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Lamborghini opens accounts on two continents with victory in Italian GT and Super GT

6 5月 2024

VS Racing and JLOC both produce dominant lights-to-flag displays with Huracán GT3 EVO2

Lamborghini made a successful start to the Italian GT Championship season, as VS Racing’s Mattia Michelotto and Gilles Stadsbader claimed victory in the opening Sprint Cup bout of the year at Misano Adriatico.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, JLOC also enjoyed success as Yuya Motojima and Takashi Kogure claimed a dominant win in round two of Super GT at Fuji. It is the second triumph for the Huracán GT3 EVO2 in the Japan-based championship, having won the 2023 season finale in Motegi, and puts the #88 JLOC crew second in the standings.

Back in Europe, a notable breakthrough result came in round two of the Michelin Le Mans Cup as Karen Gaillard and Célia Martin recorded the first podium finish for Iron Dames in Lamborghini machinery by finishing a superb second at Paul Ricard, having started from pole position. In the corresponding four-hour European Le Mans Series race, Iron Lynx finished second with Andrea Caldarelli, Axcil Jefferies and Hiroshi Hamaguchi.

Michelotto and Stadsbader break Italian GT duct with Misano Sprint victory

VS Racing pairing Michelotto and Stadsbader dominated proceedings in Saturday’s opening race at Misano, taking pole position, victory and fastest lap in their #66 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2. Michelotto was supreme in qualifying with his time of 1m31.472 nearly half a second quicker than the second quickest crew.

Off the start, Michelotto got a great jump and led the way into the first corner, as the second VSR Huracán of Ricardo Cazzaniga settled into fourth place, where it started. At the front, Michelotto was in a league of his own, setting the fastest lap and opening up a commanding six-second lead before the mandatory driver-change pit-stops. Having waited until the very end of the pit window, Michelotto then handed over to Stadsbader, who took over the reins of the #66 for the second stint.

The Belgian, who drives alongside Lamborghini Young Professional Driver Michelotto in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe, then had to maintain his pace aboard the #66 amid a closing gap to the second-placed Ferrari in the second half, which he duly did. Michelotto and Stadsbader, therefore, came home a little over three seconds clear to take their first GT3 victory together as a pairing. Completing the podium was the #19 Huracán of Cazzaniga and Alberto di Folco, having defended heavily from the BMW of Max Hesse in the closing stages.

Mattia Michelotto (VS Racing): "In the first laps I had some difficulty getting the tyres up to pressure. Then everything went smoothly, and I was able to build up a good lead, even setting the fastest lap before making the stop. Starting the season with a victory that's what it takes to also have the right motivation."

Gilles Stadsbader (VS Racing): "This is the first victory in GT3 for me. It's fantastic to start the season like this. Mattia did a fantastic job throughout his first stint and, after the pit stop, I only had in mind to bring the car home and finish the race in that position. It wasn't easy, but I didn't make any mistakes and I still finished first."

Round two of the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup season takes place at Imola at the end of the month.

Dominant Fuji win puts Motojima and Kogure in Super GT title mix

Kogure and Motojima began the Fuji weekend in strong fashion, setting the second quickest time in free practice. Qualifying on Saturday was split into two groups, based on the championship standings. Taking part in group A, the #88’s combined Q1/Q2 time was four-tenths of a second clear of the closest challenger.

Motojima took the start in the #88 and quickly demonstrated the prowess of the Huracán GT3 EVO2 by romping to a 15-second margin over the chasing Mercedes in second place inside the opening half an hour. Such was the pace of the #88, JLOC was able to go further into their stints than much of the competition, with Motojima peeling into the pits four laps later than the Mercedes. Motojima stayed in the car following the first round of stops towards the end of the opening hour, cycling back to the lead before the halfway point of the race. He eventually handed over to Kogure after completing his maximum drive time in the car.

From then on, it seemed a matter of course that JLOC would take the victory, as Kogure moved back into the lead following the second stops, and duly steered the #88 to victory by 17-seconds at the finish. The success is Lamborghini’s third Super GT victory and second in three races for the Huracán GT3 EVO2 after making its competition debut in the middle of last year. The victory also moves Motojima and Kogure into second place in the drivers’ standings, just one point behind the Toyota pairing of Hibiki Taira and Yuui Tsutsumi.

The next round of the Super GT season takes place at Suzuka on the opening weekend of June.

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