During this ELMS season, Ram Racing has earned two double podium finishes and one win.
Keasbey, NJ – July 17, 2013 – Following a pair of third place finishes in the opening two rounds of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), Bayshore Racing ambassadors Frankie Montecalvo and Gunnar Jeannette seek to carry that momentum into Austria for this weekend’s 3 Hours of Red Bull Ring.
This weekend, co-driving the No. 53 Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italia in the LM GTE class, Montecalvo and Jeannette have a podium result in their sights, in addition to capturing Ram Racing’s second team win of the season. During this ELMS season, Ram Racing has earned two double podium finishes and one win. Montecalvo and Jeannette look to add their name to the Ram Racing record books this weekend by capturing their first ELMS win.
Jeannette also returns to action this week after recovering from injuries received in a sky diving incident in June.
Similar to other circuits on the ELMS calendar, Red Bull Ring is a new track for Montecalvo and Jeannette. The Red Bull Ring was originally founded in 1969 as the Österreichring. The circuit hosted the Austrian Grand Prix from 1970 to 1987 and again from 1997 to 2003.
The track was renamed the Red Bull Ring and reopened on May 15, 2011. The Red Bull Ring has hosted several international events including DTM and the FIA F2 Championship. This will be a first visit to the track for an endurance series.
The five-round ELMS schedule includes a series of past and present Formula 1 venues in England (Silverstone) Italy (Imola), Austria (Red Bull Ring), Hungary (Hungaronring) and France (Paul Ricard).
The duo will first practice the No. 53 Ferrari on Friday, July 19. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday morning. Green flag for the Three Hours of Red Bull Ring is on Saturday, July 20 at 10:30 a.m. (ET)
“It has been a long break from Imola. I’m excited and glad to be back in the Ram Racing Ferrari this weekend. We spent some time with crew and team owner about a week after Imola, and that was the last time we were with the team. It was nice to be able to hang out with the team away from a race weekend.
“During the ELMS break, I had the opportunity work with the Multimatic Motorsports team again. I tested and raced at Watkins Glen with the GRAND-AM series. Even with that GRAND-AM race, it has been a big break for me, which seems weird. I’m a racer and want to be racing. But I’m really looking forward to getting back into the Ferrari and back on track.
“The time away from the track should help me. Sometimes you have more time to get ready and prepared for a race, and that’s very nice to have the opportunity. But at the same time, it hurts you a little bit because you can get sidetracked. I’ve stayed on track physically and mentally. I’ve been learning the new circuit and getting prepared. The long break has allowed me to really focus on this race.
“We’re pretty confident heading into this race because of our podium finishes this year. But this weekend will be a challenge because of the limited amount of track time leading up to the race. I tend to struggle a bit going into the ELMS weekends because we only have two hours of practice and then qualifying. I go into the weekend with the most knowledge I can from video and simulators, but it is still challenging for me to learn the track. Part of the challenge in ELMS is competing against some of the European drivers that know these tracks really well, especially when I have one hour in practice to get up to speed. We have a two hours of practice, but Gunnar and I usually split those sessions..
“But this is racing and anything can happen in a three hour event. I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent confident, but I’m ready to give it 100 percent effort and do the best I can. I’m confident in Ram Racing getting our Ferrari ready for the race. Our performance this year shows that Gunnar and I are a driving force and we’re here to race and finish on the podium.”
“On June 2, after getting back from a test with our team over in Italy, I went skydiving with a couple of friends and unfortunately suffered a malfunction on my main parachute, which caused a malfunction with my reserve parachute as well. As a result, I landed harder than normal and broke my left tibia in the process. I’ve been recovering since. Thanks to a team of excellent doctors that are part of the US Olympic Ski & Snowboard team, I've been put back together & have been on an aggressive rehab schedule. Due to their skill I'm fit enough & have been cleared to drive in Austria. To say that I'm looking forward to getting back in the car is an understatement. It's what has gotten me through these difficult last few weeks.
“Part of my regular training program includes running a shifter kart that I drive often at Miller Motorsports Park. It is a great karting facility and that was my personal litmus test to see if I was up to the challenge of racing or not. I went out a couple of days ago and got into the shifter kart and drove for quite a while. I was pretty close to my normal lap time even though I wasn’t able to press the brake pedal as hard as I ordinarily would with my left foot. So, I’ll be going back to my roots in the race car and using my right foot for braking. Luckily with the GTE Ferrari, we’ve got a great paddle shift system, so my left leg is going to be pretty inactive.
“It’s been a great start to the year with Frankie in our Ram Ferrari. We’ve got two podiums so far. You know how you get in the swing of things with testing, racing and all of a sudden you have this two month break. That break has been a little bit difficult, but I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in Austria. Frankie and I have placed third in both ELMS races this season. Our teammates won the last race; it was the first race win for Ram. Frankie and I are thinking that it is our turn now. We want to move up a couple of steps on that podium.”