After the excellent premises and the performances shown in the qualifying session, the racing debut of the GT World Challenge Europe 2023 at Monza had a bad surprise in store for Mike.
Since Friday’s free practice Michele and his teammates, Rolf Ineichen (CHE) and Leonardo Pulcini (ITA), have been working in view of the race, showing an excellent development of the performance and an always better feeling with the new team, the Iron Lynx.
The GT World Challenge Europe Endurance championship has confirmed itself as one of the most demanding and balanced in the world. With 54 crews at the start, top-level drivers and eight manufacturers (Lamborghini – Huracán GT3 EVO2, Aston Martin – Vantage AMR GT3, Audi – R8 LMS GT3 EVO II, BMW – M4 GT3, Ferrari – 296 GT3, McLaren – 720S GT3 EVO, Mercedes-AMG – AMG GT3 and Porsche – 911 GT3 R) represented by top teams, the championship provided a fantastic show in the opening race.
In qualifying Michele and his teammates placed the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2 in nineteenth position overall and fourth in their class, the Gold Cup. Unfortunately, Mike‘s legitimate expectations for the race were disappointed a few minutes after the start. Rolf Ineichen entered the fight for the Gold Cup podium right from the start of the race, but the race ended even before it got to the heart due to a contact at the first chicane, caused by a rival who hit the rear of the EVO 2, forcing to retire.
Michele, after the unexpected end, did not hide his disappointment:
“This is my home race, I had many friends and guests in the paddock who came to cheer on me and experience the emotions of the live race. Retiring like this, without any fault, and after a few minutes from the start is really hard to put up with. After the practice session and the qualifying we were optimistic and we knew we could fight for a place on the Gold Cup podium. We did a great job with the team and we knew we could do well. The disappointment is double, I’m sorry for the race and for all the friends who came to the paddock. Let’s look ahead and think about the next appointment at Paul Ricard in June”.