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Spa 24: double class victory for Lamborghini at the battle of the Ardennes
Release Date: 29 July 2018
It has not been a usual week end this year at SPA 24H for Lamborghini. The overall mood was positive on the one side, thanks to two class victories, as well as saddened on the other by a decisive misfortune in the Pro category.
The race started on Saturday at 4:30 pm. #63 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini, driven by Mirko Bortolotti, soon managed to climb up the field into third place. The Squadra Corse Factory Driver had started eighth and gained his position during his first stint, before handing the car to his teammate Christian Engelhart.
Unfortunately, just as the race entered its fourth hour, Andrea Caldarelli made heavy contact with #58 McLaren of Garage59, severely damaging the front of the car. Grasser’s #63 leading car was therefore forced to pit for repair – whilst also being dealt a further blow, in the shape of a 30-second stop-go penalty for causing the collision. The car rejoined after some lengthy repairs, now finding itself 7 laps down on the race leader. Not long after, the #63 car was forced to pit again, this time into retirement, with damage attained in the previous collision proving terminal.
Things proved more positive on the other side of the GRT Grasser Racing Garage, with the #19 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini, driven by Marco Mapelli, Raffaele Giammaria and Ezequiel Perez Companc showing a strong performance. After a solid start from P28 “the trio” managed an impressive showing, having a relatively smooth race and finishing in P14.
In the Silver Cup, the #12 Ombra Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Alex Frassineti, Kang Ling, Romain Monti, Andrea Rizzoli) was dominant at the head of the class for much of the race, but had to fend of intense late pressure to secure victory, narrowly beating the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Michele Beretta, Rik Breukers, Martin Kodric, Sandy Mitchell). All the Lamborghini drivers on the Silver Cup podium are Squadra corse GT3 Junior Drivers.
After a good start, the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini (Adrian Amstutz, Leo Machitski, Richard Abra, Patrick Kujala) seized the lead of AM Cup and successfully defended it until the end of the race. The British run car lead out the #9 Target Racing Huracán GT3 (Alberto Di Folco, Stefano Costantini, Bernard Delhez, Sylvain Debs). Both cars kept extremely good pace throughout the 24 hours and reached the finish line without ever being bothered by their opponents.
At the 13 hour mark, an incident involving the #666 Attempto Racing Lamborghini and the #31 Team Parker Racing Bentley occurred at the Raidillon corner. In order to provide medical crews and track marshals the opportunity to attend to the incident, the race was red-flagged. Lamborghini driver Jürgen Krebs and Andy Meyrick (Bentley) were conscious when taken out of their cars and brought to the medical centre. After an interruption of one hour, the race was restarted.
As for the Group National category, GDL Racing's Lamborghini Super Trofeo #67 (Sarah Bovy, Andrew Haryanto, Andres Josephsohn and Beniamino Caccia) dominated the class for most of the race and looked set for victory. The team raced strongly and consistently throughout the race, despite two collisions during the night. However, ultimately they were not destined to take the class win, as their race was cut short due to an incident on track in the late stages of the race.