Mugelli Was Fast But The Race On Home Turf Was Jinxed. All eyes were set on Max Mugelli this weekend for the third round of the Ferrari Challenge Pirelli Trophy in Mugello - Max's home track. But the wait was disappointing: two retirements...
Mugelli Was Fast But The Race On Home Turf Was Jinxed.
All eyes were set on Max Mugelli this weekend for the third round of the Ferrari Challenge Pirelli Trophy in Mugello - Max's home track.
But the wait was disappointing: two retirements due to technical problems characterized both the sprint and endurance race.
However if we take a close look at Mugelli's race, one will notice that the Tuscan driver; who was born not too far from this circuit, was one of the fastest drivers on the track.
Things immediately started off on a bad note during race 1. During the start up lap, the Tuscan driver had detected a problem with the rear axle. When Mugelli was on the starting grid (he was third), the technicians noticed that he had a big problem with the tailpipe that was replaced the day before. The problem was serious and they even considered not participating in the race to avoid any breakage.
But this is Max's home turf and the technicians did summersaults to fix the car and let the driver race. Max started off well and kept his third place for most of the race regardless of his half broken tailpipe. With only 2 laps to go and perhaps due to a slight contact with his opponent Belluzzi, the tailpipe suddenly exploded and the car caught on fire. Mugelli sadly pulled over and helped the Marshalls put out the fire.
Not only did Max lose his third place, he even jeopardized his participation in the second race.
As soon as the car was brought into the pit box, the CDP team's mechanics analysed the level of damage done. It seemed impossible for Max to do the endurance race but the technicians didn't lose hope. They worked non stop on the Ferrari and incredibly managed to put Max back on track when all the cars were on the grid. Mugelli took off from the pit lane and immediately started conquering some positions .He even set the fastest lap time with 2'06"061 and was almost a second away from the second fastest lap. Unfortunately, Max's climb to the top was interrupted when he was in eleventh place and had yet another technical problem.
"I'm sad about how things turned out here in Mugello, in front of my friends, fans and co-workers. They all deserved better. I received a grand applause after my retirement during race 2 and this made me very happy. For this I would like to thank everyone. I would like to express thanks to the team for doing such a great job all weekend and for doing their utmost best on Sunday to make me participate in the endurance race. A special thanks to the fans who always stood by my side and who encouraged when things got tough. A thanks goes out to my sponsors as well who believe in me and who push me to do better and at last the media and the journalists present. Although they maintained their impartiality, I know that they were cheering me on in this home race. These people, I would like to reassure all of these people that from the next race on, I will do my best to reach the podium."