Iron Dames Pin-Gatting crew make debut at the Algarve circuit as Dani Pedrosa returns to action
For the first time in its history, the picturesque circuit of Portimão in Portugal plays host to the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Grand Finals this weekend, with a total of 65 cars ready to do battle across the North American and European championships. The standout event of the year will be preceded by the final round of the regional series’ campaigns, with almost every class title still to be resolved.
Portimão is the 49th different circuit to host a Lamborghini Super Trofeo race since the one-make championship reserved for Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2 made its debut in 2009. In Grand Finals history, the 4.6km track is also the eighth different venue in the nine years of the jewel-in-the-crown weekend, following in the footsteps of Vallelunga, Misano, Sebring, Sepang, Jerez de la Frontera, Valencia, Imola.
Multiple MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa returns to action this weekend, completing his three-race programme for the season in the #10 Rexal FFF Racing Team car alongside Swiss team-mate Antonin Borga. Pedrosa made his Super Trofeo race debut in the season opener at Imola before taking part in the Misano round in July.
Eyes are also focused on the all-female Iron Dames of the Iron Lynx team crew of Doriane Pin and Michelle Gatting, who will race the #83 Lamborghini Huracán for their first appearance in the one-make championship. Eighteen-year-old Frenchwoman Pin and 30-year-old Dane Gatting became the first female winners of a European Le Mans Series race last month also at Portimão.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr is also expected to take part in the Grand Finals for the first time, driving for Ansa Motorsports as part of the highly competitive North American series this year. The Brazilian, who claimed one F1 podium in his career, will be up against the likes of past Grand Finals winners Edoardo Piscopo (2014), Patrick Kujala (2015) and Karol Basz (2021) in the Pro category.
With Loris Spinelli and Max Weering wrapping up the Pro title at the penultimate round of the year at Barcelona, attention now switches to securing victory in the Grand Finals for the Bonaldi Motorsport pairing. In the European championship, the Pro-Am, Am and Lamborghini Cup titles are still up for grabs heading into the final weekend. Oregon Team’s Massimo Ciglia and Lewis Williamson lead the way in Pro-Am with three victories so far, holding a 20-point margin over Rexal FFF Racing Team’s Dan Wells and Oscar Lee who scored a double win at Paul Ricard. The Target Racing entry of Milan Petelet is still in contention in third, 28 points adrift of the top of the table.
It is a three-way sprint in the Am class, with Andrzej Lewandowski (VS Racing) heading the standings after taking four wins. The Polish driver is just two points clear of Leipert Motorsport’s Gabriel Rindone – author of three wins this season – while Arkadia Racing’s Stéphan Guerin is just seven points further back in third. In the LB Cup, three-time champion Gerard van der Horst is favourite to take another title, with a 16-point advantage over Rexal FFF Racing Team’s Luciano Privitelio, who is once again joined by his son Donovan in the #8 machine. François Grimm (Boutsen Racing) is 30 points behind, with a total of 32 still available from the two races.
As with the European scene, the North American series crowned its Pro champions last time out, with Wayne Taylor Racing’s Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal taking the title after five victories. The fight for second, therefore, lies with Taurino Racing by D Motorsport’s Loris Spinelli (who will contest both regional championships this weekend) and Giano Taurino going up against the US RaceTronics combination of Kujala and Piscopo. Just two points split the pair of crews. Nine points further back is the Dream Racing partnership of Edoardo Liberati and Dario Capitanio; Liberati comes into the weekend fresh off the back of a title triumph in the Italian GT Endurance Cup championship alongside Yuki Nemoto for VS Racing.
In the Pro-Am class, three crews are in the fight for the championship crown, with Bryson Lew and John Dubets (Precision Performance Motorsports) leading the standings with 124 points, 11 points clear of their team-mates Bryan Ortiz and Sebastian Carazo. Wayne Taylor Racing’s Ashton Harrison and Tom Long are just 17 points back in third. Meanwhile, just four points separate the Am title rivals Nikko Reger and David Staab (Precision Performance Motorsports) and MCR Racing’s Shehan Chandrasoma. In the LB Cup, Slade Stewart (Flying Lizard Motorsports) is nine points ahead of US RacTronics pair Jon Hirschberg and Ofir Levy, while the Dream Racing Motorsport crew of Charlie Martin and Jason Gagne-Keats are just 11 points further back.
The weekend kicks off on Thursday 3 November, with free practice and qualifying, while the final two races of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe season, each lasting 50 minutes, scheduled to take place at 08:35 and 13:25 respectively. In the North American series, the races will take place at 11:00 and 15:50. Qualifying for the Grand Finals are scheduled for Saturday morning. The first race, reserved for the Am and Lamborghini Cup classes, will start at 14:45 while that of the Pro and Pro-Am classes will begin at 16:05. Race 2 in Am/LB Cup is scheduled for 12:00 before the second Pro/Pro-Am race at 14:50.
All races will be live streamed on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse YouTube channel.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe - Calendar 2022
Round 1: Imola (Italy), 1-3 April
Round 2: Le Castellet (France), 3-5 June
Round 3: Misano (Italy), 1-3 July
Round 4: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) 29-30 July
Round 5: Barcelona (Spain) 30 September-2 October
Round 6: Portimão (Portugal), 3-4 November
Grand Finals 2022: Portimão (Portugal), 5-6 November