Lamborghini Factory Driver Andrea Caldarelli became the first Italian to win a round of the British GT Championship after steering his WPI Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo to victory in the opening race at Donington Park.
Caldarelli was a late addition to the WPI team and had never even driven a lap of the former grand prix venue, but alongside team-mate Michael Igoe, the pair came out on top in a race dictated by typical inclement British weather. Igoe started the two-hour race from ninth on the grid but quickly worked his way up the order inside the opening 10 minutes, jumping four positions to run fifth.
Such were the wet conditions that the race was started under the safety car but Igoe drove superbly until the mandatory driver-change pit-stop, handing over to the more experienced Caldarelli. Once Caldarelli was in, the #18 began to haul in the other Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Sandy Mitchell, who had taken over from Rob Collard for second place.
Mitchell allowed Caldarelli into second heading into the final stages, which enabled the Italian to chase after the Mercedes of Patrick Kujala. Lapping more than a second quicker than the Mercedes at times, Caldarelli seized the lead with just nine minutes remaining and duly held on to secure his and WPI Motorsport’s first win in the championship.
Barwell Motorsport finished with two cars inside the top five, with Phil Keen and Adam Balon ending up fourth ahead of their Silver Cup team-mates Mitchell and Collard.
Conditions were similar in Race 2 – which was a one-hour encounter – with Caldarelli and Igoe having to add a success time penalty onto their mandatory pit-stop as a result of their victory. They finished seventh, while Kenn and Balon went two places better than their Race 1 result in second.
Andrea Caldarelli: “We knew that the Huracán is always quick in the wet, we have very good confidence with the car. I didn’t know exactly where we were after the pit stops but when I saw the Barwell car and the Mercedes in front, I said ‘okay, we have to do it’. Michael did an amazing job in the first stint so we had to do it for the team, the guys were amazing.”