Solaris Motorsport’s Vallelunga round started well in the practices, thanks to an impressive fifth time during the FP2, a performances that gave good hopes for a positive weekend for the #22 Corvette. Unfortunately the good news ended soon, when an unexpected gearbox problem forced Sini and Puglisi to skip qualifying and relegated the Italian duo to the last spot on grid in both races in order to let the Solaris Motorsport technicians solve the problem and get the car ready.
All the good things seen in practice came back strongly in the two races, in which Sini and Puglisi were protagonists of two amazing comeback, delighting the fans with bold overtakes and a race pace that could have brought them in the Top 5, with the chance to aim at the podium, if the Corvette could start from a better position on the grid. Puglisi started well in Race 1, beginning the recovery that brought the Corvette to a final seventh place at the end of the race with Sini, who took the wheel during the pit stop. Unfortunately, the Italian driver was forced to stop the due a problem at the rear left tyre during the last lap, failing to take an important and deserved checkered flag. Shook off the disappointment, the Sunday race saw another huge recover for the black #22 Corvette, that ended this time in P9.
“It was a difficult weekend, not having the chance to do the qualifying avoided us all the possibilities to stay on top of the standings. As we demonstrated during the races, the Corvette was pretty competitive,” commented Francesco Sini. “This year we don’t have luck, that’s racing, it means it’s all experience for the following seasons. Next year we want to be ready and race with a competitive car and a winning couple of drivers. In this track we could be on top, at least we delighted all the fans with our overtakes! We put on a good show!”
“We can’t do anything against bad luck. We had the right pace to stay easily in the Top 5 and with a bit of luck we could have fought for the podium. It’s the sad part of our sport. The most important thing is to have lapped consistently fast and have been competitive in both races. We did a lot of kms and experience for the future.” said Marcello Puglisi. “Wanting to be optimistic, I can say I enjoyed my self recovering positions, even if it’s disappointing not to have the chance to fight for better positions as we deserved.”
Roberto Sini, Solaris Motorsport Team Principal, tried to be positive after the Vallelunga round: “We were competitive, the car posted good lap times and, excluding the problem to the gearbox, which came in the worst moment, the car lapped with continuity. Marcello and Francesco did their best, they never gave up and did what you expect from a race driver: full gas flag to flag! It’s a difficult season, maybe unfair because with a bit of more luck we could reach different results, but it’s definitely important to gain experience for 2016.”
Solaris Motorsport will welcome all its fans on September 19th at the International Abruzzo Circuit in Ortona, for an open day with all its cars and the chance to take some awesome laps on the track with the 2014 Euro V8 Series Champion Francesco Sini.