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Getting to Know: Mattia Michelotto

23 мая 2024

At 185cm, Mattia Michelotto stands tall wherever he goes in the paddock. It’s hard not to spot the Lamborghini Young Professional Driver, who carries with him an infectious smile and an even stronger grit and determination when at the wheel of a racing car.

Michelotto’s rise up the GT ranks has been both swift and successful. The 21-year-old already has an Italian GT Cup and a Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals title to his name and is one of the most promising talents within the Lamborghini Squadra Corse fold.

It’s his passion, you see. And one that he’s held since turning his first laps in a go-kart at the tender age of five in his hometown of Padua.

"I started going around in circles in the car park near my house,” explains Michelotto.

“And then, from karting I immediately moved on to Lamborghini, winning my class in the Cup of the Italian Gran Turismo Championship with the Antonelli team, in 2019".

The jump from go-karting to a GT car which produced 620hp and weighs almost double that of a regular single seater may seem a step too far too soon. But Michelotto has followed in the footsteps of some of the most successful drivers to grace the Super Trofeo grid, most notably his 2021 World Finals team-mate Karol Basz.

Two years after his debut in GTs, Michelotto joined the Lamborghini Young Driver Programme following his debut in the Super Trofeo Europe, this time with another reference team in Italian motorsport, Vincenzo Sospiri Racing.

"I remember that it was my manager Nicola Gaglian who introduced me to Vincenzo,” Michelotto says.

“We went to visit him at his headquarters in Forlì. One of the first things he did was show me all the trophies he won in his career as a driver. Then we started talking about serious things.

“In the end it was agreed that we would organise a test in Vallelunga, to be carried out in February, because Sospiri wanted to understand what my real abilities were. I did quite well in that test and together we decided to race in the Pro class that year with my team-mate, Michael Dörrbecker.

“It was a growing season, which ended with the success achieved in the World Finals in Misano, but together with Karol Basz, the victory in Misano was the best ever. That weekend I arrived on the track and Vincenzo told me literally 'now we don't play anymore, we have to win' And so it was."

Sospiri and his team are competitors of the highest order and the VS Racing team provided Michelotto with the professional environment in which he could thrive in the one-make series. In the World Finals at Misano in 2021, he and Basz dominated the event, taking pole position for each race and completing a staggering clean sweep to win the title.

Indeed, Misano Adriatico holds a special place in Michelotto’s heart, not just because it was the scene of his World Finals victory.

“Imola is a track that I really feel at home at, but the place where I like to go where there are races is Misano,” says Michelotto.

“I remember that on one occasion during an Italian GT Championship meeting, I had a break for a couple of hours in between races, so I took advantage of this to go and spend some time at the beach!”

He remained with VS Racing for the following season, narrowly missing out on the Italian GT Championship until the very last round in his first season in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2. In 2023, he dovetailed a second Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup campaign with a return to Super Trofeo Europe: however, victory at Mugello, two seconds and a third were not enough to give him the Italian title as he finished second in the championship at the end of the season.

It was a similar story in Super Trofeo Europe, where he and Belgian team-mate Gilles Stadsbader claimed five race wins but ultimately missed out on the title to Leipert Motorsport’s Brendon Leitch by the narrowest of margins after an epic year-long title scrap.

Michelotto has achieved a lot of success in his relatively short car racing career, but he’s not interested in finishing second. Like most drivers, Michelotto has lofty expectations; in other words, it’s winning or nothing.

"The 2023 season was full of successes, but in the end, losing both titles at the last race represented a great disappointment for me,” says Michelotto.

“I never liked coming second, even if all this helped me to always keep my motivations very high."

Much of this approach can be attributed to Sospiri himself. A team boss who is incredibly driven by success on-track, Vincenzo leads by example.

"Over the years, a relationship of trust and mutual esteem has been created with Sospiri. When it comes to racing, he is very serious,” Michelotto reflects.

“He always tells you things as they are and as they should be. But he is also a great friend. On the evening of race weekends, we go to dinner together. We start by discussing many things, but then we end up talking about cars, control units, exhausts... It's our passion."

Away from competition, Michelotto is also a lover of Lamborghini the brand, and got to drive some VIP hot laps in the Huracán STO during the latest round at Spa-Francorchamps.

“I had driven some road version Lamborghinis before but always on the track, as happened at Spa when I had the opportunity to complete some laps in the STO.

“I love Lamborghinis and I am in love with the sounds of the naturally aspirated V10 of the Super Trofeo EVO2, which is very precise at the front-end and similar to the GT3s.”

Michelotto and Stadsbader are a tried-and-tested combination, and the pair extended their partnership in Italian GT Sprint Cup for 2024, taking victory in the opening round of the season, rather aptly at Misano.

They’re also back together for a second season of Super Trofeo Europe and will be hoping to kickstart their campaigns at the third round in Le Mans in June, following a tumultuous start to the year so far in the Pro class.

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