The 2016 season may only just be starting, but Grasser Racing team owner Gottfried Grasser has set his sights on the FIA GT World Cup at Macau in November, describing the event as his “personal dream.”
Having reverted back to a customer team after winning the contract from Lamborghini to develop the Huracan GT3 in the car’s first season, Grasser told Racing.GT that he was looking forward to focusing purely on racing in 2016 and hopes to add Macau to an already packed schedule, with three cars entered for the full Blancpain GT series and at least one planned for the ADAC GT Masters in Germany.
“To be honest the only thing that has changed is now the development is frozen and the car is fixed in this configuration, we will be able to focus more on the detailed setup work which we didn’t have time to do before because we were always having to test new suspension parts, springs, dampers and things like that,” said Grasser.
“It will be quite fun to do the race team role again – all our employees are racers, we don’t want to go testing and doing endless laps, we are here to compete and we can’t wait for the competition to start.
“Next week we will do the 12 Hours of Mugello, but I think with our timetable the only possibility for Creventic Series this year. My personal dream is to go to Macau with two cars – I really like the race, it has a really nice atmosphere and over the winter we are hoping to do a tour of some special races like Daytona and the 24 Hours of Dubai, which we are working on already.”
Grasser admits that having a year’s experience of working with the car will give his team a competitive edge over other Lamborghini customers at the start of the season, but said he would not be opposed to sharing data if asked.
“If I say no it would be lying to be honest,” he said. “We have worked with the car for nearly two years doing development and then racing last season, so for sure we will have some advantages, but we are really happy to share with the other teams. We are an open book because we clearly know that it is not only setup you need to win races in Blancpain, so that is not a problem for us.”
The Austrian team will once again reprise their partnership with Jeroen Bleekemolen after his sterling 2014 campaign alongside Hari Proczyk almost delivered GRT an unlikely title with the ageing Lamborghini Gallardo FL2. The versatile Bleekemolen will join Mirko Bortolotti – the only Lamborghini factory driver retained by Grasser after scoring two pole positions last year – and Rolf Ineichen in the Endurance Cup, and Stefan Rosina in Sprint Cup. Luca Stolz, Michele Beretta and Andrea Piccini will share a second car in Endurance, with a third car entered in the Am Cup for Vadim Gitlin.
“When we finished the development programme with the manufacturer, we were immediately free to choose our own drivers, so the first thing was to pick up the phone, call Jeroen and say ‘next year, we have to do something again’ and he immediately said yes,” Grasser continued. “It’s really a big pleasure to have him on board again after the experience we had in 2014 – it stopped in October 2014 and it started again straight away at this first test in the same way, so we’re really happy. I think his car is quite a good line-up and for sure we can expect some good results.”