Jun 2, 2024

Round 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia at the Autodromo di Imola saw the MIM-contracted driver Lirim Zendeli (Ombra Racing – Centro Porsche Bergamo) start the race and finish in seventh place, with the top positions remaining substantially unchanged throughout today’s 30-minute encounter. The podium was identical to yesterday, with Larry ten Voorde (Fulgenzi Racing) again finishing ahead of Keagan Masters (Ombra Racing) and Marvin Klein (Target Competition).

After finishing fifth in yesterday’s round 3, Lirim started two grid places further back on row 4 in this second race of the weekend due to the qualifying format, but he was immediately faced with an uphill struggle when his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup had part of his rear bumper ripped off after being hit by another driver in the hectic opening moments.

From that point on, the German driver was down on top speed to his rivals and as well as not being able to challenge Janne Stiak (Target Competition) and Diego Bertonelli (The Driving Experiences) ahead of him, he had to work hard to hold off Gianmarco Quarasmini (Tsunami RT). Luckily a final seven-minute Safety Car period gave Lirim a respite and he brought his 911 GT3 machine home in seventh place, first in the Rookies’ classification.

“I had a great start again, I think I’m already at that point when I can do one of the best starts on the grid, I have a good technique,” declared Lirim post-race. “I almost overtook Stiak but we touched on the straight and the rear bumper was ripped off. That just kept my speed down a lot, my maximum I think was 253, so 15 km/h slower, but in general it slowed you down everywhere, and accelerating out of the corners something was holding me down. Otherwise, I was fast. I didn’t think it would be such a problem at the beginning because I could keep up with everyone and fight, but after three or four laps once we got to the start-finish line they were gone. It wasn’t maybe the maximum for this weekend for the potential of the car but this is all part of the learning process.”

The next appointments on Lirim’s 2024 Porsche schedule will be on 29/30 June at Spielberg in Austria for the Mobil 1 Supercup and then 13/14 July at Mugello for the PCCI.