Two Pole positions and two 2nd places for Fabienne Wohlwend in Mugello
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Two pole positions and two second places in Mugello for Fabienne Wohlwend in the Ferrari Challenge Europe Trofeo Pirelli, as the rain could not stop the Liechtenstein driver from having a great weekend in Italy.
With the Ferrari Challenge Europe coming to the Italian brand's home track at Mugello, former Finali World champion and W Series racer Fabienne Wohlwend entered the fourth round of the 2020 season second in the Pro standings.
The first qualifying session was in Fabienne Wohlwend's hands, as she could beat championship leader Emanuele Maria Tabacchi by a few hundreds of a second after a hot qualifying. Third fastest was Florian Merckx. The session was stopped shortly after the green flag with the car of Roman Ziemian having to be cleared from the track after he had come to a stop.
“You may not see it, but I’m smiling!” said Fabienne. “It’s my second pole position of the season. Halfway through the championship, we are battling very hard with Emanuele. This time I went out immediately after qualifying resumed following the red flag. I didn’t find any traffic, and I executed a perfect lap, a tenth of a second faster than him. I am delighted to start from pole position, and I can’t wait to see what will happen in Race 1”.
The start wasn't what Fabienne Wohlwend wanted though, as Tabacchi immediately passed her and took over the lead. Merckx lost some places as Frederik Paulsen moved into third postion followed by Matús Vyboh and Frederik Espersen. But Merckx did not give up and claimed back all positions lost earlier and was third again.
Olivier Grotz couldn't start the race after his car stopped on the starting grid with technical issues.
A short Safety Car phase was deployed because of the stranded car of John Dhillon, who had lost control as he went wide and his car got stuck in the gravel trap.
After the restart, Tabacchi defended his lead while Fabienne Wohlwend followed closely, but the Italian driver took the chequered flag first ahead of Wohlwend and Merckx in third.
"Of course it's always unfortunate when you're starting on pole and not finish in first."
"I had a good start, I could hold position into Turn 1, then my pace was really good, all the time catching Emanuele. I had a very good restart and I thought I was going to make a move but it was just not enough to do it. Tomorrow is another day and we attack again tomorrow".
The second qualifying of the weekend was set under difficult weather conditions. Fabienne Wohlwend clinched the second pole position of the weekend as she set the fastest time on a drying track. Espersen and Merckx followed the young lady from Liechtenstein, with Championship rival Tabacchi only fourth fastest in the second quali session.
"Pole position number two this weekend in Mugello, I'm super happy as there were tricky conditions in the rain. The team did a great job preparing the car and doing a good setup for the rain and then with four minutes to go we had a red flag and the track was drying up so I just knew I had to improve my laptime because the others were going to catch up. I could handle the pressure and I did a great lap to secure pole position number two."
"I'm super excited for this afternoon, this time we really aim for the win."
Altough Tabacchi started fourth on the grid, he had a lightning start as he fired from the second row to the lead at Turn 1. Wohlwend followed second, ahead of Merckx. Both had no chance to respond back as Tabacchi pulled away.
Again the Safety Car came out to remove Dhillon's car after a collision with David Gostner at the last corner. As the yellow ended, the restart had no position changes at the front. Tabacchi was victorious again, finishing ahead of Wohlwend and Merckx - who had some close battles with Fabienne, but she could held off Merck's attacks throughout the race.
"After a perfect qualifying in the rain the start didn't go as planned. My race pace was really good but I couldn't make the move, so I have to wait a little bit longer for my first win in Spa in two weeks. I just have to improve my race pace or hope for some rain in Spa".
Tabacchi extended his leads in the championship standings and has now 123 points, followed by Fabienne Wohlwend at 97 points. The next round will take place at Spa-Francorchamps from 11th to 13th September.