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Costa: GT Open Title-Winning Experience to Help in GTWC

GT Open champion Albert Costa prepared for SRO return after 2019 success…

Photo: Emil Frey Racing

Albert Costa believes the experience gained during a successful year competing in the International GT Open will pay dividends for Emil Frey Racing as it returns to the GT World Challenge Europe next year.

Emil Frey ran its two new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos in GT Open this year, taking the team’s title and first and second in the drivers’ championship.

It confirmed plans on Friday morning to return to the SRO Motorsports Group’s renamed GT World Challenge Europe with its pair of Lamborghinis and an unchanged full-season lineup.

Costa teamed up with Giacomo Altoe to win the GT Open championship earlier this year and the Spaniard expects this experience to help on his and the team’s return to GT World Challenge Europe.

“We made the change [to Lamborghini] very late, in January,” he told Sportscar365.

“We had no time to do the first official test for GT Open because the cars were late and we wanted to study a bit and do our job before going jumping into the tracks.

“This is why we were not in [GT World Challenge Europe] this year. Now, it’s a different story.

“We made the right move, and we are with the best brand we can be. What can I ask for? I’m the happiest boy in the world! We are ready and we have to enjoy this nice moment.”

Next year’s program will mark Costa’s sixth year with the Swiss team, and he expects this continuation, along with keeping his same three primary teammates from this year, to help achieve results. 

“I feel like it’s my second family now and I feel very comfortable,” he said. “It’s going to be my sixth year in a row with them after six years with three different brands with Jaguar, Lexus and now this time with Lambo.

“We’re going to keep the same lineup because it’s working well and we have a nice team spirit. We have a nice mode of work and we know the drivers.

“It’s the main thing, that we work together, we have a good mood and that’s why we all stay together.”

Costa was also recently announced as the fourth driver in one of Grasser Racing Team’s cars for next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Along with his drive for Orange 1 FFF Racing Team at the GT World Challenge Europe finale at Barcelona in September, this means he is in the unique position of driving for all three lead Lamborghini teams in a short space of time.

Costa won the Barcelona race with FFF, helping take Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli to the GT World Challenge Europe titles despite only being called up for the race just a few days before. 

“In [the space of] four months, I will have driven in the three best Lambo teams,” he said. “This is a lot of information, in terms of sharing.

“Every car is completely different but it’s a lot of time in the car, always the same brand, and this is very important for me because I will have a lot of experience and a lot of information for myself.”

“I did one race in Blancpain, replacing Dennis Lind, and I won, so that means I’m ready [for next year].

“It is very important for preparation to know how the car is in long race distances and all these kind of things. It’s very important to prepare for a high level championship like the GT World Challenge.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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