In a season where is fundamental take advantage of each km to gain experience, the Solaris Motorsport guys used the two free practice sessions in order to try different setup settings, especially for the race. Marcello Puglisi, on his second race with the #22 Corvette, was forced to jump the FP1 due a red flag, that stopped the session in the middle when the Italian driver was just exited from the pits. So, Puglisi had to take confidence with the tricky track – he didn’t race in Tuscany by 9 years – only during the FP2. The red flag was again protagonist during the Q1, stopped two times. Unfortunately, the stop is arrived twice when Sini was on his qualifying lap, so Ringhio lost the choice to set his best time with new tires and he was only P14 at he end. In Q2, Puglisi tried a new setup and he gained the 16th on the grid with times very close to his team mate.
The things seemed going better in the first race of the weekend. At the start, taking advantage from his powerful Corvette engine, Sini was able to conquer four positions and he turned at the San Donato bend in P10. Lap by lap, the black Corvette kept to gain positions, until the P6 before the pit stop. When the pit stop window opened, with a perfect strategy the team took advantage to the safety car period – entered to permit to the marshalls to clean the track by the debris – to do the mandatory stop and permit to Puglisi to jump in P2. At the restart on lap 13, the Italian driver tried to attack the leader of the race at the first turn, but unfortunately, his dreams of glory ended just few bends after, when the Mapelli’s Audi tried badly to overtake him. The German car pushed out the Corvette and was penalized, the American coupè was forced to comeback from the rear and at the end was just P12 under the checkered flag. It was a pity, because the Corvette showed during the race the same pace of the drivers on top of the charts and, without the thirty seconds lost in the contact, Puglisi could have been at least in the podium-fighting group.
TThe good fate wasn’t with the Italian team neither in Race 2, where an unexpected technical failure has stopped Puglisi yet in the formation lap, ending a disappointing weekend for the Notaresco-based team. “It’s unbelievable, this year the bad seems to be our official supporter! During the qualifying session I was stopped twice by the red flag during my fast laps, on Saturday we could reach the podium but we were get out in the back. On Sunday, once again, I was not able to enter in the car.” commented Francesco Sini, sad about the race but satisfied for the performance in his Race 1 stint: “Until the contact with Mapelli it was the perfect race! Started from P14, we were P2 behind the safety car. We showed our potential with great lap times, then it’s gone how is gone. We are very disappointed, now we have to transform this bad emotions in the right power to arrive in Vallelunga in the best shape we can.” ended Sini, that in March test session signed lap times very close to the track record with the the Corvette.
“Really, I don’t what telling, it’s incredible. In Race 1 the car was very competitive, I had all the race long the pace of the best drivers and I could climb on the podium. I’d have liked to thanks my team and their work with a good results, we were so close to it!” commented Puglisi. “It’s a pity don’t be able to concretize the big potential of the car. As the same as Imola, also in Mugello we had the pace to reach the podium!” The next round of the Italian GT Championship is scheduled in Vallelunga on September, the 12th and 13th. “It’s a track in which we could point to a good result, the pre season in it test gave us good feeling and I keep to be confident.”
The Team Principal Roberto Sini analyzed the difficult moment of the team: “We are all disappointed, we expected much more from this race and we come back home with another zero in the standings. The Saturday performance, however, had showed we can be competitive and we can fight for the top positions. But, to do that, we must have weekend without this kind of troubles. Francesco and the team made an amazing job on Saturday, Marcello showed a great race pace but twice his race was ruined by events unrelated to him. We will use the summer break to prepare the Vallelunga race in the best way, hoping to have a weekend…trouble-free!”