Michele Rinaldi's team is running two Duqueine D08s in the Prototype Cup Germany in the 2022 season. The team boss takes stock and reveals what he likes about LMP3 racing and the series.
Images - Creventic
With Rinaldi-Racing, an internationally renowned team enriches the field of the Prototype Cup Germany. The racing team from Mendig near the Nürburgring uses a Duqueine D08 for Oscar Tunjo (26/COL) and Mateo Villagomez (20/ECU) and also looks after the sister car of Leonard Weiss (24/Monschau) and Torsten Kratz (51/Mönchengladbach, both WTM Racing). The team feels very comfortable in the new series created for the 2022 season, as team boss Michele Rinaldi explains: "The race format is ideal for two drivers. Everyone gets their driving time and can also drive a race start. Of course, the series is at the beginning, but it's on a good path."
In sporting terms, things have already gone well for Rinaldi-Racing in the Prototype Cup Germany. Weiss/Kratz finished on the podium twice at the season opener in Spa-Francorchamps in second and third place. The two South Americans Tunjo/Villagomez followed up with a podium finish each at the race weekend at the Nürburgring and at the DEKRA Lausitzring. "We were very pleased to see the #33 finish on the podium at the Nürburgring," says team boss Rinaldi, citing the highlight of the season so far. "For both drivers it was the first time in an LMP3 and for one even the first time at the Nürburgring."
Rinaldi-Racing has been involved in motorsport since 2010, putting its foot down in various European championships with GT3 race cars from first Porsche and later Ferrari. In 2021, the team also competed in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. The move into LMP3 racing had already been made the year before.
"After years of Ferrari GT3 entries in customer racing, we were looking for an alternative for our customers to generate a more cost-effective and beautiful motorsport," Rinaldi describes the motives for entering the prototype segment. "The choice fell on LMP3 racing because the cars are faster, more race car, less expensive and, above all, all cars are the same. Also, in the broadest sense, LMP3 racing is more tailored to the amateur/bronze driver."
So the Prototype Cup Germany, established in 2022, came just at the right time for the team from Mendig. In addition to entries in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and the Asian Le Mans Series, the LMP3 commitment was extended to the German-based series. "We were keen to enter our LMP3 cars in several series. The fact that Creventic, together with the ADAC, launched the Prototype Cup Germany came in handy. Especially in Germany, the LMP3s are not yet so well known. This gave us the opportunity to race right on our doorstep," Rinaldi is happy about the new championship.
At the season finale from 21 to 23 October at the Hockenheimring, Rinaldi-Racing wants to show itself from its best side once again. "We would still like to compete for the championship, but we also have our eyes on the Trophy and Junior Championships," says the team boss, setting the course for Weiss/Kratz's appearance at the Motodrom in Baden. "For our two South American drivers, it is still their first season on an LMP3 car. We want them to learn as much as possible, but also to achieve good results."
The 2023 season of the Prototype Cup Germany is also already playing a role in Rinaldi-Racing's plans. "Together with WTM Racing, we are trying to push the series along, so that will start well with the LMP3 cars in Germany. I would be happy if there were more cars on the grid next year," says Michele Rinaldi in a very positive mood.