Romeo Ferraris head to this weekend’s finale of the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup season sitting in third place in the Manufacturers’ standings, just two points adrift of their nearest rival, Hyundai Motorsport in second spot, meaning that the team runner-up spot battle is still very much alive.
Lead driver for the squad, Maxime Martin, is in fourth position in the Drivers’ standings, and still has a mathematical chance of taking the title.
The squad comes to Germany after a very tough home event, where the squad’s Giulia ETCR clearly had pace but events conspired against the drivers, most notably with the big crash suffered by Bruno Spengler, which meant Martin was unable to compete in the DHL Super Final at Vallelunga.
Heading to Sachsenring, the team is keen to emulate its success in Zolder for Race BE, where Martin was crowned King of the Weekend, rather than the calamities which ensued in Italy.
Of the team’s drivers, only Martin has previous race experience of the venue. “I have been there in FIA GT1 2011… a long time ago but apparently the track is still the same,” said Martin. “My approach remains the same as all the rounds…. We will try to score a maximum of points for the Manufacturers’ title.”
Spengler will be back in action after his smash last time out, and despite a long career racing in Germany, he’s never raced around Sachsenring before.
“I actually don’t know Sachsenring!” he said. “I’ve been there only once with a road car, just for filming a very long time ago. I’ve seen it on TV and it looks like a very challenging place in a race car. Maybe a track where overtaking is not that easy, but let’s see, I think it’s a fun track to drive and a lot of drivers say good things about it, so let’s see what we can do and how our car will perform there.
Sitting in tenth spot in the standings, Giovanni Venturini has even less knowledge of this weekend’s destination.
“I never raced there so it will be tricky! We do simulator work and other preparation so that we arrive there as prepared as we can be,” he said.
For Luca Filippi meanwhile, it’s a track he knows more from watching MotoGP.
“I’ve never raced in Sachsenring,” he said. “I know the circuit only from Moto GP and from German GT. I’ve watched many MotoGP races, many indeed. I have to do some practice on the simulator before I go and we will do that as much as possible.”
Overseeing all, Team Principal Michela gives her take on the weekend ahead.
“We are about to face the last challenge of the season, in which we want to end with a great result to leave behind us the bad luck we had in Vallelunga,” she said.
“During the summer break we were able to work hard to restore the damaged cars and to refine our technical package, while Bruno was able to recover from his injury.
“The Sachsenring will be an unprecedented challenge for us on a technical and sporting level, moreover on a circuit that promises to be challenging for the FIA ETCR cars. Friday free practice will also be shorter than usual: a good preparation on site will prove to be even more important in order to be immediately competitive.”