Image credit: SportscarGlobal.
Rinaldi-Racing have left France pleased with the overall performance of their Ferrari 458 Italia in the “Coupes des Paques” (Easter cup), the opening round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at the Nogaro track in southern France.
Drivers Norbert Siedler (A) and team-mate Marco Seefried (GER) now hold fourth place in the championship after two strong races during the season opener.
After a difficult session the Austrian fought through the pack in Sunday’s qualifier and claimed the fourth place. Also in the main race on Monday the Rinaldi-Racing Duo scored a good result with fifth position.
“Many corners are driven in second gear, there you need a lot of traction,” Siedler explained prior to the race. “Our Ferrari has different strengths.“ A statement which unfortunately turned out to be true in the free practices and the qualifying session leading to the German based team starting all the way down in 13th position.
Putting in a blistering first lap, Siedler made the jump on the pack in the beginning of the qualifying race. “In the front two cars spun, the whole situation was very chaotic,” the Rinaldi-driver described the opening lap. “I decided for the right side and did not suffer any damage except for two really small collisions – and was in seventh.” Siedler handed the green Ferrari over to his team-mate Seefried, who took over in fifth position and continued to push finally crossing the line in fourth.
In Easter Monday’s main race the duo continued to show the same determination. Although Marco Seefried had to let the torque-rich Mercedes SLS of Bernd Schneider pass after the start, the resulting fifth position put a big smile on the faces of the whole team. For the two strong performances the Austrian-German driver line-up was awarded with 13 championship points placing the duo in fourth position in the championship.
Enough reason for Norbert Siedler to draw a positive conclusion: “We improved the setup from session to session,” he praised his team Rinaldi Racing.