Cetilar Racing ends its first season in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup in seventh place
Top 10 in the qualifying round for Giorgio Sernagiotto and tenth place in the classe GTD for the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of the Cetilar Racing team which the Veneto-based driver shared with Roberto Lacorte and the new entry Ulysse De Pauw. A Petit Le Mans among light and shadow that ended when in Italy it was the early hours of Sunday morning.
And this also marked the end of the first season of the “all made in Italy” team in the Michelin Endurance Cup series of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. A very positive season in many aspects, crowned by the victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring and a near-miss at the following event in Watkins Glen, with Lacorte and Sernagiotto supported (as in the opening of the Daytona) by Antonio Fuoco, this weekend also busy in another championship.
On the Road Road Atlanta circuit, further affecting the final result were two penalties in the early stages. One for having exceeded the speed limit set in the pit lane and the other for failing to stop at the traffic lights leaving the pit lane. Sernagiotto started the race at the wheel, before Lacorte took over. It was then De Pauw’s turn, for a double stint at the wheel. The last four turns were completed in sequence by Lacorte, Sernagiotto, De Pauw and again Sernagiotto, who crossed the finishing line.
“It was a strange race at Road Atlanta, with a couple of penalties that we could have avoided,” Lacorte commented, “But these things happen in such feverish races. Personally, I wasn’t very worried, because we got them when there were still seven hours of racing left, on a circuit where the safety cars often cut in. But instead there weren’t many yellow flags, and what is more we were struggling, certainly also due to a quite heavy BoP and also due to the fact that we didn’t manage to find the right setup.”
“As we guessed during the practice sessions, it was a very hard race. Also because we weren’t in such a good position as the other races,” Sernagiotto added, “We started in tenth position which was already a sign that we weren’t at our best. We recovered slightly, but unluckily we got a couple of penalties which cut us out of the top places. And what’s more, in contrast to many other times, there were very few yellow flags, and this certainly didn’t help us to get back on top.”
“My first experience in America was fantastic. Unfortunately we had some bad luck with the penalties and the car setup didn’t allow us to fight for one of the top places,” De Pauw explained, “I would like to thank the Cetilar Racing team, Roberto and Giorgio for this great opportunity.”
Not a memorable race, as Sernagiotto explained after the end, but which after all reflected what the 2022 season was to be for Cetilar Racing; a season of growth and experience, with a view to becoming more competitive next year. US car racing is very different from that in Europe, with narrow, dangerous circuits which do not pardon any mistakes made. And yet the Cetilar Racing team immediately did better than it initially expected. Being among the top ten in Road Atlanta, with a good performance, was something much better than normal. On the other hand, extraordinary results were recorded in Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen.