Leonardo Pulcini promoted to Factory Driver after winning GT3 Junior shootout as Danny Formal, Yuki Nemoto and Maximilian Paul form Lamborghini Young Professional Driver category
Leonardo Pulcini and Danny Formal have been announced as the stand-out drivers of Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s end of year Youngster Program shootout. Winning the GT3 Junior Program, Pulcini has been promoted to Lamborghini Factory Driver for 2023, while Formal is one of three drivers to graduate to the newly created Young Professional Driver category.
The latter will be joined by Yuki Nemoto and Maximilian Paul, who have both been rewarded for their impressive results during the 2022 season. Nemoto conducted a dual campaign in Italian GT and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, with Paul racing in the competitive ADAC GT Masters.
Over the course of the season, a total of 38 drivers were assessed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s technical staff, headed up by Raffaele Giammaria. 15 drivers took part in the GT3 Junior Program, and 23 drivers participated in the Young Driver Program. The shootout took place at the Circuito Internacional do Algarve in Portimão between 7-8 November.
Having won the International GT Open title alongside Benjamin Hites for Oregon Team in 2022, Pulcini came out on top in the GT3 Junior shootout. The category is reserved for drivers competing in GT3 championships and under the age of 26. Pulcini, who is 24 years-old, will thus contest a full season of international GT3 racing next year as an official Lamborghini Factory Driver.
During the shootout, the Roman driver – who won the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe Pro title in 2021 – demonstrated an aptitude for professional growth, both by continuous on-track improvement as well as increasing his technical knowledge and communication off-track.
Puerto Rican driver Formal steps up to the Lamborghini Young Professional Driver category after a successful season in the one-make Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series, which yielded the overall drivers’ title alongside Wayne Taylor Racing team-mate Kyle Marcelli. Joining Formal in the new intermediate category between the Young Driver Program and the GT3 Junior Program is Italian GT Endurance champion Nemoto and up-and-coming German driver Paul.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse has dedicated this new category to experienced GT3 drivers, supporting them financially and technically, with the aim of training them as future Factory Drivers.
Speaking about the Young Driver Program, Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna said: “Our dedicated program, which supports young talent, continues to give us great satisfaction, both from a technical and human perspective. The new Young Professional Driver class has been introduced to allow us to develop the best drivers more carefully and is in line with the growth strategy of Squadra Corse and its drivers. The fact that we have a driver pool of male and female talent from Europe, North America and Asia demonstrates how Lamborghini is globally committed to motorsport and the development of young talent.”
Ahead of his promotion to Factory Driver status, Leonardo Pulcini added: “The last two years with Lamborghini have been exceptional for my driving career, having won two consecutive titles in two different categories, Super Trofeo Europe in 2021 and then International GT Open this year. The experience I gained in Super Trofeo has been very formative for me as I came from a single seater formula background and a GT3 programme. I feel like, by taking one step back, I was able to take another 10 steps forward in terms of track performance. I can’t wait to get on track next season with the EVO2.”
Lamborghini Young Professional Driver, Danny Formal said: “My journey with Lamborghini started three years ago with a race with zero preparation, and I never thought that things would happen as quickly as they did. We won the Super Trofeo North America championship in 2022, with many race wins and I am so grateful to all the fantastic people I have had by my side throughout the year, from Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Wayne Taylor Racing. They are allowing me to follow my dreams to becoming a professional driver. I’m so excited about 2023 and to be working with Lamborghini.”
Lamborghini Squadra Corse also confirms that the Young Driver Program will consist of drivers competing in all three continental Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, Europe, North America and Asia during the 2023 season.