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Lamborghini takes first International GT Open victory of the year at Hockenheim

13 5月 2024

Oregon Team’s Pepper and Deledda strike late on in race one to open account in Germany

Lamborghini secured its first International GT Open win of the season as Oregon Team’s Jordan Pepper and Alessio Deledda came out on top in the first of two races at Hockenheim.

At the wheel of the #10 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2, Lamborghini Factory Driver Pepper started the 70-minute opening race of the weekend from fourth but quickly made his way up to second before the mandatory driver-change pit-stop. Having taken over for the second stint, Deledda made the most of a late safety car intervention to snatch the lead at turn two to take the win.

The result means that Deledda and Pepper sit sixth in the drivers’ standings with 21 points, ahead of the third round of the year at Spa-Francorchamps on the weekend of 24-26 May.

The weekend began with a pair of free practice sessions, after which Pepper and Deledda placed ninth in the combined times before the former set the fourth-quickest time in the first qualifying session. Rolf Ineichen in the sister #63 Oregon Team entry shared with Factory Driver Leonardo Pulcini qualified sixth while the third car of Artem Petrov and Marzio Moretti was 14th on the grid. Making its return to the championship was Leipert Motorsport, with Maciej Błażek and Mark Wallenwein qualifying 24th.

Off the start, Pepper got a superb getaway and worked his way into third place exiting the first corner. An early safety car bunched the pack up again, with Pepper expertly passing the Mercedes for second place at the last turn leading onto the main straight. The South African then began his pursuit of the leader for the duration of his stint, keeping the gap at around a second-and-a-half before momentarily hitting the front prior to the mandatory pit-stop.

Deledda then took over and, despite not quite having the ultimate pace to keep up the Mercedes, was given a reprieve late in the race as the safety car was deployed again for two separate incidents in the final sector of the lap. At the restart, Deledda pounced for the lead at turn two and slipped down the inside to grab the initiative. With just a handful of minutes remaining, Deledda held on to claim the win as Pulcini – who had taken over from Ineichen – finished second on the road before slipping to fifth following a post-race time penalty.

Race two on Sunday delivered more valuable championship points as Deledda and Pepper finished fifth, two places ahead of Pulcini and Ineichen. Unfortunately, the #19 Huracán of Moretti and Petrov did not fare so well over the weekend, recording a 12th in the opening race and 13th in the second.

Jordan Pepper, Lamborghini Factory Driver, said: “We know that Oregon is a great team with Lamborghini, and they are always running up at the front. I think that Alessio and I are a great driver pairing so I don’t think this result was unexpected. I am super happy about the performance; qualifying wasn’t perfect as I made a small mistake on the only clear lap I had. I got a good start and handed over the car in P2 and Alessio made a great move for the victory, drove away into the distance and I am super proud of him. He is working super hard and it’s great to see how much he is improving.”

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