JMB Racing Imola/Monza race notes

Jmb Racing Europe Starts 04 Season With A Win! JMB Racing USA Rolex 24 at Daytona driver, Maurizio Mediani wins first round of Italian GT Championship Miramar, Florida, March 30: To start the 2004 season, JMB Racing was taking part in the first...

Jmb Racing Europe Starts 04 Season With A Win!
JMB Racing USA Rolex 24 at Daytona driver, Maurizio Mediani wins first round of Italian GT Championship

Miramar, Florida, March 30: To start the 2004 season, JMB Racing was taking part in the first round of two Championships during the same weekend, the FIA GT Championship at Monza, and the Italian GT Championship in Imola. Having set up the team during the winter in order to respond to this new challenge, JMB Racing immediately confirmed its potential by winning an Italian GT round and putting in promising performances in the FIA GT.

At Monza, the weather, which felt more like winter than spring, did not discourage the crowds, which flocked as always to this bastion of Motorsport for the first LG Super Racing Weekend of the 2004 season.

A real shakedown for the new elements in the team, both on a sporting and technical front, this first race was an opportunity for the team to put together the necessary synergy in order to play a leading role in the championship, the team's stated aim for this season.

The JMB Racing Ferrari 575 GTC cars, with Michelin tires, had entered the following lineups: No. 17: Karl Wendlinger, Robert Lechner, Christian Wolff, No. 18: Bert Longin, Ian Khan, Christophe Pillon, No. 19: Peter Kutemann, Antoine Gosse, Stephane Daoudi.

Starting off calmly and with determination, free practice gave everyone an opportunity to discover the cars, to understand the way they worked and to optimize the performances in a relatively short time, while the capricious weather meant that a varied array of settings and tire choices were used.

Fourth fastest time for Karl Wendlinger during the first qualifying session was a fine reward for all the work put in by the team. By the time the second qualifying session started, the track had dried, and Karl and the No. 17 car took a promising eighth place, the best result among all of the 575 GTC cars on the grid. The Nos. 18 and 19 Ferrari 575 GTC cars chose to concentrate on completing as many laps as possible, without aiming for a true qualifying time, giving themselves more time to perfect their settings and to get used to the car. During the race, Karl Wendlinger took an excellent start, and was in 6th position when the Konrad Saleen, which had gone off, brought debris onto the track which forced both Alzen (pierced radiator) and Wendlinger (broken distribution pulley) to retire prematurely.

On the No. 19, after a first stint by an astonishing Peter Kutemann, who, as he himself admitted, had been able to master the 575 GTC quicker than he had expected, Antoine Gosse went off into the gravel at the start of the Parabolica corner, while he was fighting with a Saleen, and was lying in a solid 13th place in the GT classification.

Only the No. 18 Ferrari 575 GTC of B. Longin, I. Khan and C. Pillon managed to reach the checkered flag, finishing in 7th place overall and claiming two precious points for Team JMB Racing.

A few kilometers away, on the legendary Imola circuit, the Ferrari 550 Maranello entered by JMB Racing for Italian drivers Lorenzo Case and Maurizio Mediani won the first race in the 2004 Italian Championship after a fine battle with the Racing Box Viper, up against a high-quality grid consisting of Vipers, Lister Storms and other GT cars.

With a 15-second lead halfway through the weekend's second race, it looked as if the drivers were about to claim a second win, when an electronics problem stopped them in their tracks.

Globally, it was a positive weekend for JMB Racing Europe, claiming a first win in the Italian GT and showing their potential at Monza. Beyond the pure sporting result, the confirmation of the potential of those involved (drivers, technicians) as well as the technical side (F575 / Michelin) strengthens the choices made with the prospect of JMB Racing being a leading competitor in the 2004 season of the FIA GT Championship.

The next meetings take place on April 18th: Second round of the FIA GT Championship in Valencia, when the Italian GT will be in Monza.

-jmb-

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About this article
Series Road racing , Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Christophe Pillon , Ian Khan , Peter Kutemann , Maurizio Mediani , Antoine Gosse , Lorenzo Casé , Bert Longin , Robert Lechner