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Ten years of Lamborghini Squadra Corse

21 December 2023
Motorsport
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Compared to many of its GT rivals today, Lamborghini’s motorsport story is still somewhat in its infancy. Historically, the Sant’Agata Bolognese firm focused more on its road car business than racing, but that approach changed in the late 2000s as the Raging Bull emerged as one of the big players.

From its creation in 2013 to the launch of its first-ever prototype sportscar with which it will contest the top classes of both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Squadra Corse has achieved an incredible amount of success.

THE EARLY YEARS
Key to the creation of Squadra Corse in 2013 was the one-make Lamborghini Super Trofeo category which first hit the scene in Europe four years prior. The inaugural race was held at Adria with expansion to Asia following in 2012 and North America a year later. With Super Trofeo the undisputed pillar of Lamborghini’s customer racing activities, the logical next step was to develop a similar project for GT3 racing.

The Huracán GT3 was unveiled in late 2014, completing a shakedown before hitting the track properly at the start of 2015. Incredibly the Huracán GT3 won its very first race, appropriately on home soil at Monza, as well as on its maiden ADAC GT Masters outing. 

By this point, Super Trofeo was also making its mark on the world stage thanks to its popular Lamborghini Grand Finals which debuted in 2013. Bringing together the European, Asian and North American championships at one venue over one weekend, Super Trofeo competitors have duked it out to become the best one-make Lamborghini driver in the world. Vallelunga was chosen as the inaugural host venue, with Sepang, Malaysia (2014) and Sebring, USA (2015) following suit.

CRACKING AMERICA AND BREAKING THROUGH IN EUROPE
By 2015, the US market was hugely important to Lamborghini and Squadra Corse which entered IMSA competition. It qualified on the front row of the grid with Grasser for the 2016 edition, showing strongly in the race before ultimately hitting trouble. It was the first serious assault on the American scene, and it wasn’t long before Squadra Corse claimed its breakthrough triumph and first 24 Hour race win.

That came in 2018, as GRT secured an historic win in the GT Daytona class. The result was a watershed moment for the Sant’Agata Bolognese organisation, then only in its fifth year of existence. Two months later, it got even better as Paul Miller Racing won the Sebring 12 Hours. Being crowned winners of the unofficial ‘36 Hours of Florida’ was one thing, but a year later Lamborghini did it again. Grasser again at the helm, it won a truncated 24 Hours at Daytona before producing a consummate display at Sebring in March.

Paul Miller Racing then added a third Daytona 24 Hours victory in as many years in 2020, leading a Lamborghini one-two in a race dominated by the Sant’Agata brand.

At the same time, things were looking pretty good in Europe for Lamborghini. GRT preceded its US adventure by winning the teams’ title in Blancpain GT Series in 2017.

EVOLUTION AND AN HISTORIC SEASON
Having reached the end of its four-year homologation, the Huracán GT3 underwent its first evolution at the start of the 2019 season. Therefore, the GT3 EVO was born and made a winning debut in the iconic 24 Hours at Daytona.

Race wins then came in abundance as Lamborghini roared to the teams’ and drivers’ title in International GT Open with Emil Frey Racing. Title challenges were strong in Italian GT, GT Masters and British GT, but it was in the flagship Blancpain GT Series – now GT World Challenge Europe – where the biggest success came.

Contesting its first European campaign, Chinese squad FFF Racing Team won all three drivers’ titles, taking three wins (at Misano, Nürburgring and Barcelona) to come out on top in the overall points standings. The Sprint Cup campaign was so evenly disputed that the trio won the title only on countback after a tie following the final round at the Hungaroring.

Meanwhile, the Endurance Cup crown was won completely against the odds at Barcelona, as victory for the #563 crew and other results further down the field proved enough at the end of the three-hour season finale.

2020 AND BEYOND
Despite a difficult title defence in GTWC, Squadra Corse secured three more GT3 titles in 2020. After years of coming close, Lamborghini finally clinched the British GT title thanks to Barwell Motorsport’s Sandy Mitchell and Rob Collard, with victory in the prestigious Silverstone 500 sealing the deal in fine fashion. Another title was won in Italian GT, with VS Racing dominating the final round of the Sprint Cup to win the title at Vallelunga. Stateside, there was IMSA success with Paul Miller Racing claiming a clean sweep of drivers’, teams’ and manufacturer titles in the GTD category.

Lamborghini’s success in the US continued into 2021 and 2022, with the arrival of K-PAX Racing as a new Squadra Corse partner. The Californian team stormed to back-to-back titles with ease, showcasing their dominance by taking a staggering 18 wins from 26 races.

A YEAR OF ANNIVERSARIES
By 2023, the latest evolution of the Huracán, the EVO2 was launched, and more history was made during the first half of the year. As well as the achievements on-track, with the first-ever victory in the DTM for Lamborghini, success off-track was also seen with the unveiling of the SC63 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. In the year of the 60th anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini and the 10th anniversary of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the first dedicated racing engine and prototype developed in-house was launched to the public. While the new car which will compete in the top classes of both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship represents a new unknown, the Huracán GT3 Evo2 proved to be the natural successor to the Evo by delivering the 150th GT3 victory for the Huracán model, achieved by SSR Performance’s Bortolotti at the Nürburgring.

The end of 2023 also marked another landmark anniversary for Lamborghini Squadra Corse. The 10th edition of the traditional season-concluding Lamborghini World Finals was held at Vallelunga, an event which attracted a record-breaking 94 cars across the regional Super Trofeo categories of Europe, North America and Asia. The World Finals was equally the most environmentally friendly edition too, obtaining a UNI/ISO 20121:2013 certification as a sustainable event.

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