QUAIFE-HOBBS ON PODIUM FOR MICHELIN GT3 LE MANS CUPMay 23, 2016 3:38 pm
The inaugural Michelin GT3 Le Mans race at Imola, over the weekend of the 14/15 May 2016, resulted in a second place position for Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in the FFF Racing Team by ACM, driving the McLaren 650S who he shared the two hour race with Hiroshi Hamaguchi from Japan.
The first ever GT3 Le Mans Cup weekend at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola in the Italian province of Bologna began on a low note for FFF Racing.
The pace of the McLaren 650S of Hamaguchi and Quaife-Hobbs was somewhat masked by a broken anti-roll bar. All hopes rested with Hamaguchi and Quaife-Hobbs and while the pairing were overwhelmed after qualifying fourth on the grid, a desired podium finish was well within reach going into Saturday’s (14 May) two-hour enduro.
Hamaguchi was required to take the start and an incident involving the race-leading Ferrari and Porsche on the first run through the Tamburello chicane allowed the Japanese AM through into second position.
With only the TF Sport Aston Martin of Salih Yoluc standing between him and the race win, Hamaguchi never looked back. His attack was unremitting and his determination to snatch the lead was visible to all as he traded fastest laps out on track.
Television cameras were fixated on what was a supremely mature and controlled display by both drivers, and the gap continued to fluctuate approaching the compulsory driver-changes, when a mistake in FFF Racing’s stop resulted in a significant loss of time.
The gap stood at 13 seconds when Quaife-Hobbs emerged from the pits at the start of the second hour, but the British Pro was in an assured second position and changed tact by focusing on staying out of harm’s way and bringing the car home with zero mistakes.
Quaife-Hobbs showed his class during a quick, yet controlled run to the flag and a well-deserved second position against a small, but perfectly formed field.
FFF Racing Team Principal, Sean Fu Songyang, said: “It’s the first race of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup season for FFF Racing Team and we followed up the victory achieved two weeks ago in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe with a second place, which is a great result.
“It was a proud moment when I saw the Chinese flag on the podium. Of course, we are still a new team and we have showed that we can be very powerful. Hiroshi Hamaguchi) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs did a good job. We had an issue in the stop, but P2 was probably what we deserved.”
Fu Songyang continued: “There is a lot of quality in the GT3 Le Mans Cup. The AM drivers are really quick and are probably the best in Europe, so the level is high. The grid isn’t big, but there is a lot of quality and I think the championship has a great deal of potential to grow into something spectacular.”
This post was written by JM