Seventh place finish for Reema Juffali in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup
"We've had a pretty consistent weekend and the crew have worked hard to get us to this place." - Reema Juffali’s Theeba Motorsport team gained useful knowledge in mixed conditions, showing class-leading speed at Nürburgring. Driving a smart opening stint, Juffali laid the foundations for her teammates' stints, battling it out with some of the best drivers and teams in Europe.
Reema Juffali has continued her progress in the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup with a seventh place result in the bronze class at Nürburgring. Reema’s Theeba Motorsport team showed class-leading speed in all conditions, topping the second test session in dry conditions to underline their pace. Following a challenging wet qualifying, Reema started the three-hour race from seventh, with the team finishing seventh in the bronze class after a number of hard-fought battles.
Arriving into the weekend off the back of a strong GT World Challenge Sprint Cup debut at Misano, Reema was looking to build upon this form in her first visit to the Nürburgring. The opening test session on Friday was held in wet conditions with the Theeba Motorsport trio finishing fifth in the bronze class. Further encouragement was to come in a dry second test where the #81 Mercedes topped the bronze class times, just half a second from the fastest time overall. Reema then benefited from valuable track time in the bronze test session, placing eighth in class.
Dry conditions also graced the Nürburgring on Saturday for two final practice sessions ahead of qualifying on Sunday morning. Session one brought a third top-5 bronze class result of the weekend with a fourth place effort, before pre-qualifying yielded an eighth place result as all Theeba Motorsport drivers gained good experience in preparation for a hard-fought three-hour race.
Sunday morning brought extremely challenging conditions for qualifying with persistent rain and poor visibility at the Nürburgring. Alain drove in Q1 and set the eighth fastest time in class, dealing with conditions superbly to improve on his crucial final lap. Reema drove in an equally difficult Q2 with 53 other drivers fighting for the ultimate lap time. Setting the 12th fastest time in class was a great effort with a number of teams in their class choosing to field more experienced drivers in this session.
Q3 was driven by Ralf with conditions slightly improving and the Estonian driver achieved a superb fifth in the bronze class. The combined times of the Theeba Motorsport drivers led to a seventh place starting position in class, a great effort in spite of the tough conditions.
Reema took charge of the #81 Theeba Motorsport Mercedes for the start of the three-hour contest which was held in dry conditions. Juffali enjoyed a brilliant opening lap in which she avoided incidents and moved up to sixth in the bronze class, holding her own against a number of more experienced drivers. Despite slipping down the overall order in the next few laps, Reema ran seventh in class and gained valuable knowledge by running in a train of competitive cars.
Juffali’s lap times remained extremely competitive during the second half of her stint as she held seventh position while chasing the Team WRT BMW of debutant Darren Leung for sixth.
The Theeba Motorsport driver was also defending hard from silver rated driver Andrea Cola, keeping the Italian driver behind her as she pitted on lap 27 to hand over to Alain Valente. Reema’s stint was hugely impressive backing up her strong showing in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup at Misano.
Valente re-joined in seventh and was targeting further progress with the Garage 59 McLaren of Miguel Ramos and the Team WRT BMW of Lewis Proctor within touching distance. Continuing his strong form from practice, Alain applied pressure to Proctor throughout his stint and although he was unable to overtake, maintained a respectable seventh before pitting on lap 57 for Estonian driver Ralf Aron to take the wheel.
The Theeba Motorsport team did a brilliant job to gain one place in the pit cycle with Aron running sixth, just ahead of the Team WRT BMW of Jens Klingmann. As Ralf defended seventh from the German driver, he was searching for a way past the silver class Bullitt Racing Aston Martin of Jacob Riegel, aiming to put a car between himself and his rival. On lap 83, Aron found a way through and this elevated the trio to 29th overall while remaining sixth in the bronze class.
Despite his best attempts, Aron’s resistance was finally broken on lap 88 as Klingmann made the move for position with the Theeba Motorsport team crossing the line seventh in class to round-off a productive weekend of racing at the Nürburgring.
For just their first year competing in the GT World Challenge, Theeba Motorsport continue to impress with Reema’s performances a particular stand out. The Nürburgring weekend allowed the trio to gain useful knowledge in mixed conditions, showing class-leading speed throughout. Driving a smart opening stint, Juffali laid the foundations for Alain and Ralf to show their speed and battle it out with some of the best drivers and teams in Europe.
“Today's race showed some great progress from the team", Juffali said. "We've had a pretty consistent weekend and the crew have worked hard to get us to this place. With the summer break coming up now, we will reflect on the season so far and come back fresh for Hockenheim in September.”
A podium finish in the bronze class will be the next target for Theeba Motorsport who will be back in GT World Challenge for the next Sprint Cup race at Hockenheimring on the weekend of 2–3 September.