Nürburgring, Germany. The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at the Nürburgring this weekend for rounds nine and ten of the 2012 European series. Race 1 was won by Dimitri Enjalbert & Bernard Delhez, while Saturday also marked a Lamborghini victory in the GT1 category for the Peter Kox/Stefan Rosina partnership in a Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. Peter Kox/Marc A. Hayek also claimed pole in the Blancpain Reiter Lamborghini in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
When the track activity had concluded yesterday, MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi took to the Nordschleife in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera. After 21kms of one of the world’s most challenging circuits, he professed that the 325 km/h Superleggera was ‘superb’ and that he’d had a ‘brilliant experience driving an amazing car on an amazing track.’
Beyond the festival of racing at the Nürburgring, in the Italian GT Championship at Mugello, the Imperiale Lamborghini of Davide Stancheris took pole in the GT Cup.
Race 2, Sunday
With the race intensifying at the top of both the Amateur and PRO-AM tables, race 10 was to strike a decisive blow when Bernard Delhez (Dimitri Enjalbert), one of the key challengers in the PRO-AM title race and Roberto Tanca (who is partnering the leading Amateur driver, Leonardo Geraci) tangled on the approach to the notorious Nürburgring turn one, taking both cars out and sending out the safety car for the first two laps of the race.
Yesterday’s pole man, Adrian Zaugg emerged from the turn 1 incident in the lead, with the ever-present Cédric Leimer 1.2s behind. In a distant ninth place was Andrea Amici, who had dropped down the field avoiding the crash on the opening lap. On lap 3, the safety car returned to the pitlane and the South African quickly pulled away from the other drivers. Five laps into the race Zaugg was leading Cédric Leimer by 1.2 seconds. Moments later, Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team UK driver Duncan Cameron crashed and was fortunate to avoid oncoming traffic as car #4 spun across the track before the British driver exited the retired car unharmed.
The pit window opened on lap 8 and it was Leimer who decided to come in early. Amici, still trying to make up some of the ground he lost, set a fastest lap that stood unchallenged to the flag, and he hauled himself back up into seventh place. Zaugg pitted from the lead after nine laps and a large group of cars, including Amici and Piancastelli, came in lap later. Amici pulled out in front of Piancastelli and rejoined in third, behind race leader Zaugg and second placed Julien Piguet who had taken over driving duties from his Autovitesse team-mate, Cédric Leimer.
For the next four laps, a dramatic battle unfolded for the lead between Zaugg and Piguet. The South African was unable to shake Piguet off and after 12 laps, the gap between the two drivers had been reduced to just two tenths of a second. But as the leading pair fought, Andrea Amici kept putting in fast laps and he rapidly closed in on the two leaders.
The fight for the lead intensified and became a three-way fight with Amici, but Piguet seemed unable to pass Zaugg, despite taking a look twice into turn 1. Going into lap 17, with time inching away Zaugg and Piguet went into the first corner side-by-side, but it wasn’t until turn 3 that Piguet managed to definitively claim the lead. Amici immediately made an attempt at a follow-through move, but Zaugg blocked his attack and kept the Italian behind him.
Finally ahead of Zaugg, Piguet began to pull away, leaving the South African to defend P2 from Amici behind him. In the end, Piguet cruised to a unchallenged victory and Zaugg held Autocarrozzeria’s Amici at bay in third place. Louis Wager, driving for the Lamborghini Dealer Team Germany was the first amateur home in only his second Super Trofeo race meeting, and Jens Dralle brought the #1 VIP car home in P10.
1st, Julien Piguet (Cédric Leimer), #63, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter
It was a very exciting race and Cédric completed a very strong first stint, of course it was important to avoid all the problems in the first corner. We concentrated on making sure we completed a good pit stop after the problems we had yesterday, which we managed to do. I started my stint on open track, then after two laps, Zaugg rejoined after his stop. I was quicker than him, but I didn’t want to take too many risks to overtake him. Eventually I choose my place to get past, at the slow corner, turn 4, and once I was past, I led the race home to the flag.
2nd Adrian Zaugg, #3, Bonaldi Motorsport
Yes, my initial pace was not so bad, but after the pit window, it seemed as if the Leimer/Piguet car had better traction, particularly in the first and last sectors, so we perhaps got as much as we could from today. I’m happy with two podiums, I’m happy for the team and thanks to them.
3rd Andrea Amici, #54, Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L.
It was a good race, I started well and was up to second, but I had to take avoiding action when the crash happened at turn one. I dropped to ninth, but I gained places once the safety car has gone in and through the pit stops, I was up to third and had recorded the fastest lap time. But in the closing stages, I couldn’t find more performance as I was suffering from oversteer as the tyres were going off. So although the championship situation is difficult, I will be pushing in Navarra for race wins.