Kevin Gilardoni and Leonardo Pulcini survived a post-race time penalty to claim their second consecutive victory of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe weekend at Paul Ricard and move into the lead of the Pro standings. The duo, at the wheel of the #11 Oregon Team Huracán Super Trofeo Evo, started second on the grid with Pulcini overtaking the pole Leipert Motorsport car of Noah Watt at Turn 2 and maintaining the advantage either side of the pit-stop window to take the spoils.
Such was the topsy-turvy nature of the race that Johan Kraan Motorsports’ Max Weering finished second despite losing time avoiding an incident in front of him, while VS Racing’s Mattia Michelotto and Michael Dörrbecker claimed their maiden podium in third after a time penalty for Jonathan Cecotto and Kevin Rossel (GSM Racing).
Having claimed their first win of the season on corrected time following a penalty for on-the-road winners Cecotto and Rossel, the #11 Oregon Team Huracán Super Trofeo Evo started strongly with Pulcini at the wheel. The Italian claimed the lead from Watt on the exit of Turn 2 but did so by leaving the track, therefore receiving a three-second penalty, applied after the race. Close behind Watt was Cecotto who showed strong speed in the opening stint but was unable to find a way past the Leipert car. Leading the Pro-Am category in a superb fourth was Bonaldi Motorsport’s Miloš Pavlović, putting aside a disappointing Race 1 early on.
No sooner had the race started to settle into a rhythm was it neutralised after the GT3 Poland Huracán of Artur Hawryluc spun at start of the Mistral Straight, his car stopped and unable to continue. The safety car was therefore deployed, bunching the pack up once more before restarting just six minutes before the pit window opened.
Those further back in the field sensibly opted to make their compulsory stop early in the 10-minute window, with Target Racing’s Raúl Guzman the first of the top Pro runners to pit, having lost a place at the safety car restart to the Micanek Motorsport car of Josef Zaruba. Sensing his opportunity to make progress before his stop, Cecotto piled the pressure onto Watt for second but the order remained the same once each pitted and swapped with Kevin Rossel and Sebastian Balthasar respectively.
Rossel and Balthasar – to their detriment and Gilardoni’s advantage – fought hard for second place but ultimately cost themselves too much to inherit the victory. Their chances were given another blow when both receive time penalties for being under the minimum pit-stop time. Balthasar was handed a 0.477s penalty, while Rossel had to serve 1.482s at the end of the race.
Still, they battled until Rossel out-braked himself at the chicane and lost a place at Beausset to Johan Kraan Motorsports’ Maxime Oosten who had taken over from Milan Teekens for the second sint. But the action was not over there, as the second Johan Kraan Motorsports car of Max Weering joined the fight, as did the Target Racing machine of Glenn van Berlo who had moved into third and fourth respectively.
Oosten then attacked Balthasar around the outside of Signes but couldn’t complete the pass; instead, the Dutchman waited until the main straight to pull alongside the Leipert Motorsport car in an attempt to overtake at Turn 1. But slight contact was made and Oosten spun at Turn 2, with Weering having to take to the escape road in avoidance. That allowed van Berlo up into third place, which became second after a lovely divebomb pass on the inside of Balthasar at the final corner one lap later.
However, any chance van Berlo had of winning disappeared after contact with the LB Cup backmarker Pierre Feligioni at the chicane. Rossel – who had earlier in the lap passed Weering for third after contact between the Dutch driver and Balthasar – had to avoid the pair but dropped back behind Weering on exit. Michelotto, who took over from Dörrbecker was fourth, but that ended up being third following Cecotto and Rossel’s time penalty.
Race winner Leonardo Pulcini (#11 Oregon Team) said: “I had a very good jump, but I think I got hit from behind so that’s why I cut the chicane to receive the three-second penalty. I pushed so hard and could pull a gap, but luckily the safety car came in [early] and I could build a gap and have the fastest lap of the race. At the end of my stint, I was suffering a bit with the tyres so I decided not to push anymore so that Kevin had something to work with.”
Team-mate Gilardoni added: “As Leo said yesterday, we didn’t win on the track but today we won on the track so I am so happy because you never know what the car will be like in the second stint. I started to push hard from the first corner, but I found a limit for myself and I kept to that limit.”
The Pro-Am victory went the way of Micanek Motorsport’s Zaruba and Bromek Formanek following a last-lap collision between the #22 Huracán and the VS Racing of Karol Basz and Andrzej Lewandowski Lewandowski qualified 17th and struggled to make sufficient inroads to the leading Micanek car of Zaruba, but Basz forced his way through for the on-the-road win with the places later reversed by the stewards.
Having been beaten at the start, Giannoni eventually came home to win the Am class ahead of Rindone, while Leimer’s team-mate Laurent Jenny faltered in his stint. Giannoni wins Am ahead of Leipert Motorsport team-mates Rindone and Calvin Ray. Jenny finished fourth at the finish, with Boutsen Ginion’s Claude-Yves Gosselin and Renaud Kuppens fourth.
In the Lamborghini Cup, Donovan and Luciano Privitelio claimed their first class triumph for FFF Racing, beating the class points leader Fabri by almost five seconds. Feligioni, after his contact with van Berlo was fourth.
2021 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe Calendar
Round 1: Monza (Italy), 16-18 April
Round 2: Le Castellet (France), 28-30 May
Round 3: Zandvoort (Netherlands), 18-20 June
Round 4: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) 29 July-1 August
Round 5: Nürburgring (Germany) 3-5 September
Round 6: Misano Adriatico (Italy), 28-29 October
Lamborghini World Final
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 30-31 October