Safenwil – Switzerland, 11th September 2023
After the bitter setbacks at the last Sprint Cup of the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS at the Hockenheimring, Emil Frey Racing heads into the fourth round full of confidence. The highly-competitive GT3 championship makes a guest appearance this time in Valencia, Spain, and the Swiss team is aiming for consistent points results.
As usual, the Circuit Ricardo Tormo will host two one-hour races on both Saturday and Sunday with a strong field of 40 cars. It will be the third time the 4-kilometer circuit on the Mediterranean coast hosts the GT World Challenge since its debut on the race calendar in 2021.
The #69 Ferrari 296 GT3 put in an excellent performance at Hockenheim, giving Albert Costa Balboa and Thierry Vermeulen two strong finishes. After the #14 Ferrari of Giacomo Altoè and Konsta Lappalainen performed well at the two previous events, especially in Misano, Italy, the team is looking to return to the top again with the Italian-Finnish driver duo in Valencia. Albert Costa Balboa is the only Spanish competitor on the grid. The Emil Frey Racing driver was born a few hours north of Barcelona and now lives in Andorra.
Despite the disappointing race at the Hockenheimring two weeks ago, Emil Frey Racing is still in fifth place in the Sprint Cup team standings. With 42 points, the team is currently 16.5 points short of making the leap into the Top-3.
The Sprint Cup weekend in Valencia starts on Friday morning with Free Practice at 11:20am. Pre-Qualifying will follow later in the afternoon at 04:20pm. On both days Saturday and Sunday, qualifying will take place at 09:00am and the one-hour race at 02:00pm.
Team Quotes Emil Frey Racing
Jürg Flach, Technical Director: “After the last Sprint race in Hockenheim, it’s important to learn from our mistakes and put in a strong performance. The track in Valencia is very twisty and it can still be very hot in September. So, it’s essential to adapt the Set-up to these conditions. Taking this into consideration, we need to have a car that rotates well, especially for qualifying, and minimizes tyre degradation on the rear axle for the race. We know the track very well from previous races and tests and are traveling to Spain full of optimism.”
Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Team Principal: “Valencia is a track with medium-high-speed corners that should normally suit our car well. As always, everything has to come together and there is no room for mistakes. The one who makes mistakes has no chance. Everything has to fit. We already did a test at Valencia in the Spring. With the experience we gained, I hope we’re well prepared and we’ll see where we stand in the first free practice on Friday.”
Driver Quotes Ferrari 296 GT3 #14
Giacomo Altoè (Italy): “Valencia is very important for us as a turning point and a bit of revenge as well. It should be a good track for our car. The team is working both very well and focused and we will try again to do a flawless job at Valencia over the weekend. Only then can we achieve what we deserve, which is to be on the podium.”
Konsta Lappalainen (Finland): “We have left Hockenheim behind us and want to attack again in Valencia. We know that our performance is right, and that the Ferrari is very competitive. That’s why we’ll be doing everything we can to be able to compete for podium results in Valencia again.”
Driver Quotes Ferrari 296 GT3 #69
Albert Costa Balboa (Spain): “We tested in Valencia, so the expectations are quite high. We know what we need there. The team has done a fantastic job and improved the car a lot. I know, we are competitive, and I need to keep pushing and see what we can achieve in this new adventure. Although Barcelona is more my home track, I’m still looking forward to racing in my homeland Spain.”
Thierry Vermeulen (Netherlands): “I’m looking forward to sharing the car with Albert again, because he knows the track of Valencia very well. I’ll be working hard at home to prepare for this race and I’m really excited to be racing in Valencia for the first time. We’ve shown very good pace in the last races of the GT World Challenge and hopefully this time we can put it all together and give the team another podium, which it so highly deserves.”