The 30th season of the Ferrari one make series went underway at Portimao last weekend and saw Iron Dames' Doriane Pin's amazing debut - as well as an excellent performance from Manuela Gostner, but an unlucky weekend for her sister Corinna.
It was an astonishing race weekend for Iron Dames' Doriane Pin, only 18 years of age, at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo: the young Frenchwoman qualified on pole, won and claimed the fastest lap in both races of the Trofeo Pirelli.
Doriane had already entered a two races in the previous season - at the Mugello season finale - but this year she was the chosen one to continue Michelle Gatting's legacy for Iron Dames in the series.
Doriane was among the finalists of the inaugural edition of the FIA Girls on Track Rising Star programme and gained herself a seat in the Le Mans Cup in 2021 once she joined Deborah Mayer's Iron Dames project - as well as a one-off appearance in the Fanatec GT World Challenge at the 1000km of Le Castellet.
RACE 1 - TROFEO PIRELLI
Doriane Pin started off the season by topping free practice - and went on to secure an incredible pole position with the time of 1:43.608, almost a second faster than anyone else on track. Race 1 was held on Saturday afternoon and Pin held the first place from the moments the lights went off.
She didn't have much trouble defending from the rest of the pack, as she immediately built a gap from the early stages. Her pace was so dominant that she won with a 19-second lead, also securing the fastest lap which made her debut the perfect one - she didn't even dare to make a mistake.
RACE 2 - TROFEO PIRELLI
Action resumed on Sunday morning with the second qualifying session of the weekend - and Doriane Pin didn't waste any time: she got pole position again, with even a quicker lap than the day before. Lights went off in the afternoon and Doriane, after defending from last year's Ferrari World Final's champion Luka Nurmi (Formula Racing), was able to repeat Saturday's performance: she created a gap, won and scored the fastest lap.
“What an unbelievable start the season! We had a good start and a great pace throughout", Pin said. "I want to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend. The goal is to continue this tomorrow and I’m hoping it’s the start of many race wins. Hopefully we can continue and fight for the championship again this year.”
The most impressing quality about Doriane this weekend was her ability to make everything seem so easy: she was quick, brave and disciplined, perfect in terms of pace: her talent surely didn't go unnoticed in Portimao. She ends the weekend not only satisfied and happy about her results, but also coming home with the championship lead.
Doriane Pin wasn't the only woman on track in Portimao: Manuela and Corinna Gostner raced for CDP - MP Racing in the Coppa Shell. The two sisters had quite a different weekend: Manuela had consistent performances and impressed everyone with her overtakes, while Corinna was unfortunately very unluckily and couldn't finish both races.
RACE 1 - COPPA SHELL
Manuela Gostner qualified 11th and, as soon as the race started, gained two positions, bravely avoiding Claudio Schiavoni's spin - soon after having passed Fox for eighth place. Corinna qualified 23rd and, thanks to an amazing start, she gained almost ten positions. Unfortunately her race ended early, as her 488 got stuck in the gravel while she tried to defend from an opponent.
During the last five minutes of the race, Manuela engaged a thrilling battle with Scuderia Monte-Carlo's driver Willem Van der Vorm for 7th position. She followed him for a while and, after inducing him into a mistake, she completed the overtake getting the position. She would finish fifth in the Shell class.
RACE 2 - COPPA SHELL
Both the Gostner sisters had better results in the second qualifying, with Manuela starting 6th on the grid and Corinna in 20th position. Sunday's race saw Manuela keeping her position right from the start; the Italian racer did an amazing job and overtook almost immediately Fons Scheltema. She advanced into fifth place and held it until the end, showing the pace for a potential podium.
Corinna gained three position off the starting line and continued to move up the order until a contact with Giuseppe Ramelli hampered her progress and sending her #173 Ferrari into the barriers. Even if she didn't get to finish the race, she showed a lot promise and surely she'll get the chance to prove her speed during the season.