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Lamborghini starts British GT title defence with victory in Brands Hatch opener

Lamborghini kicked off its 2021 British GT Championship campaign in the best possible fashion as WPI Motorsport’s Michael Igoe and Phil Keen took victory in the opening round of the year at Brands Hatch. The pair seized the lead early on and claimed the win by 9.614s, while defending teams’ champions Barwell Motorsport finished third with Dennis Lind and Leo Machitski.

Igoe and Keen were on the pace all weekend, starting with the fastest time in Saturday morning’s first free practice session before finishing second in the afternoon. The momentum was maintained in the combined qualifying session, with the #18 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo starting on the outside of the front row.

Barwell Motorsport’s Lind and Machitski qualified third, while reigning drivers’ champion – and Lamborghini Factory Driver – Sandy Mitchell fifth on his first outing with new team-mate Adam Balon. The Simon Green Motorsport pairing of Lucky Khera and Ross Wylie started 13th.

Igoe maintained his position at the start of the race, which began behind the safety car following an accident for one of the McLarens on the formation lap, but quickly got the better of the polesitting Aston Martin of Andrew Howard under braking for Druids on the third racing lap. From then on, the #18 was practically untouchable either side of the pit window and duly took victory from Howard and Jonny Adam by nearly 10 seconds. For Igoe, it was a second career British GT victory while Keen secured a record-extending 18th championship race win.

Lind and Machitski also showed impressive pace in the early going, with the latter snatching second place from Howard before the pit window after an assertive move at Surtees. A slow pit-stop dropped Lind to fourth entering the second stint, but the Danish driver put in a superb drive to take third from Yelmer Buurman’s Mercedes.

There was disappointment for Mitchell and Balon, though, as the #1 Barwell Motorsport Huracán was tipped into a spin at Paddock Hill Bend by the Mercedes of James Cottingham early on. Balon got the car going again but rejoined near the back of the field, but Mitchell eventually recovered to finish 12th by the finish.

Elsewhere, Lamborghini recorded a podium finish in the opening Italian GT Championship Endurance race of the season at the Enna Pergusa circuit in Sicily. Alberto di Folco, Andrea Amici and Stuart Middleton finished third for Imperiale Racing, having started fourth on the grid.

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