Emil Frey Racing marks ambitious start to the new motorsports year
Emil Frey Racing is again competing in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2016, this time with a new drivers’ squad and the tried-and-tested Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar. With the two new arrivals, Stephane Ortelli and Albert Costa, who are joining Lorenz Frey behind the wheel, Emil Frey Racing is venturing its move up to the PRO Category.
“We’re delighted to have recruited two drivers of Stephane Ortelli’s and Albert Costa’s caliber for our project,” says Emil Frey Racing driver and team manager, Lorenz Frey. “I’m greatly looking forward to working with them both inside and outside the car.”
For twenty years now, former Le Mans champion (1998) and triple FIA GT World Champion (2002, 2003, 2013), Stephane Ortelli, has been a force to be reckoned with on the international prototype and GT sports stage. Monagasque citizen Stephane Ortelli has already mounted the podium over 180 times as a racing driver; as a works and test driver, he has cooperated with ten carmakers in total (Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Porsche, Saleen, Volkswagen, Renault, BMW, Peugeot, Seat) and is widely regarded as one of the most experienced GT drivers.
Albert Costa Balboa (Barcelona) started his career in kart racing at the turn of the century. 2009 he won the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and the Formula Renault WEC 2.0, and 2012 the World Series Eurocup Mégane Trophy. Since 2013, Albert Costa has been making a name for himself in GT sports.
As in the past, the trio will be rounded off by Lorenz Frey, who says “As the youngest team in the fiercely competitive Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup’s PRO Category, we’re clearly still outsiders. All the same, with the help of Stephane’s and Albert’s experience and performance, we hope to chalk up some more great results. That’s one of the reasons we’re venturing our move up from PRO-AM to the PRO Category.”
Another new face on the team is former Toro Rosso Formula 1 racing engineer, Graziano Michelacci. Former driver and member of the project management, Fredy Barth, decided to leave the team and is currently focusing his energy on his own company. A future cooperation with him is still on the cards.
David versus Goliath
The 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup promises to offer racing action at its finest. The private team from Safenwil, Switzerland, meets up to 60 entrants at the Europe-wide events and will be up against 27 other contenders in the highly competitive PRO Category. Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche will be delivering spanking new developments, and Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, McLaren and Nissan updated technologies to their client teams. “For us, it’ll be David against Goliath,” says team Technical Director, Jürg Flach, with a hint of doubt. “We’re sometimes the last private team to get a self-developed vehicle to the starting line.”
That the Emil Frey Racing team will be racing as equals is confirmed by the Nürburgring 2015 Final where, with a class victory in the PRO-AM Category, the Swiss team improved its overall year ranking to fifth place.
With a focus on the season’s highlight, the 24 Hour Race at Spa-Francorchamps (28-31 July 2016), and to double its chance of success, Emil Frey Racing will be deploying a second Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar starting at Paul Ricard (24-25 June 2016). But to start off with, things will be kicked off by the spearhead trio Costa / Frey / Ortelli on 23-24 April 2016 in Monza, followed by Silverstone (14-15 May 2016), Paul Ricard, the 24 Hour Race in Spa, and the Nürburgring Final (17-18 September 2016).
Season Presentation 380 K