Nürburgring, September 22, 2012. Adrian Zaugg’s actions in claiming pole for round 9 of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series at the Nürburgring spoke louder than his words as he wisely declined to predict the likely outcome of the forthcoming race later that afternoon.
At the delayed race start on a clearing Saturday afternoon, Zaugg was the first to clear the tricky first corner, but immediately behind him Andrea Amici managed to pass Bernard Delhez and Cédric Leimer to move up into second position off the line. Zaugg preserved his advantage however and managed to pull away. After six laps, he had stabilized the gap at just over three seconds ahead of Amici with another two seconds in hand over third placed Cédric Leimer. 10 seconds behind race leader was Bernard Delhez, holding fourth place, with Roberto Tanca heading up the amateur class a further five seconds down the road in fifth place. However, Tanca was unable to maintain his amateur advantage to the change-over when a spin saw him lose nine seconds as a result.
As the pit window opened, Delhez came in early to hand over the car to team-mate Dimitri Enjalbert. Two laps later, Zaugg and Amici pitted at the end of the 11th lap. They rejoined in exactly the same order, but Zaugg, unable to disengage the pitlane speed limiter, lost his hard-won lead to Andrea Amici. Soon after, Julien Piguet and Dimitri Enjalbert, now fighting strongly for position, also passed the ailing South African driver. When all cars had pitted and the pit window closed, Amici was leading Piguet by five seconds.
Jiri Perina nearly ended the fight between Piguet and Enjalbert as the two tried to pass him in the Mercedes Arena. Perina nearly clipped Piguet’s car and then forced Enjalbert to run wide. Enjalbert quickly caught Piguet again and the battle for position continued. A slow lap by Andrea Amici allowed Enjalbert and Piguet to pass and all of a sudden, the fight between the pair became the fight for the lead. Enjalbert was too strong for Piguet and took the lead on the following lap. As Enjalbert started to pull away from Piguet, a recovering Zaugg closed in on Amici again. With just a couple of laps remaining, Amici made a mistake into turn one, allowing Zaugg to move up into third place.
Enjalbert went on to take the flag for Touring Auto 2000 SRL, with Julien Piguet securing important championship points for Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter. Adrian Zaugg rounded out the top three.
In the amateur class, it was the Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL car of Roberto Tanca and Leonardo Geraci that led most of the race, but on lap 22 of 23, Mirko Zanardini made a late pass on Geraci and moved into the lead of the class which he maintained to finishe almost four seconds ahead of Geraci and another eight tenths of a second ahead of the car of Hervé Leimer and Laurent Jenny.
Dimitri Enjalbert, #69, Touring Auto 2000 SRL
“We are very happy because we know that we survived a difficult race because all of the drivers have reached a similar level. I thought I had qualified well, but when I looked at the times, it was very close, so it makes the championship very interesting. Bernard started the race really quickly and it was due to him we finished first. It is a just reward for us because we work hard before each race, studying video, walking the track and preparing as well as we can. The second stint was exciting, racing against Julien Piguet, a fight I would characterise as pretty intense!
Julien Piguet, #63, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter
Today was my first Super Trofeo race. The atmosphere amongst the drivers in the Lamborghini Village is very warm and enjoyable, but the competition is intense. Out on the track, I survived the race but it was very close, exciting and at times, heart-stopping. We lost ten seconds in the pit lane during the driver change, so we have to make up for this and to aim to win tomorrow, it is essential for the championship. If I do a good job tomorrow, then I will be in Navarra.