for the remaining races we need to improve our qualifying laps so that we can start further up the field and fight for podium finishes. Our next race is Brands Hatch, which is a new track for me. As a two-day event without free practice on Friday, it will be a really short weekend, but I will prepare as much as I can on the simulator.”
The next round of the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup takes place at Brands Hatch, UK, on 28-29 August 2021. Ahead of this, Sky Tempesta Racing will take on the world-famous Total 24 Hours of Spa, which takes place on 29 July – 1 August at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The Endurance Cup trio of Chris Froggatt, Edward Cheever III and Jonathan Hui will be joined by former F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella for the highly challenging event.