Kessel Racing has a special connection with the Le Mans racing circuit that goes further back than the Ferrari Challenge races that took place in 2011 and 2013; it goes as far back as the late nineties when Loris Kessel took part in the legendary ’24 Hours’ at the wheel of Team Obermaier’s Porsche 962, crossing the finish line in seventh place. At Le Mans, like a handful of other tracks around the world, you can deeply sense the history of motorsport, especially endurance racing. On the occasion of the most celebrated endurance race in the world, in 2011 and 2013 Ferrari Challenge Europe decided to bring its cars to the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe.
In 2016 the French track hosted the third round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe championship with over forty cars competing in different categories around the more than thirteen kilometre Loire track. At Le Mans, Kessel Racing saw the victory of Fons Scheltema in the Gentlemen class after a gripping race, full of twists and turns and contacts. It was also a great race for Rick Lovat who finished fifth overall in the Shell Cup thanks to his impressive pace, affected only by the set back of his starting position in Thursday’s interrupted qualifying session, which prevented the Canadian driver from starting in a more prime position. Both Cuhadaroglu and Liam Talbot were just as competitive and gutsy as ever in the Shell Cup, with Talbot making his first appearance at Le Mans in the Ferrari Challenge after his experience in the GT Series, while Knoflach put on a fantastic performance to finish fifth in the Pirelli AM Trophy.
At the spectacular meeting that is the European Ferrari Challenge at Le Mans, Kessel Racing welcomes a new partnership with S.T.Dupont, a leading international company in elite accessories since 1872. Dupont, a brand that partners perfectly with Kessel Racing’s winning spirit, will accompany the team during important forthcoming races in 2016, in a challenging and exciting continuation to the season.
RONNIE KESSEL (Team Principal): It was a very intense and exciting weekend with us being key players in both the Ferrari Challenge and the 24 Hours. Le Mans is a very difficult track, which brings out a driver’s true character, but it can also destroy a race in the blink of an eye. Qualifying heavily influenced the Ferrari Challenge race, and as well as Scheltema ‘s victory in the Gentlemen class, we could also have seen Rick Lovat step onto the podium had he started in a higher position that would have suited his usual driving style. The suspension of Thursday’s qualifying session was completely counterproductive. Our drivers put on a great show in the Ferrari Challenge and we took a magnificent victory with Scuderia Forza in the 24 Hours. We have a great relationship with our American friends and the results came at the right time, with third place in 2015 and victory this year.
THE NEXT RACE
With Le Mans now in the archives, Kessel Racing will be back on track this weekend, once again in France, this time on the Circuit Paul Ricard for the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series and the GT Sports Club.