The second round of the 2016 ELMS Championship saw us travel to our second home, Imola. It is always a joy to race a Ferrari on Italian soil.
With the disappointment of Silverstone firmly behind us, it was time to bounce back in the only way we know how - charging for the front.
Andrea, who is a little familiar with Imola!, served as a great knowledge and inspiration to Rob and Rory whilst the team worked diligently to ensure the car was in rude health. In free practices we were quickest, confirming the teams competitive edge.
Andrea took the wheel for qualifying, taking 2nd on the grid just thousands of a second off the Proton Porsche on pole.
Race day started in glorious sunshine with Rob in the car for the start. Thankfully a clean start across the (very full) grid meant no first lap dramas. With so many prototypes and the track configuration, it ensured every stayed on their toes!
Rob put in a solid first stint to hand over to Rory who pushed hard and soon we were into a comfortable second enabling a handover to Andrea which saw him use all his home passion to whittle down the lead. As it began to look like the lead was in sight a new challenger came into play - the weather.
The looming grey clouds let rip with just over one hour to go. After fifteen minutes of a full course yellow, the safety car was brought out as sections of the track ran like a river. It soon became evident that the green flag could be packed away for the day. So a somewhat anti-climactic end to an otherwise enjoyable race saw JMW Motorsport take 2nd spot on the podium and grab vital points.
Rory summed up the weekend "I'm absolutely delighted to have scored a podium on Ferrari's home track. Everyone at JMW Motorsport did a fantastic job and I really believe we had it in us to win the GTE class if the race had run without FCY for the final hour. Now we head to Red Bull ring aiming to go one better!"
The season starts here!