The Spaniard of Kurdish heritage experienced an early retirement as one of his teammates was caught in a pile-up at the 3-hour race start at Monza. Despite this setback, Tutumlu and teammates Jon Miller and Samantha Tan proved to be rather competitive in the Pro-Am Cup class at the wheel of the ST Racing with Rinaldi-run Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
Isaac Tutumlu couldn’t convert the promising qualifying pace into a solid race result at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, which hosted the opening round of the 2023 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup. His ST Racing with Rinaldi-entered Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in Kurdistan Racing Team colors got involved in a crash at the start of the curtain-raiser 3-hour race. The black “Prancing Horse” car resulted badly damaged and Canadian female driver Samantha Tan, who made the start, was unable to continue.
On Friday, Tutumlu and teammates Tan and Jon Miller finished 4th-fastest in Pro-Am Cup during the Bronze test session with a best lap time of 1m49.086s. Saturday’s free practice session provided more valuable mileage for the drivers sharing the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. They clocked a best lap time of 1m49.171s to rank fifth in class at the end of the 90-minute session. Saturday came to an end with prequalifying session in which ST Racing with Rinaldi and their drivers further improved the balance and speed of the Ferrari and set a best time of 1m48.325s. Sunday kicked off with qualifying early in the morning. Tutumlu was second-fastest in class with a lap time of 1m48.112s in Q1. Finally, the average lap was 1m48.649s, which left them fourth in the Pro-Am Cup with huge potential for a podium finish later. Unfortunately, as stated above, Tan couldn’t avoid to get involved in a chain reaction at the start, when an Audi hit a Mercedes, the later then colliding with the Ferrari and the young Canadian female talent crashed hard into the barrier.
“It isn’t the kind of result that we were expecting for the season opener. We made solid progress the first two days and, after qualifying, we felt confident to be on the hunt for a podium finish in the 3-hour race. All the three drivers lapped in competitive times”, explained Tutumlu. The Spaniard of Kurdish ancestry underlined that “from my point of view, I’ve experienced a quick learning of the Ferrari machinery. I did put a decent qualifying lap time, despite I found some traffic and I could have easily lowered six or seventh tenths. Motorsport is like that, and we just had terrible luck. But we have a competitive basis to build on. Let’s hope for a much better weekend at Paul Ricard 1000km in June.”