Keasbey, NJ – In the opening three rounds of the European Le Mans Series, American young stars Frankie Montecalvo and Gunnar Jeannette have earned three third place finishes in the highly competitive LM GTE class. The Bayshore duo looks to repeat those podium finishes and close the championship points gap this weekend as they head to the Hungaroring.
With two races left in the ELMS season, the American drivers sit second in the LM GTE drivers’ standings, just 25 points out of first place. Their Ram Racing Ferrari teammates Johnny Mowlem and Matt Griffin lead the LM GTE division.
Hungaroring is another new race track for both Montecalvo and Jeannette. Located in Mogyoród, approximately 12 miles northeast of the Hungarian capital of Budapest, the 14-turn, 2.48-mile, Hungaroring has hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1986.
In addition to his day job at the race track this week, Montecalvo should feel at home in Budapest. The New Jersey-based driver is Hungarian on his mother’s side and is looking forward to racing in front of his European relatives, in addition to spending time with them away from the track.
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 (Hungaroring) and France (Paul Ricard).
Montecalvo and Jeannette will first practice the No. 53 Ferrari on Friday, September 13. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday morning. Green flag for the Three Hours of Red Bull Ring is on Saturday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. (ET)
Frankie Montecalvo: “Since this is another new track, I’m trying to do as much research as I can. I like to try to keep the races in line, so I was really focusing on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last week and finishing the season strong with Multimatic in the GRAND AM Continental Tires Series. So I’m going to try to study as much as I can this week before my flight.
“I’m really looking forward to this race. I’ve heard great things about Budapest. I have a lot of relatives in Hungary and they are going to be attending the race. I’m half Hungarian, so it is going to be fun to see family that I haven’t seen in a long time and probably meet a few new cousins.
“Our Ram Racing Ferrari should be good this weekend. I’ve been talking to my engineer and he thinks this will be a track that suits the Ferrari well. I’m excited going into it. We have really long breaks during the ELMS season because of the short schedule, but I’m excited to get back with Ram and get back in the car for the rest of the season.”
Gunnar Jeannette: “Track position and passing this weekend will definitely be a factor, if this track is narrow. If you get behind a GT3 car or a train of them, it will be difficult to get past. We’ll see more when we get to the track this week. Our plan is to play it smart and stay out of trouble and not make contact with other cars.
“The ELMS is very competitive and we’re in a tough class. We have great competition within the Ram Racing team, but among the other LM GTE competitors. I think one of our hardest competitors is the other Ram Ferrari.
“We have a few struggles along the way. We’re planning on running a really clean race, keeping the pace up, like we’ve done.
“Frankie and I have made it to the podium in every race this season and we want to keep that going. We’re ready for this weekend and I’m looking forward to being back in the Ram Racing Ferrari.”