GT Series Asia
FFF Racing Team by ACM and Lamborghini wrapped up four GT3 titles in China as a third victory of 2018 was more than enough for Dennis Lind and Martin Kodric to claim the Overall and Silver Cup crowns, while the Pro/Am success of Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Marco Mapelli also helped the Chinese squad celebrate the Teams’ title.
During the current season Lind and Kodric scored three victories and three podiums with both drivers having grown up within in the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program.
“It was quite emotional at the end because this year was the first time that I’ve really felt the full support of Lamborghini, who have pushed me harder and expected good results,” said Lind. “There’s been a lot pressure to perform at our best, which is something you have to find ways of managing. I’ve also been racing in Super Trofeo where the same pressure exists. Maybe I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, so on the slowing down lap perhaps some of that came out!”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
That added to a very successful weekend for Lamborghini on the racetracks as on the other side of the world in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the best was saved for last, as the championship of the GT Daytona (GTD) class for 2018 came down to last Saturday’s final race of the season – the Petit Le Mans.
At the end of the gruelling 10-hour race, the Paul Miller Lamborghini skilfully piloted by Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and endurance teammate Corey Lewis accomplished what they set out to do – take home the first-ever IMSA championship for their team owner and Lamborghini.
The trio piloted their Huracán GT3 to a third-place finish and that was good enough to finish the season with a four-point advantage at the end of all11 races. The championship title was a first for Paul Miller Racing after the team had come close to winning the title hunt on several previous occasions, having finished in the top three, three times in the last four years. Taking the GTD Championship titles is a first for all involved – the two drivers, the manufacturer and the team.
“Paul Miller is the reason we get to do this,” said Sellers. “This is his tenth year doing this and this is his first driver championship and first team championship. I just think when you look at someone’s commitment over the years that he’s done it, he’s a lifetime racer and without him, the three of us don’t get to do this and stand up here and stand on the podium. But it’s not just us, he employs all the guys behind the scenes that make this work.”
“Those results demonstrate the commitment of women and men involved in the Lamborghini motorsport program,” said Stefano Domenicali, Lamborghini’s Chairman & CEO. “And the quality of our car. I’m very happy about those results and I want to congratulate the teams and the drivers. Over the horizon we look forward to new challenges with the new Huracán GT3 EVO”.
Meanwhile, Giorgio Sanna, Head of Lamborghini Motorsport, added: “It has been an historic moment for Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Huracán GT3. Winning in Asia and USA, after the successes in Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours earlier this year, brings the real dimension of what we achieved. I want to thank all the people who have contributed in this great work”.
Factory drivers for 2019
Lamborghini has also just announced its factory drivers for the 2019 season. The confirmed drivers are Mirko Bortolotti (2017 Blancpain GT Series champion and winner of the 2018 24 Hours of Daytona), Andrea Caldarelli (2017 Blancpain GT Series champion), Marco Mapelli (record-holder at Nürburgring-Nordschleife with the Aventador SVJ), and Giovanni Venturini (2017 GT Open champion), who will compete in the most prestigious international championships at the wheel of the new Huracán GT3 EVO, presented at Nürburgring last month.
Joining them are two new drivers, Briton Phil Keen and Frenchman Frank Perera. Born in Reading in 1983, Keen was runner-up in the British GT in 2017 and in 2018. In the season just concluded, he earned two victories at the wheel of the Barwell Motorsport Huracán GT3. Meanwhile, born in Montpellier in 1984, Perera has competed in a number of international open-wheel and GT championships. Earlier this year, Perera won the Daytona 24 Hours at the wheel of the #11 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
Raffaele Giammaria has been confirmed in the role of test driver and coordinator of the “Young Driver Program” and the “GT3 Junior Program”. In regard to the professional growth of young talents, by the end of this year Lamborghini Squadra Corse will organise a shootout, with the participation of the most promising drivers of the GT3 program who stood out over the course of the season. The best driver will receive factory support during 2019. It’s also been announced that Christian Engelhart will no longer be a factory driver.
“We are pleased to announce our Factory Drivers, who in 2019 will apply all their experience to support the GT3 customer teams competing in the most prestigious GT championships in the world,” said Sanna. I extend my welcome to Squadra Corse to Phil and Franck; in the last few seasons they have demonstrated that they have the speed and attitude that Lamborghini expects from an official driver.”
Photos: Lamborghini Huracán GT3
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