The 2017 Blancpain GT Series campaign proved to be a breakout season for the Lamborghini brand.
The Italian marque has been present in the series since its inaugural year in 2011, but it was with the arrival of the Huracan GT3 in 2015 that Lamborghini became a serious threat for overall victories and titles.
The new car won in only its second appearance, with Grasser Racing Team clinching victory on home turf at Monza. A second win followed at the Nurburgring in 2016, setting the Grasser-Lambo combination up for a championship assault in 2017
That assault proved to be hugely successful. In the Endurance Cup, the combination of Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli bagged back-to-back victories at Monza and Silverstone, as well as a podium finish at Circuit de Catalunya, to seal the drivers’ title.
The pairing of Bortolotti and Engelhart was formidable in the Sprint Cup as well, taking both race wins at Brands Hatch and further podiums at the Hungaroring. Combined with their Endurance success, this was enough to secure the overall Blancpain GT Series drivers’ title for the duo, as well as the teams’ crown for Grasser Racing.
This capped a stand-out season and, for Lamborghini, fully justified the investment in the Huracan GT3.
THREE-CAR GRASSER ASSAULT IN SPRINT CUP
The Grasser Racing squad remains at the forefront of Lamborghini’s Blancpain GT Series assault this season. This weekend, they will bring three Pro class cars to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the third round of the Sprint Cup campaign, where they will be targeting victory on Lamborghini’s home turf.
Reigning overall and Endurance Cup champions Bortolitti and Englehart will lead the line in their #63 Huracan GT3. The duo began 2018 with victory at Zolder, but while they have continued to score points in the following races a second win has eluded them. They will no doubt feel that Misano – located less than two hours from Lamborghini HQ – is the ideal venue at which to return to the top step of the podium.
They will be joined at Misano by their regular Sprint Cup teammates. In the #19 Huracan GT3, Ezequiel Perez Companc teams up with Endurance Cup champion Andrea Caldarelli, while the #88 machine pairs Loris Hezemans and Franck Perera.
This three-car assault marks Grasser Racing out as the best-represented team in the Pro class. Given their past success with the brand, they will be hoping to return Lamborghini to winning ways this weekend.
LAMBORGHINI WELL-REPRESENTED IN ENDURANCE CUP
While Grasser Racing are Lamborghini’s sole representative in Sprint events, the brand can claim a strong contingent of cars in the Endurance Cup. At the most recent event, staged earlier this month at Circuit Paul Ricard, no fewer than nine Lamborghini GT3s were on the grid.
In the Pro class, Grasser remains the leading outfit with a brace of cars. But it is in the Silver Cup category that the Italian marque finds its best representation, with four cars spread across four different teams. The brand took an impressive class victory at the French venue, with Barwell Motorsport’s #78 Huracan GT3 of Michele Beretta, Sandy Mitchell and Martin Kodric winning a close-fought battle.
There is further Silver Cup representation for Lamborghini courtesy of Reiter Young Stars, Ombra Racing and Daiko Lazarus Racing. The Reiter squad are unique among the contingent, as they run the older-spec Gallardo R-EX machine. This has not held them back, however, with the trio of Patric Niederhauser, Lenny Marioneck and Mads Siljehaug showing impressive pace in 2018.
Lamborghini can be found among the Pro-Am and Am Cup classes as well, with Daiko Lazarus competing in the former and Barwell Motorsport in the latter. It adds up to an impressive contingent for the Italian marque and forms part of the hugely competitive field of manufacturers competing for Blancpain GT Series glory.