Lamborghini began its 2019 British GT campaign in victorious fashion as Jonny Cocker and Sam De Haan came out on top in Race 2 at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The Barwell Motorsport duo, who completed a spectacular recovery to finish fourth in Race 1, brought the Italian marque its first continental success for the brand-new Huracán GT3 Evo.
The sister Barwell #72 Huracán of Phil Keen and Adam Balon started the race from pole and opened up a healthy lead either side of safety car interventions – first for the #77 Mercedes of Michael Broadhurst and then for the #2 Aston Martin driven by Mark Farmer.
De Haan emerged from the regulation pit-stop in front of the #72 after Balon, taking over from Keen just after the halfway marker, served his seven-second time penalty for its Race 1 result, and maintained its advantage over the second Lamborghini until the end of the one-hour race.
Lying second at the restart of the second safety car period, De Haan immediately piled the pressure on race leader Richard Neary in the Mercedes and fainted a move on the first racing lap after resumption.
De Haan’s pressure ultimately paid off next time around, forcing Neary into running deep at Knickerbrooke Chicane, with the Lamborghini snatching the lead round the outside with just 10 minutes of the race left to run.
From then on, De Haan opened up a four-and-a-half second advantage over Neary, who had to fend off the attentions of Andrew Howard’s Aston Martin and the #72 Huracán of the recovering Balon.
Despite a late surge from Neary in the closing laps, De Haan comfortably came across the line the winner by just over two seconds from the Mercedes, with Balon unlucky to miss out on the final podium position in fourth place.
Nevertheless, the opening round of the 2019 season proved more than a success for the pair of Huracáns with both cars finishing inside the top five in each race.
The Oulton Park victory was the third this year for the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, following the GTD triumphes at 24H Daytona and 12H Sebring.
Speaking of his race victory, Sam De Haan said post-race: “[I am] delighted with that one, it couldn’t have gone any better. We got really lucky at the start and in the pit-stops and I worked really hard to get past Richard in the Merc, but really happy with it.”