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Racing legend Mario Andretti once said, “Sometimes you have to bring back only the steering wheel so they know that you’re giving it all you have.” During their trip to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, EMS Race Team was giving it all they had while qualifying for Race 1. But with about five minutes remaining in the wet qualifying session, driver James Weiland unfortunately stuffed ERIN the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge into the barrier at the exit of Turn 1 and brought back only the proverbial steering wheel. ERIN took a beating in the collision and was prematurely retired for the weekend. After earning a pair of podium finishes in Malaysia during their last time out on the Ferrari Challenge circuit, it was certainly not what anyone on the team was hoping for.

“We really struggled getting the power down during that qualifying session and a 4th-gear vicious wheel spin pitched us left for pretty much a head on hit,” Weiland said of the collision. “ERIN took a big shot for us and was unfortunately done for the weekend as a result. But that’s racing. One weekend you’re up on the podium and the next you’re walking back with only the steering wheel.”

 

Following the loss of ERIN, EMS Race Team started Race 1 in a backup car and retired it after only three laps. Prior to Qualifying 2 on the following day, the team worked diligently to make numerous changes to the backup car before taking the track. During the 30-minute wet qualifying session, a red flag on the last lap while EMS was only 0.1 of a second off pole cost them that lap and they qualified 11th as a result. Eventually starting from 8th, Race 2 was run in a blizzard with temperatures in the low 30’s providing very difficult conditions on an extremely wet and cold track. Weiland picked up one position during the race to finish 7th. Both qualifying sessions and both races were run in wet conditions that the team just never quite got on top of. Following the trip to Austria, EMS Race Team will now look focus their attention on the next Ferrari Challenge race in June during F1 weekend at the Circuit Gilles-Villenueve in Canada.

“We’ve been racing long enough to know that you have weekends like this,” Weiland added. “So we’ll put this one behind us quickly and start to get ready for our trip to Montreal in June. Hopefully we’ll be able to get PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope up onto the podium in front of all those fans at F1 weekend.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than three million members and supporters. Products proudly displaying the bunny logo are cruelty-free, meaning that they were produced without testing on animals. Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Cornerstone of Hope, meanwhile, is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving. Each mission will be featured on EMS Race Team’s car throughout the trip to Montreal in June.

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