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Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe: Winning at Spa

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe: Third win gives Gilardoni the lead at Spa

Oregon Team’s Kevin Gilardoni recorded his third straight Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe victory to move into the lead of the points standings after an action-packed opening race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian circuit offered up thrills and spills throughout the 50-minute encounter, with the pole-sitting #7 GSM Racing Lamborghini Huracán of Jonathan Cecotto – shared with Patrick Liddy – led the first stint with relative ease.

Behind, a stunning three-car battle ensued for second place between Dean Stoneman (#33 Bonaldi Motorsport), Sebastian Balthasar (#2 Leipert Motorsport) and the impressive Max Weering (#61 Johan Kraan Motorsport). Weering would eventually fall out of contention in the second stint, as heavy rain hit the Spa-Francorchamps track in typically downpour fashion, crashing out while trying to pass the vastly more experienced Miloš Pavlović (#41 Target Racing).

At the start, Cecotto made the most of a clear windscreen in front of him to build a largely comfortable three-second lead over the chasing pack, while Stoneman had to fend off ferocious attacks from Balthasar and Gilardoni in the opening stages.

Balthasar started fourth on the grid but found himself in third after the field negotiated La Source for the first time. Once ahead of Weering, the German set about catching and passing Stoneman in front, which proved to be a difficult task.

His first attempt was around the outside of Stoneman at Les Combes, but the Leipert Motorsport driver run wide and was forced to cede the place to Stoneman. He did, however, make the move stick around the outside of La Source to secure second place.

While the track was damp but drying at the start of the race, the heavens suddenly opened around the back of the circuit just as the pit window opened. This left some drivers making their mandatory pit-stop earlier than planned while other stayed out.

Cecotto stayed out and handed over to American team-mate Liddy at the last possible moment. This briefly paid off as the #7 emerged from the stops still in the lead.

Balthasar handed over to his team-mate Noah Watt – son of former Formula 3000 driver Jason – who then began to make ground on the leader. Gilardoni was also on a charge and quickly passed Watt for second after the Dane suffered a snap of oversteer on the exit of Les Combes.

Gilardoni, now with pace in hand, began to reel Liddy in and the pair duked it out spectacularly down the Kemmel Straight for the lead, with the Oregon Team Huracán emerging in the lead.

Liddy then had to defend heavily from Watt and Stoneman in the closing stages, with the latter pair swapping positions inside the remaining 10 minutes. Such was the ferocity of Stoneman and Watt’s battle for third, Liddy was given some much need breathing space.

Ultimately, Stoneman’s race unravelled following his fight with Watt. Stoneman passed Watt down the inside of Les Combes with two minutes remaining, but the pair made contact on exit, giving Stoneman a puncture. The British driver subsequently spun out after Pouhon, severely denting his championship hopes.

The key beneficiary was Gilardoni, who secured the win despite having to spend an extra three-second at his pit-stop, due to not having his regular partner in the #11 Oregon Team car, Dorian Boccolacci who is on Spa 24 Hours duty.

Post-race, the race stewards handed Watt and Balthasar a 10-second penalty for his part in the contact with Stoneman at Les Combes, but such was the margin at the finish, the Leipert Motorsport duo maintained their third place result.

Kevin Gilardoni (#11 Oregon Team) said: “I’m so happy with this win, it was such a tough race. I had to fight a lot with the car, but we didn’t give up. I knew I had a good car for the race in terms of overall pace, so I pushed a lot at the beginning of the race. Then in the middle of the race, it was all about managing the tyres. The car at the end of the race was mega, I wasn’t pushing 100% because it was sliding a lot and the rain became a lot heavier. The condition of the track changed about three times, so it was a big challenge.”

Karol Basz and Andrzej Lewandowski claimed Pro-Am victory in their #16 VS Racing Lamborghini Huracán ST Evo despite picking up a pit-stop time penalty for going under the minimum time. A superb opening stint from Lewandowski from 11th on the grid ensured the all Polish line-up were mixing it with the top Pro category runners before the pit window opened.

Once in the car, Basz made the most of superior pace and the incidents in front to finish a fantastic fourth overall, and two places ahead of nearest Pro-Am challengers Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen (#30 Leipert Motorsport).

Fidel Leib and Yury Wagner continued their run of good form in the #21 Leipert Motorsport car by taking another victory in the Am class to close the gap to Massimo Mantovani in the points standings. Their result was made all the more valuable as Mantovani and team-mate Dilantha Malagamuwa could only manage third in class behind the Boutsen Ginion pairing Marc Rostan and Giuseppe Fascicolo.

Newcomer Ray Calvin claimed the Lamborghini Cup honours for Konrad Motorsport, beating Imperiale Racing’s Hans Fabri.

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe: Kangas and Nemoto claim first win in shortened Race 2 at Spa

Yuki Nemoto and Olli Kangas (#6 VS Racing) claimed their first Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe victory in the second race at Spa-Francorchamps, a race red-flagged following a crash for Raul Guzman (#41 Target Racing) in the closing stages. Nemoto and Kangas profited from an earlier safety car intervention, to retrieve the #29 Konrad Motorsport car of Emir Keserovic which crashed at Les Combes, to make their mandatory pit-stop just as the pit window opened and a full lap before the leading runners. That enabled the duo to leapfrog the second VS Racing Lamborghini Huracán ST Evo of pole-sitters Karol Basz and Andrzej Lewandowski after the stops to claim the victory.

Basz had started the 50-minute race after setting the fastest time in qualifying and opened up a lead of almost 12 seconds before the pit-stops as the field jostled for position behind the #16 machine.

Of the chasing group, Dean Stoneman (#33 Bonaldi Motorsport) was the closest contender, having passed the #61 Johan Kraan Motorsport car of Max Weering for second place. Stoneman had earlier staved off an attack from Patrick Liddy (#7 GSM Racing) for third after the American out-braked himself at the final chicane amid still greasy track conditions.

Liddy, who finished second in Race 1 alongside team-mate Jonathan Cecotto, also fell behind Target Racing’s Miloš Pavlović for fourth and then new points leader Kevin Gilardoni (#11 Oregon Team).

Near the front, Stoneman found the drying track conditions more to his liking than the wet opening race and closed in on Weering for second, passing the Dutchman on the inside of La Source.

A lengthy safety car period then followed after Keserovic lost control of his Lamborghini Cup class Konrad Motorsport car under braking for the Les Combes chicane. The car snapped to the left-hand side, impacting the barriers before coming to a halt in the escape road. Keserovic emerged from the car unharmed.

With the safety car deployed for the duration of the pit window, VS Racing made an early call to bring Kangas into the pits to swap with former Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia driver Nemoto. It paid off handsomely as the Japanese driver rejoined in front of Basz’s team-mate Lewandowkski.

Nemoto led away at the restart, but the race was soon neutralised again following a very nasty crash involving Cecotto, Gilardoni and Guzman on the straight between La Source and Eau Rouge.

All three cars were side-by-side, with the slightest contact pitching Guzman’s Target Racing car into the barriers. Following a red flag, Guzman was immediately transferred to the medical centre for checks and subsequently to the nearby hospital in Liège, with a suspected broken left tibia.

Due to the extensive barrier damage caused by the accident, the race result was declared 15 minutes early, thus giving Kangas and Nemoto a rather subdued maiden race victory. Stoneman picked up 7.5 points – as cars have covered less than 75 per cent of the distance – with third place to close the gap to Gilardoni in the standings to 7.5 points heading into the final round of the season.

Second for Basz and Lewandowski was enough for them to wrap up the Pro-Am title a round early, with their points margin over Leipert Motorsport’s Elias Niskanen and Mikko Eskelinen more than the available 32 points in the remaining two races of the season.

There was also a class title for Imperiale Racing’s Hans Fabri, who claimed his fifth Lamborghini Cup class win of the season. Ray Calvin (#27 Konrad Motorsport) claimed his second successive LB Cup win.

Despite suffering a broken rear wing on their #21 Leipert Motorsport car, Yury Wagner and Fidel Leib closed the gap to Am class points leader Massimo Mantovani with victory over Boutsen Ginion’s Giuseppe Fascicolo and Marc Rostan.

After the race, Cecotto and Liddy were disqualified from the results, while Guzman and Pavlović received a 10-second penalty for their part in the incident, dropping Guzman and Pavlović out of the top 10.

The 2020 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe season concludes in the south of France next month, with the final two races being held at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet on the weekend of 13-15 November.

Olli Kangas (#6 VS Racing): “I started the race, so the conditions were very tricky, the braking points were damp, and it was really slippery. So, I was just trying to survive until the driver-change, and we had some very good luck with the timing of the safety car so that is a key part of why we won today.”

Yuki Nemoto (#6 VS Racing): “It was a very good race for us after the challenge of yesterday, we had a lot of good luck and the team made the perfect decision at that moment, because [the safety car] was quite close to the pit window opening. And then after that, I just tried to push to the limit. I am a bit worried about the other drivers who were in the big crash but in the end, we are happy with the result.”

Lamborghini Super Trofeo – 2020 Calendar

Round 1: Misano Adriatico, 7-9th August

Round 2: Nürburgring, 4-5th September

Round 3: Barcelona, 9-11th October

Round 4: Spa-Francorchamps, 20-24th October

Round 5: Circuit Paul Ricard, 13-15th November

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