On April 1, 69 cars lined up at the start line of the amazing Autodromo di Pergusa racing track in Sicily. Beautifully positioned around the lake, the five kilometer circuit is one of the fastest tracks in Italy and has been graced by the world’s greatest racing drivers and set the stage for an awesome day of motor racing which saw the drivers set some incredible times.
The GFI WRX Subaru went out on the track for its first session at around 10:30. It was immediately evident that the team’s preparation work was paying off. The car felt fast and very stable, with lightning acceleration and controllable four-wheel drive drifts in corners. Incredibly, even on road tires, the car clocked the third fastest time on the first session beating much more powerful cars, some of which were on slick racing tires. Everyone was amazed how this relatively standard car was performing and improving in its times lap after lap.
The second session started at around 12:00. Before going out some adjustments were made to the WRX suspension, stiffened the back end and softened the front, which further transformed the car eliminated under steer and made for a fantastic setup. Immediately a huge improvement was registered and times improved even further. Corners were taken at incredibly high speeds, breaking at the 50 meter marks. All of this made up the lack of straight line speed compared to the much more powerful cars.
Unfortunately, for two consecutive laps the car got stuck behind two slower cars that made the car temperature rise and once it overtook them, out of a slow corner the engine threw in the towel on full acceleration. The team was devastated; they tried to find and fix the fault but the engine was beyond track side repair.
Everyone on the track was disappointed as they really wanted to see the car outperform the big guys; however, the team was still very happy with the second session time which, although it only lasted four laps, still managed to qualify fourth overall.
At the end of the day the GFI car managed to qualify eighth overall, despite not being able to perform further and improve on its times.
The team, comprising Josef Calleja, Stefan Pace and Kevin Pace, won the Best Prepared Car and Organized Racing Team award that night.
“None of this could have been possible without the help of our main sponsor, GFI Software – what a great company to work with!”