Francesco Sini is ready to fight again for the top of the standings: “Monza was the race of our return, in Imola we want to stay up front again and I’m sure that Marcello will help us a lot in that.” Marcello Puglisi will share the Corvette cockpit with ‘Ringhio’ for the Imola event and in two following races in Mugello and Vallelunga. The Italian driver, also known by the fans as a Sky Sport commentator, tested the Solaris Motorsport American coupè on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari track, posting quickly lap times near Sini’s ones.
Marcello, how do you feel about the car?
“The engine was the part that surprised me more, the torque of the Corvette is simply amazing! It’s definitely the most vigorous engine I tried until now. You have wheelspin also on the high gears! I used the first laps of the test to know and take confidence with the car and its engine. The driving style is totally different from what I drove in the past, but the car handling is sincere, when it looses grip it does in a linear way, it warns you step by step. The rolling chassis of the Corvette Z06 surprised me a lot. It was a good start, once I used to the power, I clocked interesting chrono.”
How was your first day in the Solaris world?”
“I had a great feeling with the team from the beginning, they took care me as an old friend! The passion of the Sini family for racing is incredible! You realize it when you see the desire and the determination to do the best in any moment. I already knew some engineers, but in few times I was close to the rest of the team. You can feel the support from all the team, this will help all of us to give our best.”
You have a vast experience with single seaters, from the little F. Renault to the GP2 cars, through Formula 3 and F3000. How much of this experience helps you now in this new challenge?
“Oh well, it’s difficult to say. The driving style is totally different, it’s clear because the cars are on the opposite in that. So my experience isn’t a lot useful in that. Anyway, single seaters build your approach to a new thing, being it a car or a team. The formulas teach you how to feel and analyse the behaviour of the car and take the maximum from the engineers, finding the best setup. So, we can say that single seaters help you a lot ‘before’ and ‘after’ the race, while the feeling ‘during’ the race is completely different of course.”
You tested the car on the same track you will race this week end, what do you expect from your debut with the Solaris Motorsport Corvette?
“Imola isn’t the best track for our Corvette, but we can however aim at the top. The team works hard and, judging from what I saw during the test, I think we can have a good performance, it’s realistic to be in the Top 5.”
“Marcello showed he learns quickly with the Corvette and the times he posted confirmed it. The Z06R was competitive during the test of the last week, but it’s better not to do any forecast. The track is in favour of the cars with a great handling and the Vette has a lot of power. We will approach the race focusing on being fast and stay on top, but with the humility given from knowing we have to work hard in order to obtain results.” commented Roberto Sini, Solaris Motorsport team principal.
The two Imola races will be streamed live on the official Italian GT Championship web site www.acisportitalia.it/CIGT (http://www.acisportitalia.it/CIGT/live-streaming): Race 1 will start Saturday at 3.20 PM, while the green light for Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 11 AM. All the fans on track will have again the great opportunity to visit the paddock for free, with the chance to meet their idols and touch the cars.