Safenwil – Switzerland, 09th October 2023
For Emil Frey Racing, the highly anticipated season final of the Sprint Cup powered by Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS is taking place in Zandvoort (Netherlands) this weekend. The team returns to Thierry Vermeulen’s home track, where they experienced a big disappointment in the DTM round earlier this Spring. Now it’s time to make amends and implement the improvements to the Ferrari 296 GT3 on the track – and end the season with a top result.
To this day, Zandvoort has been one of the most raced-on tracks in motorsport history. The list of Grand Prix winners reads like a Who-Is-Who of motorsport: from Fangio to Lauda to Hunt – all of them were victorious there. The current track configuration was created at the beginning of the 2000s. While the first half of the 4.259-kilometre-long circuit contains all the original’s old curves of the 1948 original, the second half of the track has been heavily modified – the last curve leading onto the Start/Finish-Straight is still part of the original layout. The Hugenholtzbocht is the most spectacular corner of the circuit and demands a great challenge for the drivers with its different incline windings.
Thanks to the strong podium finish in Valencia, Emil Frey Racing currently runs in fifth place in the team´s standings. With two remaining races and 63,5 in their bags, there is the chance to close the gap of 17,5 points to finish in the Top-3. There is also the chance to climb-up into the Top-3 in the driver´s standings, as driver-pairing Albert Costa Balboa and Thierry Vermeulen currently take fifth place with a 20 points gap to third position.
The final Sprint-Cup-Weekend in Zandvoort will begin Friday morning with Free Practice at 10:25 a.m. Pre-Qualifying is following later at 03:20 pm. Saturday begins with qualifying at 09:35 am and the first one-hour race at 02.00 pm. Qualifying on Sunday starts at 09:30 am with the season’s final race to start at 02:00 pm.
Team Quotes Emil Frey Racing
Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal: “We are really looking forward to the last two races in the Sprint Cup, and especially that the season finale will be held at such a great track as Zandvoort. We have mixed feelings about the results: On the one hand, we drove to race victory in the ADAC GT Masters last year, but this year in the DTM we were very disappointed. Nevertheless, we achieved a podium in each of the last two Sprint Cup races and that is also our goal for the remaining two races. In the championship, we have the opportunity to finish in the Top-3 and of course we will do our best to make that happen.”
Jürg Flach, Technical Director: “We have very good memories of Zandvoort from previous years. This year we were already there with the DTM, but due to the BOP we were only reasonably competitive in qualifying, and we also had technical problems. Now we hope that the conditions for the next race are better and that we can continue with the good results of Valencia.”
Driver Quotes Ferrari 296 GT3 #14
Giacomo Altoè (Italy): “Overall, it has been a good season so far. The potential is always there, and we must be 100 per cent ready to make the most of it. Zandvoort will definitely be a good track for us. The last time I was there with the team last year, we won the race! So, I’m really looking forward to the season’s last round and we will try to finish the season on a high level, because that’s what we deserve.”
Konsta Lappalainen (Finland): “Valencia didn’t go as planned and we had hoped to fight for the championship. But we’re aiming for two strong races at Zandvoort and we’ll be able to finish the season on a high.
Driver Quotes Ferrari 296 GT3 #69
Albert Costa Balboa (Spain): “I am looking forward to the last races of the year. In the two previous races in Valencia, we were on the podium twice and fought closely for the race win. I really want to end the season with a win and, as always, I will work as hard as I can to achieve our goals.”
Thierry Vermeulen (Netherlands): “I am very happy and proud to be racing in front of my home crowd for the last time. It is a spectacular track. We were there earlier this year with the DTM and had a difficult weekend with two retirements. But we have worked so hard and improved many things on the car and we can show that now. I also hope we can score some points as we are 5th in the championship. With a bit of luck, we can move-up one or two positions because our goal is to be in the Top-3 in the championship.”