The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo European series got underway in Monza this weekend, with its largest ever grid of 22 cars, new teams and drivers, an all-new Gallardo race car and a fulfilled promise of exciting racing on the legendary Italian circuit.
Weekend Fast Facts
Over the Monza weekend, the new Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo recorded 1.5s improvement in best lap time compared to the record set in 2012
Laurent Jenny recorded his best weekend in three seasons
Amici climbed 16 places to win in race 2
Prior to retirement, 17 year old Alessandra Brena was setting lap times inside the top ten
And prior to his puncture, Adrian Zaugg held a lead of over 6s in the second race
The fastest legal pitstop of race one was Imperiale driver Andrea Solime and race two was newcomers Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team Germany with Erwin Stückle
The early Sunday start for the first race of the season saw Adrian Zaugg take up position at the front of the grid, an advantage he struggled to maintain on the rolling start as the field bunched into turn 1, with a variety of small taps, bumps and gravel excursions throughout the midfield. Amici presented Zaugg’s early challenge, until unexpected brake problems in the newly improved system forced the Italian driver’s retirement on lap 12. The chase was taken up by Davide Stancheris, Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team Germany newcomer Marcel Leipert and Cédric Leimer behind the hard-charging South African.
Remarkably, amid this leading cluster of pursing cars was Andrea Mamé, who had suffered a high speed accident during qualifying, destroying his car but thanks to the integrity of the Gallardo and his bravery, had returned to the grid the following day with his confidence undiminished for the race.
As the pit window approached, two strong performances emerged; after starting the race from the back of the grid, Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team UK driver Jason Yeomans passed eight cars in seven laps to reach p13, while Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo’s youngest ever race starter, 17 year old Alessandra Brena, had climbed six places from 17th on the grid to P11; however, the progress of the Imperiale car was halted on lap 15 after the driver change when her team-mate, Swede Oscar Ortfeldt crashed heavily following a puncture, and the Safety Car was deployed.
The re-start providing a sharp 6 minute finale to the race, with Adrian Zaugg’s team-mate, Frederico De Nora having lost all his advantage behind the Safety Car and by lap 22, he finally succumbed to intense pressure from Cédric Leimer and the 2012 Champion who claimed the first win of the year. De Nora was followed home by Laurent Jenny, the Swiss Autovitesse driver joining his countryman and stablemate on the podium and taking maximum points for the Amateur class.
Race 2 was a remarkable recovery story as Andrea Amici drove from 16th on the grid to P6 before the stops and thereafter on to the win, claimed on the outside of the last corner of the race as he overtook an in-form Cédric Leimer. The other contender, Adrian Zaugg saw his leading challenge fade on lap ten as a puncture forced his retirement.
After an impressive first race for the VIP #1 car that saw Italian TV celebrity Jimmy Ghione across the finish line in 8th place, race two was more of a torrid affair as the car suffered a brake problem necessitating additional pitstops and the occasional trip through the gravel. Lamborghini test driver Mario Fasanetto and Ghione were forced to retire on lap 17.
Meanwhile Laurent Jenny maintained his consistent form to claim his second podium in the space of a few hours, followed him by the remarkable come-back story of Andrea Mamé and Mirko Zanardini who finished in fourth to close out a weekend of drama and a compelling start to the 2013 season.
Cédric Leimer #63, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter Winner (race 1) & P2 (race 2):
“It has been a fantastic racing weekend and certainly a good way to start the championship with a win in the first race and second position in the second. I had a good start in the morning race and managed to go from fifth to second before the pit stop, but the distance to the leader was quite substantial. After the pit stop, the safety car allowed me to close the gap to De Nora. I kept applying pressure and the car was working a lot better towards the end, which allowed me to make the pass on the last lap. I started the second race from pole, but Zaugg was incredibly quick and he got me and pulled away in the early stages, but then he had to retire and we had a good pit stop, so I thought I might have a chance for a second win. But Amici was coming at lightning speed. We had an enjoyable battle and I managed to stay ahead until the last corner, but he finally got me. The second position is good and the two results gives us a solid lead in the Championship.”
Andrea Amici #54, Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L. NC (race 1) & Winner (race 2):
“After having to retire in the first race, I was very focused for the second and we did a fantastic job. The race was a hard battle one and I had to play catch up as I started from the sixteenth position. I had a good start and gained five positions on the first lap. I kept on pushing because we had chosen to start with a car set-up that was meant to work better at the beginning of the race, so it was important to move ahead quickly. I climbed to fifth before the pit stop and, after a spotless change, we had only lost a couple positions and I was right behind Leimer. I kept the pressure on and I thought maybe I couldn’t make it, but I finally overtook him on the outside on Parabolica right before the chequered flag. I am delighted with the result that wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and support of Autocarrozzeria Imperiale.”
Laurent Jenny #19, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter P3 (race 1) & P3 (race 2):
“I couldn’t be any happier. Today’s races went perfectly and I finished both as the first Amateur driver. The car felt perfectly balanced and responsive in both races and I have managed to adapt my driving to the circumstances and staying focused for the entire duration of both races. This is my best result of the three seasons that I have raced in Super Trofeo and it is thanks to a spotless teamwork, for which I want to say thanks to Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter and to Cédric Leimer, who is not only my best friend but the best mentor anyone could have. And I also want to congratulate Lamborghini because the new Gallardo LP 570-4 is superb.”
Andrea Mamé #11, Bonaldi Motorsport P6 (race 1) & P4 (race 2):
“I had an impressive crash yesterday in qualifying and it was important for me to have a couple of good races today. I guess that I will feel a bit battered tonight but I am still amazed by the car’s safety, as it was a hard impact at around 180 kph. In any case, I felt perfectly fit to race today and we managed a very good result in both races. We battled for the podium, but on the last lap we had to switch to safety mode and we finished sixth in race one, and fourth in race two. Considering what has happened this weekend, these are good results for us.”