Last weekend, the Italian racing team, Iron Lynx and its all-female line up, the Iron Dames kept themselves in the Pro and Gold Cup title fights in the penultimate round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup at the Hockenheimring, despite a challenging weekend.
Sarah Bovy started the #83 Iron Dames machine from fifth place in the Gold Cup field, after a positive qualifying result on Sarah and Michelle Gatting’s first time racing at the circuit, showing that they are able to fight for victory.
Even though the weekend was not easy, the team worked hard to prepare an amazing car with a brilliant strategy. They were able to overcome set-up challenges and bad weather in practice and pre-qualifying on Saturday, to give the Dames a very competitive car on Sunday morning – putting them in a good position to fight for the victory.
Sarah got a clean start and brought the car up to fourth in class, handing over to Rahel Frey after the first hour. Rahel soon moved the #83 up into second, then boxed with a slow puncture which she impressively managed for more than 30 minutes halfway through her stint. Michelle then closed on the Gold leaders throughout the final hour.
Michelle drove an excellent stint and brought the #83 car home in sixth place in the Gold Cup. The Dames will head to the final round with the class title still well within reach.
Alessio Rovera and James Calado started the #71 and #51 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in second and seventh place respectively. The pair stayed out of trouble on the first lap, before a safety car period neutralised the field for the first 30 minutes.
Following an overtake on Maro Engel’s car, James went onto the dirty part of the track meaning he was no longer able to brake effectively, causing a collision between the #51 and the #71 car resulting in #71’s retirement. The #51 slipped down the Pro order after the contact but was able to continue.
Miguel Molina took over after the first hour and brought the #51 back towards the Pro top ten despite making an extra pitstop. Nicklas Nielsen got in for the final hour, but had to retire after car #5 collided with him.
Despite this, the Iron Lynx’s Pro class title battle continues all the way to the season finale in Barcelona along with the Iron Dames who are also second in the Gold Cup standings.
Iron Lynx Team Principal, Andrea Piccini said: “The race today did not go how we wanted, but we are still in the Pro title fight with the #71 car. The Iron Dames drove an amazing race and the team prepared an outstanding car. This has kept the #83 car in the Gold Cup championship battle in second place ahead of the final race in Barcelona.
“I am very proud of the Iron Dames this weekend, this was the best race they have ever done. Rahel managed the puncture very well and the team prepared a car which was flying. Despite a puncture and safety car conditions, they showed that they are able to fight for victory. We had the perfect strategy but sixth place doesn’t represent what they deserved.
“What happened between our #51 and #71 cars is very disappointing, especially knowing they were fighting for victory. However, the retirement of the #88 car gives us a chance to fight again for the championship in Barcelona, it won’t be easy but we are looking forward to it.”
The GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup returns for the final round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday 1 October 2022.