The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo arrived in Silverstone for rounds three and four of the 2012 European series. Wet conditions failed to damp the spirits of the Pro Am and Am competitors, with more than half the 17-strong grid challenging within the Am category of the gentleman driver series.
Race one of the Silverstone rounds of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo was officially declared wet and started behind the safety car, which only came into the pits after the first fifteen minutes when green flags were shown. Pole-holder Dimitri Enjalbert (#69) pulled away at the front and after the first lap was already three seconds clear of Cédric Leimer (#63). Others were less happy in the treacherous conditions and spun their cars, with Andrej Barcak (#55) hitting the wall at the exit of Chapel on to Hangar Straight on lap five.
Enjalbert managed to increase his lead rapidly and handed over his car to Bernard Delhez on lap nine with a 19 seconds lead. Mirko Zanardini (#11) pitted outside the pit window and partner Andrea Mamé was given a 30-second stop and go penalty as a result.
On the track Leimer quickly caught Delhez and only a couple of laps after the pit stop the Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter driver took the lead. Leimer managed to stay out of trouble and kept Delhez behind. After 17 laps he finished 3.398 seconds ahead of the Enjalbert/Delhez car.
“The race was stressful because of the weather but I am very happy to have won! I benefited from the car #69 driver changeover,” said race winner Cédric Leimer.
Enjalbert had done everything to increase his lead before handing over to Delhez, but unfortunately the lead wasn’t big enough. “When Dimitri let me take over the wheel, it took me a little time to adapt,” said Delhez. “Unfortunately Cedric Leimer took the lead, although I started to drive well towards the end of my stint. But that’s racing!”
Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL drivers Andrea Amici (#54) and Matteo Zucchi/Alberto Cola (#22) finished third and fourth, with Amici setting the fastest lap of the race (2:24.227). Zucchi and Cola overcame problems with their windscreen early in the race to produce a star drive that brought them back to fourth, although Cola was too far behind to fight for a podium finish.
Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team UK’s series debut was cut short on lap 15 when Jake Rattenbury went off at Aintree Corner. The British driver hit the wall and his car came to a stop on the Wellington Straight. Rattenbury walked away from the accident without injuries.
With a second-half battle for fourth place by protagonists Petr Charouz (#88), Jakub Knoll (#77) and Alberto Cola (#22) were still in a battle for fourth place. Cola emerged victorious, with Knoll taking fifth position overall and taking first place on the Am podium, to be joined by Charouz/ Varvaroussis and Geraci/Tanca on second and third steps respectively.
Race two, Sunday 3 June
As in the morning, race two’s grid started behind the safety car. The safety car came in on the third lap with Cedric Leimer (#63) leading the pack into Copse corner. Andrea Amici (#54) who started and Matteo Zucchi (#22) quickly passed Bernard Delhez (#69).
Leimer spun his car on lap six allowing Amici to take the lead, but the #63 Swiss driver quickly caught the Italian again and then regained the lead when Amici ran wide at Club. After ten laps Leimer pitted from the lead, Amici following one lap later.
After the driver change window closed, Leimer led the field with a five second advantage over Amici, but the young Italian closed the gap to Leimer to put the pressure on the Swiss driver. Just before the end of the race Leimer ran wide at Club and Amici went through to take the lead. In the final minutes Amici pulled away and eventually finished four seconds ahead of Leimer.
Said race winner Andrea Amici on his victory: “I am very happy to win here. Leimer is very fast and I just studied his moves before planning my attack. I really like the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and I would like to be back in the series for the next round. It was an exciting race!”
Cedric Leimer was disappointed to have lost, but was still satisfied as he finished on the podium. “In the second part of the race I saw Andrea Amici in my mirrors and I could not understand how he managed to get back. He really pushed hard. The race was one lap too long for me, but I am happy to finish second. That’s how it goes in motorsport.”
The Touring Auto 2000 SRL #69 of Dimitri Enjalbert and Bernard Delhez finished the race in third place. Delhez explained his race: “I wrongly started on slicks, so it was very difficult. I made an error on my second lap, but I kept my rhythm. When Dimitri took over, some of the water had gone off the track so it was easier for him then.”
Teammate Enjalbert set the fastest lap of the race as the track conditions improved. “We are very happy to finish third, because we are the highest-placed team with two drivers. For us it is more complicated to adapt to the track conditions and the car,” said Enjalbert. “We work hard together to improve ourselves as a team, to give us the best chance to do well at driver changes and develop our partnership strategy.”
The #72 driver pairing of Leonardo Geraci and Roberto Tanca finished sixth, after starting in ninth and turning in a first class performance to top the Am category. Herve Leimer (#19) and Petr Charouz/Aristotelis Varvaroussis (#88) celebrated in second and third positions respectively on the Am podium.
“It’s been a good weekend,” said Geraci, “despite the weather.”
“The four-wheel drive certainly helped in the incredibly wet conditions,” added Tanca, “and we’re delighted to be on the podium.”
The Silverstone rounds saw two podium presentations after each race: one for the Pro Am gentlemen driver class, and one for the Am classification. This podium arrangement will continue throughout the 2012 season. This podium arrangement will continue throughout the 2012 season with both Pro Am and Am series end-of-season winners.
Race One results
1. C Leimer (#63) Autovitesse Garage R Affolter, 48:19.062
2. Enjalbert/Delhez (#69) Touring Auto 2000 SRL, 48:22.460
3. Amici (#54) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 48:37.902
4. Zucchi/Cola (#22) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 49:17.173
5. Knoll, (#77) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 49:20.212
6. Piancastelli (#20) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 49:21.155
7. Zaugg/Baran (#3) Bonaldi Motorsport, 49:30.842
8. Varvaroussis/Charouz (#88) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 49:48.558
9. Geraci/Tanca (#72) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 50:00.555
10. Urban/Chlad jr (#66) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 50:21.263
11. Sabbatini/Newey (#1) Automobili Lamborghini, 50:21.698
12. H Leimer/Jenny (#19) Autovitesse Garage R Affolter, 50:26.921
13. Mamé/Zanardini (#11) Bonaldi Motorsport, 48:35.680
14. Fletcher/Rattenbury (#4) Automobili Lamborghi Racing Team UK, 44:22.519
15. Barcak/Hes (#55) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 14:57.670
16. Zaruba/Formanek (#99) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 11:41.194
Race Two results
1. Amici (#54) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 51:57.856
2. C Leimer (#63) Autovitesse Garage R Affolter, 52:01.963
3. Enjalbert/Delhez (#69) Touring Auto 2000 SRL, 52:17.187
4. Zucchi/Cola (#22) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 52:25.352
5. Piancastelli (#20) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 52:35.549
6. Geraci/Tanca (#72) Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL, 54:01.067
7. H Leimer/Jenny (#19) Autovitesse Garage R Affolter, 54:12.330
8. Zaugg/Baran (#3) Bonaldi Motorsport, 54:20.385
9. Varvaroussis/Charouz (#88) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 54:36.532
10. Zaruba/Formanek (#99) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 52:36.208
11. Mamé/Zanardini (#11) Bonaldi Motorsport, 53:12.830
12. Knoll, (#77) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 53:15.982
13. Fletcher/Rattenbury (#4) Lamborghi Racing Team UK, 53:25.814
14. Urban/Chlad jr (#66) Heiko-Gravity Charouz Team, 52:08.412
15. Sabbatini/Newey (#1) Automobili Lamborghini, 52:27.198