Italy’s historic Monza circuit today hosted the second round of the Blancpain GT Series, the first Endurance race of the championship and therefore the first race of the season for the Kaspersky Motorsport team.
At the end of three hours of exciting racing, Giancarlo Fisichella steered the green, white and red Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 passed the chequered flag to claim fourth place and bring home a useful points haul in the Endurance championship.
A major collision shortly after the start meant the race had to be stopped for about 15 minutes. Once the race got underway for a second time, our experienced crew concentrated on banging in consistent lap times, taking advice from the pit wall and choosing the optimum time to make the driver switches. There were no mistakes from a driver line-up of this calibre and in the end, Giancarlo Fisichella, who drove the final stint, came very close to revisiting the Monza podium he had seen in his Formula 1 days.
Giancarlo Fisichella: “Today has been challenging. We had a few issues, but the good thing is that they were small ones. As you saw today, drivers may take real risks on the track, but the virtual world of telemetry looks set to be a key factor in the sport for some time to come and we have collected important long-run data today, which all of us will benefit from. However, there is still work to do to get the car optimised and we will be working hard analysing the data to allow us to make a step forward. Now we can start to prepare for Silverstone, pleased with the way the opening weekend has gone.”
James Calado: “A positive start to the season here at Monza. We have shown very good team spirit, which is very important, one team all working well together. I really enjoyed it especially as the car is competitive, which makes things easier. The pressure is high but I enjoyed every single lap. I’d like to thank the team for the whole weekend and the Kaspersky Lab, we can all be very happy!”
Marco Cioci: “The start of a new season is always an exciting time. It wasn’t the perfect start today but it ended well. Getting into P4 was difficult but in the end it all came together and I’m definitely satisfied with our result. It was amazing to get our first points together as a car crew. We did a great job individually and as team! I think this will become a very interesting fight throughout the whole year. We seem to have strong performance and the car feels nicely balanced, however, we used all our great experience and helped by plenty of good information from the pits, from our race engineer, working with some data supplied by Kaspersky Labs as to how to manage the car as well as possible, we were able to move up the order.”
From fourth, a podium doesn’t seem too far away. Can the Kaspersky Motorsport trio get there at the next round? Be sure to follow events at Silverstone, in the UK, where the next race takes place over the weekend of 13th – 14th May.