Drive-through-penalty destroys chance for top-result in Monza


In spite of a strong performance Norbert Siedler missed a top-ten-result at the Blancpain Endurance Cup’s season opener. After a brake issue in qualifying the Austrian and his team-mates Marco Seefried and Rinat Salikhov fought their way through the field. But a drive-through-penalty after a small mistake from Salikhov made a better result than the 17th place impossible. 

Norbert Siedler travelled to Monza with a lot of confidence: One year ago the Tyrolean had claimed the pole-position at the same track and had finished the race in second. But problems with the brake system in qualifying made a repetition impossible: “I had to fight with blunt weapons, the problem cost us a few tenths of a second every lap,” Norbert Siedler said, after he had secured the 24th starting position in the 57 cars grid. The qualifying was quite close: More than 30 cars were within a single second.

Nevertheless, Norbert Siedler was optimistic before the three-hour-race: “The fast track in Monza suits our Ferrari and overtaking is possible here as well. A great race is in front of us.” The Austrian was right: When Marco Seefried entered the pit-lane after one hour to hand the car over to the young Russian Rinat Salikhov, the Rinaldi-Racing-Trio was already among the first ten cars.

Small mistake from Rinat Salikhov throws back Ferrari 458

But at the pit-exit Salikhov made a small mistake with big consequences: He crossed the white line between the track and the pit-lane and was given a drive-through-penalty by the race directors. “This is a shame, we were on a really good way. But things like this can happen to a young driver,” Norbert Siedler analysed the situation. His task was to win back as many of the lost positions as possible. “The car was really good, I could match the pace of the cars in front without any problems,” the 33-year-old described his stint. “But the field was not that close anymore. I always had to close the gap before I could overtake a car.”

After 95 laps Norbert Siedler crossed the finish-line in 17th position. “Luck was not by our side this weekend,” the Ferrari-driver summarized. “A podium result would have been difficult, but the top-five were possible without any doubt.”

ADAC GT Masters at Sachsenring next weekend

Already at the next weekend Norbert Siedler has the next event on his schedule: At Sachsenring season’s races number three and four of the ADAC GT Masters are held. In the “League of Dream-Sports-Cars” Siedler shares a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with Jaap van Lagen.