Mikaël Grenier fought back to finish fourth in Race 1 in Barcelona
ROUND 11 AND 12 OF INTERNATIONAL GT OPEN WHERE EMIL FREY RACING IS EXPECTING A DIFFICULT WEEKEND DUE TO PREVIOUS RACE PODIUM FINISH HANDICAP
International GT Open is in Barcelona this weekend where yesterday, Mikaël Grenier and teammate Norbert Siedler had finished the day in fourth position when combining FP1 and FP2.
Earlier this morning, qualifying took place on a damp circuit as rain fell throughout the qualifying session. It was Norbert Siedler who drove the #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for this session and placed second for the start of Race 1.
Although the team had mentioned prior to the weekend they were expecting rather difficult performance, rain played a levelling factor for the race as it was a wet start to this 70 minutes race.
On the first lap, Norbert Siedler unfortunately was the victim of a contact with a competitor and this spun him around and lost second place. He rejoined in 14th place and then quickly to 10th place at the end of lap 2. A full course yellow came out not long after as another car was trapped in the gravel and needed to get towed away.
The field having to gather up, this gave the chance for the #14 of Grenier/Siedler to be in a better position at the restart to get closer to the front of the field before the mandatory driver change.
As the race unfolded, the drying track made it a little more complicated for drivers and teams to come up with the best strategy for their pitstop and selecting the right tires.
With 31 minutes to go, Siedler came onto pitlane from fifth position to hand over the car to Mikaël Grenier. Grenier rejoined in eight position and with 20 minutes to go occupied fourth place chased by Henrique Chaves driving the Teo Martin McLaren 720S GT3 who was the quickest on track at the time.
Mikaël did his best to keep him behind for several laps and even gained third position but coming into the chicane(turn 14-15) before the start-finish line, as Grenier turned into the first part of the chicane, Chaves came into contact with Grenier which sent the Lamborghini driver into a spin.
Eventually, Chaves received a 10 seconds penalty for the contact but it was nit enough as Grenier had lost contact with the leading group of three and finished in fourth place.
On the last lap and on the second part of that same chicane, Antonelli Motorsport driver Loris Spinelli made a move for the lead on the inside of Andrès Savaria which resulted in slight contact and what looked like exceeding track limit for Spinelli who then was able to pass Savaria to take the checkered flag.
Unofficial result has #6 Antonelli Motorsport drivers Spinelli/Agostini first followed by #17 Teo Martin Motorsport Savaria/Rueda and third #59 Teo Martin Motorsport of Kordic/Chaves with #14 Emil Frey Racing of Grenier/Siedler in fourth.
Image: Emil Frey Racing