SA’s Perel: ‘We got the win!’
Attacking driving sees Ferrari grab headlines on second day of racing
Africa’s David Perel drove the Kessel Ferrari he shared with U.S. teammate Stephen Earl to a dramatic maiden Blancpain GTAM victory in the second race of the series’ Hungarian Sprint race weekend in Budapest on Sunday.
Perel and Earl took third place in Saturday’s opening race but Perel’s attacking drive to victory on Sunday grabbed the Hungaroring headlines.
“We got the win!” a delighted Perel beamed after a forceful drive to victory as he passed the similar Rino Mastronardi and Claudio Sdanewitsch AF Corse Ferrari after setting the fastest first sec- tor of any car in the race.
“I got into a little trouble for my pass on the leader, but we kept the win and I’ll take it for sure!”
Perel’s return to the Blancpain series started with a difficult qualifying session. “It was a bit of a disaster,” the Capetonian said.
“I never managed one lap where I wasn’t blocked by another car, but that’s just the nature of this track, so be it.”
The first race went much better as Perel handed the car over to Earl after making good progress through the field, before succumbing to a track limits penal which dropped the duo to third, but it was still Perel’s first Blancpain podium.
“A podium is a podium — I’ll take it with both hands,” Perel said.
“We were leading until the pit stop. Unfortunately, we incurred a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits, which killed any chance of a win, but I was into the top 20 before the stop.
“It was great racing with the pros and battling with the winner of the Spa 24.”
Sunday’s main race was a great one for Perel, who took his first win in the series following a difficult start to the season. “We won 10 000 for the team today [Sunday],” he said. “We owe it to the team because of all our drivethrough penalties!
“I really love the Blancpain GT Sprint race format,” Perel said. “Our pace is there but our race craft needs some work. I need to specially thank Ronnie Kessel, Giacomo Piccini and Alan MacDonald for all they have done to get me here. Here’s to them and to many more days like this!”
American Stephen Earl (left) and South Africa’s David Perel drove the Kessel Ferrari to a maiden victory in Hungary.