This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, TR3 Racing team owner Gregory Romanelli looks back on his team’s 2018 season, the highlights of the year on track, and how a year’s experience in Pirelli World Challenge helped them take the next step.
In all, how would you sum up the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season for TR3?
“I believe this season was a success. We came into this season knowing what we were getting into, having the experience and the knowledge that we gained from running last year, and optimized every area where we were weak in the past.
“Our car was competitive every race we attended. This is due to the extensive work that both our engineers and crew have put in this year. Both the team and the drivers did a fantastic job this year.”
What challenges were there switching between drivers for the Sprint and SprintX races?
“It wasn’t much of a challenge for us. It was actually more beneficial for us having two different pros in the car.
“Setting the car up how one liked it versus how the other liked it helped us gain a lot of information about how we can set up the car depending on the driver preference.”
How impressive was Wei Lu to you in his first season of GT3 racing?
“I’ve personally raced against Wei in 2015 and 2016.
“I knew what he was capable of, but in my opinion he did an exceptional job always trying to match [co-driver] Jeff [Segal’s] lap times and always was very competitive with other drivers’ lap times.
“He always kept a clean race which, at the end, is what counts. He always brought the car home to gain as many points as possible.
“Even though we came four points shy of the championship, I think it was an exceptional year for Jeff, Wei, and the team.
What were some of the highlights of your season?
“There was quite a few of highlights this year for the team. Bringing Wei and Jeff to their first Pirelli World Challenge win at their second race ever was very rewarding.
“Daniel Mancinelli’s pass on Toni [Vilander] for the win in Long Beach was another highlight that we will never forget. Also, winning the Grand Prix of Long Beach is a huge accomplishment for myself and TR3 Racing.
“Plus helping Martin Fuentes and Caesar Bacarella to win both Sprint GTA and SprintX championships in the Squadra Corse Garage Italia car was a huge accomplishment for all of us, as it was our first year working together.”
What can you share about your 2019 plans at this time?
“We are still working on 2019. I believe the new format that World Challenge/SRO have introduced is a very appealing format.
“I believe in the near future we will have a better understanding of what we’re doing for next season.”