Emil Frey Racing took a big win to start the 2019 International GT Open season yesterday at Circuit Paul Ricard. It wasn’t a straightforward victory for Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoè, driving the team’s #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, as they were made to work for the win and see off multiple challenges during the race.
Early on they were involved in a fierce battle with the Antonelli Motorsport Mercedes of Daniel Zampieri and Alessio Rovera (which finished sixth) and the SPS Automotive Mercedes of Fabrizio Crestani and Miguel Ramos (that crossed the line fourth) in the first part of the race. But later on, Altoè was forced to soak up the challenge from Teo Martín’s new McLarens 720S GT3s in the final laps after the round of pit stops shook up the order.
In the end, Altoè would prevail. Though neither McLaren managed to take the win in their maiden race, though neither 720S GT3 was able to take the win in the car’s series debut, both enjoyed a strong run, completing the podium. Henrique Chaves and Martin Kodrić took second ahead of Fran Rueda and Andrés Saravia who finished third.
The last laps of the race proved decisive in Pro-Am, a storming Onslow-Cole in the #20 SPS Mercedes charge back up to fifth overall and victory in the class, the Briton posting the fastest lap in the process.
It was a perfect start to Valentin Pierburg and Onslow-Cole’s title challenge, finishing ahead of the Teo Martin McLaren of Marcelo Hahn and Allam Khodair and the Raton by Target Lambo.
It was a close fight until the very end also in the Am category, with Alex Hrachowina-Martin Konrad (HTP Motorsport Mercedes) beating the two Antonelli Motorsport AMGs of an impressive Giuseppe Cipriani and Davide Roda.