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Rescheduled Imola round to kick off 10 days of racing at Roman circuit prior to World Finals
The Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi circuit plays host to the penultimate round of the 2023 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe season, with all four class titles still very much up for grabs.
A record 52 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2 cars are expected to contest the pair of one hour races on the challenging 15-turn, 4.085km circuit situated just north of the Italian capital, Rome. Due to the cancellation of the proposed season opener at Imola in April, a unique double header of standalone events will take place over the next two weekends to settle what has been a highly competitive title battle in each category.
Leading the Pro standings heading to Vallelunga is Leipert Motorsport’s Brendon Leitch; the solo driver, who took his first victory at the Nürburgring before the summer break, has only finished off the podium on one occasion this season, in the second race at Valencia last time out. The New Zealander holds a 11.5-point margin over the chasing VS Racing partnership of Gilles Stadsbader and Mattia Michelotto. The Belgian-Italian duo has recorded the highest number of wins so far this season with three and took four points out of Leitch at the end of the Valencian weekend last month. Also firmly in contention is the Oregon Team pairing of Marzio Moretti and Sebastian Balthasar, who enjoyed their best weekend of the year in Spain, taking a second place and victory to lie just 2.5-points behind Stadsbader/Michelotto. Keen to make amends for a bittersweet Valencian round is BDR Competition’s Amaury Bonduel. The Belgian was one of the fastest drivers over one lap in qualifying but struggled with rear grip during the one-hour races. Bonduel is 33 points adrift of Leitch and only eight ahead of the Iron Lynx combination of Ugo de Wilde and Rodrigo Testa de Sousa, who are aiming to finally put an end to their run of bad luck this weekend. Two points further back is the Target Racing entry of Oliver Söderström and Largim Ali, who recorded their maiden Super Trofeo podium in race two in Valencia. A total of 17 Pro entries will take part this weekend, with a number of newcomers to the class for the Vallelunga double header. Italian GT Cup regular Luca Segù will team up with Alessio Bacci in the #68 Lamborghini Roma by DL Racing machine, while the team’s full-season #50 car will also feature an altered line-up, with Alessandro Fabi making his Super Trofeo debut alongside Riccardo Ianniello. After a one-off outing at Spa-Francorchamps, TotaalPlan Racing returns to the championship, with Belgian pairing Mario Martlé and Kenneth Linthout joining forces. Imperiale Racing will field a single entry for cousins Matteo and Giacomo Pollini, while Sebastian Freymuth – son of veteran Super Trofeo campaigner Oliver – is a solo entrant for AKF Motorsport. Moving up to the Pro class for this weekend will be the Arkadia Racing partnership of Lucas Valkre and Milan Petelet.
The Pro-Am title race is looking increasingly like a battle between Target Racing’s Alex Au and VS Racing’s Andrzej Lewandowski. Both drivers will benefit from the return of their regular team-mates – Frederik Schandorff and Loris Spinelli respectively – with just eight points separating the two entries. Au picked up his third win of the season in the second race at Valencia in September, while Lewandowski – who has two wins this season so far – finished off the podium in fourth. The Iron Lynx duo of Nigel Schoonderwoerd and Yelmer Buurman will need a strong weekend in Italy to keep their title hopes alive. The Dutch combination are 33 points off the lead and may well have their eyes on consolidating third in the standings this weekend, with the Brutal Fish Racing entry of Edoardo Liberati and Martin Ryba just 3.5-points further back. Such is the competitiveness of the Pro-Am field in 2023, Emanuele Zonzini and Emanuel Colombini (Iron Lynx) are just another 2.5 points back in sixth and in turn 2.5 points ahead of Micánek Motorsport’s Karol Basz and Bronislav Formánek. Reigning FFSA GT4 and GT4 European Series champion Roee Meyuhas joins the Super Trofeo field at Vallelunga, teaming up with Elie Dubelly – who steps up from the Am class to Pro-Am – at Boutsen VDS. Meanwhile, Super Trofeo Europe graduate and Lamborghini GT3 Junior Marcus Påverud returns to the category, alongside Ignazio Zanon at VS Racing.
In the Am category, things could be closer as Leipert Motorsport’s Gabriel Rindone takes a slender 2.5-point lead into the weekend over impressive Egyptian teenager Ibrahim Badawy. Rindone has a superior number of wins this season, with four, but a retirement in the early stages of race two at Valencia hampered his cause. For Badawy, the revelation of the Am class this year, a second win of the weekend was backed up by a third place in race two, keeping the title fight well and truly alive. Pierre Feligioni and Renaud Kuppens (Boutsen VDS) have just one victory this year but remain in the hunt for the title, 10.5-points adrift of Rindone. A strong weekend in Valencia means that Leipert Motorsport’s Jean-François Brunot lies fifth in the standings, 7.5-points behind Dubelly/Ojjeh and eight points ahead of Adrian Lewandowski and Grzegorz Mozculski (GT3 Poland). The championship welcomes back Oliver Freymuth, who will pilot his AKF Motorsport Huracán as a solo entry, while French duo Alban Varutti and Julien Piguet partner at Autovitesse.
Paolo Biglieri and Petar Matić hold a relatively commanding Lamborghini Cup points lead heading into the weekend, but the Bonaldi Motorsport crew cannot rest easy. Donovan and Luciano Privitelio (Iron Lynx) may be 16.5 points behind in the standings but, with three wins already this year – to Biglieri/Matić’s four – the father-and-son combination should not be discounted. Leipert Motorsport’s Jürgen Krebs is a further 7.5-points adrift in third, albeit some way ahead of Gerard van der Horst, who missed the Valencia round but who makes his return this weekend. The multiple LB Cup champion is just three points ahead of the improving Charlie Martin and Jason Keats (Brutal Fish Racing) and four ahead of HDR Competition’s Alfredo Hernandez Ortega. The LB Cup class also welcomes back Iron Lynx’s Kumar Prabakaran, who has dovetailed a partial European campaign with a full season in Super Trofeo Asia this year.
As it is a standalone Super Trofeo Europe meeting, the track action looks a little different compared to the rest of the season so far. Much like the format of the Lamborghini World Finals, classes will be split across the weekend, with the Am and Lamborghini Cup, and Pro and Pro-Am running together. The condensed two-day timetable means that free practice and qualifying will take place on Saturday 11th November while both races will be run on Sunday 12th November. All four races will be livestreamed on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse YouTube channel.
Saturday 11th November
FP1 (Am and LB Cup) – 08:30 CET
FP1 (Pro and Pro-Am) – 09:40 CET
FP2 (Am and LB Cup) – 10:50 CET
FP2 (Pro and Pro-Am) – 11:50 CET
Qualifying 1 (Am and LB Cup) – 14:40 CET
Qualifying 2 (Am and LB Cup) – 15:10 CET
Qualifying 1 (Pro and Pro-Am) – 15:40 CET
Qualifying 2 (Pro and Pro-Am) – 16:10 CET
Sunday 12th November
Race 1 (Am and LB Cup) – 09:35 CET
Race 1 (Pro and Pro-Am) – 10:55 CET
Race 2 (Am and LB Cup) – 13:25 CET
Race 2 (Pro and Pro-Am) – 14:45 CET