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Emil Frey Focuses Test Program on Learning Pirelli Tires

Series returnee Emil Frey focusing on getting to grips with Pirelli tires during testing….

Photo: Brecht Decancq/Emil Frey Racing

Emil Frey Racing’s technical director says the team focused on gathering valuable information about the new Pirelli tires during last week’s pre-season test at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The Swiss team is in its second year running Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos but raced in the International GT Open on Michelin tires year, and is returning to GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS after a one-year break.

Technical director Juerg Flach says the biggest obstacle to overcome is getting used to the Pirelli tire, which has been updated to P-Zero DHE specification this year.

In total, its five drivers present at Paul Ricard completed 432 laps between the two cars on Thursday and Friday.

“We were able to wrap up the two days at Paul Ricard without any major technical problems and gathered important data with regards to the new Pirelli tires,” explained Flach.

“This data is now going to be assessed – taking into account the conditions at the track – so that we may able to apply these as important learnings for our upcoming race.

“Generally speaking, it’s not easy to find the perfect calibration for maximum tire performance, but I am confident that we will make significant progress in time for the season opener.”

Team principal Lorenz Frey-Hilti admits that getting back into SRO competition for the first time since 2018, when it ran Lexus and Jaguar machinery, has been made even more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global health crisis has already forced the cancelation of the opening round at Monza in April, and the next two races, at Brands Hatch and Silverstone, are also now in question.

“A lot of precautionary measures are affecting the series, which is understandable,” said Frey-Hilti.

“Despite not knowing when and how the series continues, we have to always be fully prepared, so that we’re ready for the first race.”

Altoe Misses Test Due to Travel Restrictions

One of Emil Frey’s six drivers, Giacomo Altoe, was unable to travel to the south of France due to travel recommendations suggested by Lamborghini amid the health situation.

The 19-year-old, who won the GT Open title for Emil Frey alongside Albert Costa last year, stayed at home during the test, following Lamborghini’s advice for all of its Italian factory drivers.

“I of course think it’s a pity that I couldn’t be there because of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the corresponding measures that Lamborghini Squadra Corse had to take,” he added.

“I would have loved to test the car and the new tires with the team. Still, I was in constant contact with my co-drivers Costa and [Franck] Perera and am convinced that we performed well.

“I hope that the situation globally will soon improve, so that we may fully focus on the season.”

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

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