Pole position, fastest lap and class win all added up to a very successful 12H of Imola for Alex Sedgwick and Team Cooksport.
Alex travelled over 1000 miles from his home in Southam to take part in the first running of the 12H of Imola endurance race for Team Cooksport, part of the FIA 24H Series. The youngest of the Team Cooksport drivers, Alex drove the Renaultsport Clio endurance car with two of the drivers he last raced with in Dubai where they finished second, British Touring Car driver Josh Cook and Ollie Cook.
After their second place finish in Dubai the objective was to go one-step better in Imola and reach the top step of the podium.
Since the Dubai race in January, Alex has not been able to do any racing as he has been studying hard for his A levels, so Imola was his first chance to get back in to the car now that he has finished his studies.
“Getting back into the car after all my studying was fantastic and I felt immediately at home. The circuit at Imola is unbelievable. It is in a park in the centre of the town and the track flows up and down around the outside of the park past houses and over local roads. It is definitely the best circuit I have driven. It was also a little sad driving the track, as this is the circuit that the great Ayrton Senna crashed at in 1994. He has had such a lasting effect on the track that as you drive around there are still flags and messages attached to the catch fence where he lost his life,” reflected Alex
The 12H of Imola race is contested over two parts, the first part is a sprint race held on Friday, shortly after qualifying and the second part is an eight hours race on Saturday. The race is contested by a range of cars from different classes all racing together, just like the Le Mans 24 Hour race.
The first part of the race started under the hot Italian sunshine and Alex stayed in the car for 80 minutes, before handing the car over with a lead of two laps on the second placed car. Alex's fastest lap time during the race would also be the fastest time set by the team, and the fastest lap for the class. The remaining race went without any incidents and Alex watched from the pit wall as the team finished the race in first place in their class.
The second part of the race started mid morning on Saturday and Josh Cook started the race for the team before handing over to Alex. Alex completed a two-hour long stint, before pitting and hand the car over again. The lead built up from the first part of the race was maintained all the way to the chequered flag and Team Cooksport crossed the line in first place in their class to win the inaugural 12H of Imola.
“Winning the 12H of Imola is a dream come true. After finishing second in Dubai, the aim was to go for the win and we did it. This win is for the whole team, who did a fantastic job. I now can’t wait for the next race as we are also only three points away from the championship lead with one race to go,” commented Alex.