EMS Race Team is traveling around the world to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation. This past weekend, they visited the Circuit Paul Ricard near Marseille in France. Marseille is the second largest city in France next to Paris, and the largest French city on the Mediterranean coast. After racing in California, Canada and Hungary this year, the trip marked the first time that driver James Weiland and EMS Race Team ever competed in France and second time racing overseas this season.
“It’s been a great experience for us so far this season to travel around the world and see the different cultures that we’ve been able to visit,” Weiland said. “It’s also be an honor to represent PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation in the different countries we’ve competed. At the Circuit Paul Ricard, we dedicated the race weekend to Cornerstone of Hope’s Annual Day of Hope Celebration and it was important for us to be able to highlight that tremendous event. The racing results weren’t what we hoped for, but it was an experience that meant a lot to our whole team.”
Neither one of the qualifying sessions went EMS Race Team’s way at the Circuit Paul Ricard, which set up for challenging races on Saturday and Sunday. On their prime flyer laps, EMS was consistently disrupted by cars going slow on the racing line trying to get themselves a gap. While on pace for starting in the second or third row during qualifying, the traffic pushed EMS back starting inside row six. During Race 1, Erin, the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge, gained four positions and was running 7th before being punted by a competitor and rejoining in 16th position. She continued to fight, nonetheless, and finished 11th. On Lap 1 in Race 2, a competitor dived in from too far back and made contact to Erin’s left rear quarter panel, spinning himself out, and at the same time also managed to knock Erin’s left rear wheel and suspension out of whack. The damage left her resistant to high speed turning from there. Despite that adversity, she managed to hold position without a chance of moving up and finished 7th.
“Well, does a bad racing day in the South of France make for a bad day?” Weiland joked. “Not an ideal weekend results-wise, but France was nice for sure. Erin will race in the Pirelli World Challenge Sprint X race in early September at Circuit of The Americas and then it’s on to England and Silverstone. Looking forward to those. Big thanks to Coach Conrad Grunewald for the driving help and Dave Cameron, Ray Banda, and Rossocorsa for keeping our Boardwalk Ferrari 488 Challenge car, Erin, in fighting shape all weekend.”
For more on Cornerstone of Hope, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and PETA Cruelty Free check out their websites. For behind the scenes coverage of the Ferrari Challenge in France visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Erin, the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge, will continue her 2017 world tour in France. EMS Race Team and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari will be competing at the Circuit Paul Ricard for Round 4 of the Ferrari Challenge on July 22-23. This comes after races in Canada and Hungary during Rounds 2 and 3. The upcoming trip marks driver James Weiland’s first-ever race in France. It is also the third country EMS Race Team will compete in outside the United States this season after securing the North American Pirelli AM championship in 2016.
“We race to raise awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation,” Weiland said. “To be able to represent those missions all over the globe this season is a tremendous honor for us. We had a great trip to Budapest, Hungary last month and are excited to help raise awareness for those efforts in France as well. It will be a thrill to compete at the Circuit Paul Ricard, too, and we’re looking forward to getting out on the track and getting to work.”
Constructed in 1970 by Paul Ricard at Le Castellet in the south of France, the circuit was the first of the modern autodromes. The track is characterized by its long Mistral straight (1.8 km) and elongated design built on a plateau. The length of the full track is 5.861 km (3.642 mi) and it’s known for its black and blue runoff areas known as the Blue Zone. It quickly became the premier venue for French motorsports upon opening, hosting its first French Grand Prix in 1971. After a hiatus, the track now owned by Bernie Ecclestone announced a return of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix in 2018.
“We’re excited to compete against all of the terrific drivers in France,” Weiland added. “We will be racing against some of the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in the world so we know the competition will be stiff. We’re preparing to put forth our best effort as a team, and looking forward to the test. We’re also dedicating the upcoming race weekend to Cornerstone of Hope’s Annual Day of Hope Celebration on August 12. If you’re in the Cleveland area, we strongly suggest you attend or support the event. If you’re unable to get there, you can also go to CornerstoneOfHope.org and make an online donation.”
Cornerstone of Hope is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving. Guided by Christian values of compassion and service, they welcome and serve all seeking support. It is a foundation that exists because the unthinkable sometimes happens. A child dies before his parents. A husband or wife dies, leaving their spouse and children at a loss for how to go on living. A student dies, leaving a school reeling over the shock and sorrow. Hope Day is free for grieving children and their parents or caregivers, and is celebrated as a primary fund raiser for the foundation.
For more on Cornerstone of Hope and how you can help Hope Day visit their website. You can also visit Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and PETA Cruelty Free. To follow along with behind-the-scenes coverage throughout race weekend, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.