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Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe: Michelotto takes first win of the year at Le Mans

16 June 2024

Söderström/Ali back into the Pro points lead as tyre issues force race two cancellation

VS Racing’s Mattia Michelotto claimed his first Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe victory of the season in round three of the 2024 season held at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. Unfortunately, several tyre failures during the opening 45-minute race meant that Saturday’s planned race two had to be cancelled on safety grounds.

In the Pro standings, retirement in the first encounter for erstwhile leader Amaury Bonduel (BDR Competition by Grupo Prom) allowed Target Racing’s Oliver Söderström and Largim Ali to move back into the points lead. Anthony Nahra and Dimitri Enjalbert (Pegasus Racing) claimed their first Pro-Am win of the season, while GM Motorsport’s Marco Gersager did likewise in the Am class. In Lamborghini Cup, Paolo Biglieri and Petar Matić came out on top for Auto Sport Racing.

Race 1

Pro

Having dominated qualifying, Bonduel made a strong getaway off the rolling start and maintained his lead into the first corner, with Leipert Motorsport’s Sebastian Balthasar keeping up the chase in second. Behind, several cars took to the run-off area, but all more or less escaped any strife on the first lap. By the time the field made it to the end of the lap, contact between Jesse Salmenautio (Iron Lynx) and Guiseppe Guirreri (GG Motorsport) left the former in the gravel trap and Guirreri in the pits with front-end damage ending his race early doors. The second Iron Lynx car of Pavel Lefterov, which had been running fourth, was also in trouble and pitted. Away from the drama, Bonduel built a healthy early lead of over four seconds from Balthasar and maintained his advantage after the mandatory pit-stop. Unfortunately for the championship leader, his hopes of victory disappeared following a spectacular tyre blow-out on the Hunaudières straight before the first chicane. The damage to the #28 car was enough to force Bonduel into retirement, while the substantial debris on the track brought out the latest in a number of Slow Zones. That gave Balthasar’s team-mate Jacob Riegel the lead and the #70 Leipert car held off Michelotto before also suffering a high-speed blow-out approaching Indianapolis. With tyre preservation now critical, Michelotto and second-placed Oliver Söderström – having taken over from Largim Ali – both eased their pace entering the final minutes. Michelotto stayed out of trouble to claim his first win of the season, while Söderström and Ali held onto second despite a five-second penalty for a Slow Zone infringement. Simon Gachet and Simon Tirman (Schumacher CLRT) took the final place on the podium, while Grigor Dimitrov and Edgar Maloigne produced a superb late charge to finish fourth ahead of the squabbling Oregon Team duo of Paul Levet/Lazló Tóth and Leonardo Caglioni/Enzo Geraci.

Mattia Michelotto (#6 VS Racing) said: “I am very happy to take my first victory of the season, and to do it at such an historic and iconic circuit like Le Mans is an amazing feeling. It was not an easy race, and I had a puncture near the end, but I was able to manage it. We lost a lot of points in the first two rounds of the year, so this is a good result for the championship, and I hope to improve even more at the next round.”

In the standings, Söderström and Ali lead the way with 50 points, 1.5-points ahead of the hapless Bonduel with Caglioni and Geraci third with 28 points. After his victory, Michelotto is now fourth in the points, 3.5-points clear of Balthasar and Riegel heading into the latter crew’s home round at the Nürburgring.

Pro-Am

Pegasus Racing’s Dimitri Enjabert and Anthony Nahra produced a Le Mans masterclass to clinch their first Super Trofeo Europe victory, completing a pole-to-flag performance to head VS Racing’s Andrea Frassineti and Ignazio Zanon. Enjalbert and Nahra started from pole position and showed enough early-race speed to challenge the Pro crews before the pit window. Enjalbert swapped with Nahra at the pit-stops and continued to lead, but with a rapidly reducing margin over Zanon, who closed to within two seconds of the leader in the closing stages. Nahra then used his experience of the Le Mans track to eke out a gap of over six seconds to take the win, with Boutsen VDS pairing Roee Meyuhas and Renaud Kuppens completing the podium.

Having finished fifth in the race, Mičánek Motorsport’s Bronislav Formánek and Štefan Rosina maintain their lead in the standings, 2.5-points ahead of Kuppens and Meyuhas, while Joran Leneutre and Claude-Yves Gosselin (Iron Lynx) are third, a further four points adrift.

Am

In the Am class, Marco Gersager (GM Motorsport) recorded a breakthrough maiden victory in the championship, having taken the lead after the mandatory pit-stops. The Danish rookie came home nearly nine seconds clear of VS Racing’s Stéphane Tribaudini and Piergiacomo Randazzo, who completed a remarkable comeback drive from the back of the grid to finish second. Polesitters Julien Piguet and Cedric Leimer’s race lasted just one corner before the #63 Autovitesse car was tipped into a spin and retirement. CMR’s Stéphane Lemeret, therefore, led before the stops, but lost out to Gersager in the second stint. Target Racing’s Huilin Han leapt to second after the stops and ended up third at the finish ahead of Art-Line’s Nigel Bailly and Leipert Motorsport’s Anthony McIntosh and Glenn McGee.

Courtesy of their superb drive through the field, Randazzo and Tribaudini moved into the lead of the Am title race, with 46 points, with Bailly second on 37.5. Han is just half a point in arrears in third.

Lamborghini Cup

Drama was the prevailing element of the Lamborghini Cup race, with ASR’s Paolo Biglieri and Petar Matić dealing a decisive blow in the title race with victory by a commanding 16-seconds from Brutal Fish Racing’s Jason Keats and Charlie Martin. Aggressive Team Italia’s Karim Ojjeh had held a comfortable lead either side of the pit window but crashed on the exit of the Porsche Curves, handing the advantage to Biglieri, who kept it clean until the end. Holger Harmsen (GT3 Poland) had looked a bolted-on second but a late spin at the first corner dropped him to fourth, with BDR Competition by Grupo Prom’s Alfredo Hernandez Ortega third.

Biglieri and Matić hold a 4.5-point margin in the LB Cup standings over Harmsen with Martin third on 45 points.

The 2024 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe now season takes a mid-season break before heading to another iconic track for round four of the season, with the Nürburgring the venue on the final weekend of July.

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