An uphill weekend at Hockenheim for Alex Fontana in the GT Open series

13/05/2024
It was anything but an easy weekend for Alex Fontana who was competing in the second round of the International GT Open at the Hockenheimring. The Swiss driver was back behind the wheel of the Porsche 992 GT3 R #12 entered by Car Collection Motorsport, flanking Hash in an attempt to bring home important points for both the overall standings and the Pro-Am class struggle. The German weekend hardly got off to the best of starts, with Fontana still recovering from the severe bronchitis he had been suffering from over the course of the previous couple of weeks.
 
 On the Saturday it was Alex who was slated to tackle qualifying and he showed that he would not be conditioned by health issue by recording the third fastest time overall and the second in the standings reserved for the Pro-Am crews with a fine 1:37.569. Fontana therefore started Race-1 from the second row of the grid, ready to fight for a place on the overall podium; despite losing a place at the start, the Swiss driver did well to keep up with the leading group in the early stages of the race, proving to be the best by far of the Porsches on track. After having reclaimed third place with an excellent overtake, Fontana continued to give his all through to the end of the obligatory pit stop window, coming in with 30 minutes to run and handing over the Porsche 992 GT3 R to Hash. The American driver went out with the objective of maintaining Pro-Am class leadership claimed in the first stint. Hash immediately showed significant improvements with respect to the first race of the season at Portimao, retaining his class lead in his first few minutes behind the wheel.
 
 Unfortunately, contact with another car 18 minutes from the chequered flag brought the number 12 crew’s race to a premature end, with the two drivers’ dreams of glory in the first heat of the weekend shattered. As was the case with the opening race of the season, the Sunday saw Hash running in qualifying, finishing the session with a 16th place in the Pro-Am class. The American then went on to put in a steady, straightforward stint, handing over to Fontana for the driver change. Alex was then able to make up considerable ground thanks to the excellent pace he showed in the second half of the race, climbing though the field with a series of precise and well-judged overtakes. Fontana eventually crossed the finishing line in 9th place in the Pro-Am class, making up no less than 11 places in the overall standings during the course of his stint.
 
Alex will soon be back competing in the GT Open, this time at Spa-Francorchamps, with the historic Belgian circuit hosting the third round of the series from the 25th to the 26th of May.
 
Alex Fontana
“It was great to be back on track despite the fever that had knocked me back over the past few days. We showed that we could be very competitive, both in qualifying and in terms of race pace; sadly, misfortune struck again when we were holding the lead in our class in Race-1, but I’m satisfied with having finished in the top 10 in class in the second race. I’d like to thank once again Car Collection Motorsport for having given us a very competitive car and I have to compliment Hash on the progress he showed over the course of this weekend. I’m now really looking forward to being back at Spa in two weeks’ time to try to secure the result we know we’re capable of”.

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