Lack of experience of the Zolder circuit led to Emil Frey Lexus Racing’s disappointing start to the 2018 Blancpain GT Sprint Series Cup, claims team principal Lorenz Frey.
The team and two of its four drivers had never driven the track before the opening round of the season, where both teams failed to score.
Contact at the start of the race led to #14’s retirement in race one and the squad could only manage 20th in race two. Sister car #114 managed a little better, with a 14th place in race one and 13th in race two.
“We did not have any references for Zolder compared to other teams here at the sprint cup, therefore both we as a team plus two of our drivers had to get to know the track first of all,” said Frey.
“Of course, we did not have any great expectations, but the weekend was still a disappointment for us. It is positive that we managed to improve from the first free practice session on Friday morning to Sunday’s race.”
Aside from the lack of experience at the circuit, the team also believes there’s a lot of work to do to maximise the potential of the Lexus RC F GT3, which had only competed in one race weekend before the start of the season.
“It was the first time for me to drive at Zolder. It was a totally new experience for all of us and we continue learning,” said #14 driver Albert Costa Balboa.
“At the end of the day, Zolder was a test for us. We faced quite a few problems that will be difficult to have sorted out before Monza.
“Moreover, Zolder is not a track that suits the Lexus, therefore the next race at Monza should be much better for us.”
“It was all new to us and there is a lot of work we have to put into the Lexus RC F GT3,” added #114 driver Stephane Ortelli.
“We fought hard with understeering throughout the weekend were lacking 1.5 seconds to the front runners, which is very frustrating. We are on the right way and I am confident we will have a better track with Monza.”
Despite the difficult start, the team leaves Zolder seventh in the teams’ championship.