The youngster programs of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, established in 2014, have closed the current season with a “shoot-out”, a sort of final exam on the Imola track to award the most talented participants of the year 2017.
The 24-year-old Dane, Dennis Lind, European and World Champion of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo 2016 and GT3 Junior Driver of Lamborghini, prevailed in the final test. As a prize, Lind will receive economic support from Lamborghini Squadra Corse to compete in an international GT championship with a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the 2018 season.
As the most deserving among the Lamborghini Young Drivers, the eighteen-year-old Jonathan Cecotto has instead been rewarded with a test at the wheel of a Huracán GT3.
Seven are the drivers who were admitted to the final test: Riccardo Agostini, Fabrizio Crestani, Alex Frassineti, Dennis Lind, Martin Kodric and Daniel Zampieri, all belonging to the GT3 Junior Program, plus Jonathan Cecotto as the most deserving member of the Young Drivers Program, aimed at drivers taking part in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo one-make series.
The drivers were selected based on the results of the two training sessions held at Imola in June and October, but above all by constantly monitoring their sport and behavioral performance throughout the season. The selection was carried out by the Youngster Programs supervision structure formed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse staff and instructors from the ACI Sport Federal School, coordinated by Raffaele Giammaria, who assisted all the members of the GT3 Junior Program and Young Drivers Program on the field.
The Imola’s shoot-out, held at the end of October, also included performance tests at the wheel of a Huracán GT3 that enabled the Squadra Corse technical staff and engineers as well as the ACI Sport Federal instructors to exhaustively draw up final reports based on objective data and subjective feedback. Thanks to these reports, Dennis Lind was declared the best 2017 Junior Driver.
The Imola’s shoot-out, to which only the most deserving drivers of the GT3 Junior Program of Lamborghini Squadra Corse were admitted, consisted of individual track sessions behind the wheel of a Huracán GT3. There was a simulation of a qualifying session with new tires for everyone, after which the driver had the opportunity to change the set-up. Then, the participant did a second session with three timed laps, at the end of which the driver had the right to choose whether to maintain the changes to the set-up or return to the original one. Lastly, there was a final qualifying simulation with a new set of tires.
Even if lap times undoubtedly contributed to the final grade, this kind of test allowed the examiners to assess the overall sporting and professional performance of the young drivers of Lamborghini Squadra Corse. In other words, it was possible to observe the drivers’ sensitivity in understanding how to change the car set-up to be faster, their ability to interact with technicians and engineers to ensure that their sensations are correctly applied to the car, their understanding of the telemetry as a useful tool to improve their performance.
All this because for the Motorsport Department of Automobili Lamborghini, pure speed on track is not enough to become a professional driver. The Youngsters Programs of Lamborghini Squadra Corse aim at training complete racing talents and for this reason specific training sessions going well beyond track activities are set up every year .
Besides taking part in development tests of Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo and GT3 cars, the drivers are also involved in physical training sessions that are crucial for a sportsman’s athletic preparation. Assisted by a staff of experts in the field, drivers participate in a series of activities ranging from racing bike sessions on track, cross-fit workouts to reflex and mental concentration tests. Furthermore, the drivers attend theoretical classroom lessons on brand values, communication and technical features of Lamborghini road cars. These training programs aim therefore at preparing drivers for a professional path and the most deserving ones also have the opportunity to work in the official school, the Lamborghini Accademia, as instructors.
From the 2017 season and the Imola’s shoot-out, two names emerged. The first is that of Dennis Lind, a young promise of motorsport, who joined the Lamborghini Squadra Corse family two years ago. The 24-year-old Dane made his debut in the one-make series Super Trofeo Europe in 2016, in which he won both the European championship and the Valencia’s World Final. The following year, he continued his growth path: he progressed from the Young Driver Program (for Super Trofeo drivers) to the GT3 Junior Program and made his debut in the Blancpain GT Series with a Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
In 2018, thanks to the economic support of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Lind will be participating in a prestigious GT championship at the wheel of a Huracán GT3.
The second name is that of the eighteen-year-old Venezuelan driver, Jonathan Cecotto, the son of the famous F. 1 driver and motorcycle champion Johnny Cecotto. Jonathan made his debut in 2017 in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe with the team Imperiale Racing and the expert Vito Postiglione as co-driver. They kept fighting for the title until the last round at Imola and concluded the championship in third position.
Cecotto was the most talented driver of the Young Driver Program in terms of number of victories in the Super Trofeo, consistency of performance during race weekends, results achieved during the youth program sessions of Lamborghini Squadra Corse and his behavioral attitudes. For these reasons, he was offered the opportunity to do a test with a Lamborghini Huracán GT3, in view of his potential sporting and professional growth.