Oregon Team’s Kevin Gilardoni and Leonardo Pulcini recorded their third Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe victory in six races following a calculated drive in the second race of the weekend at Zandvoort. The #11 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo started third on the grid but made a decisive pass on eventual second place finisher Sebastian Balthasar (#2 Leipert Motorsport) on the first lap to gain the upper-hand either side of the mandatory pit-stops.
After producing a superb lap in qualifying to pole position, Bonaldi Motorsport’s Miloš Pavlović made the best getaway as the lights went out to lead into the first corner, while Kevin Gilardoni squeezed up the inside of Race 1 winner Balthasar (Leipert Motorsport), who was slow to react at the start, into second.
Behind, Maxime Oosten (Bonaldi Motorsport) held onto his fourth place at the start, just ahead of the VS Racing Huracán of Michael Dörrbecker and the #7 GSM Racing entry of Kevin Rossel.
The order at the front settled down with Pavlović edging away from Gilardoni to the tune of 1.654s as the Oregon car had to defend heavily from the chasing Leipert machine of Balthasar, who remained a mere seven-tenths of a second in arrears. The best fight in the Pro category during the opening salvo of the 50-minute encounter was between Rossel and Dörrbecker for fifth, before Dörrbecker brought out the safety car after spinning into the gravel trap at the penultimate corner while lapping the LB Cup leader Hans Fabri (Imperiale Racing).
Dörrbecker’s excursion came just as the pit window had opened, forcing some cars into the pit-lane sooner than they would have planned, including Gilardoni who pitted at the earliest opportunity with Pulcini, while Balthasar and the Bonaldi Motorsport’s car of Oosten stayed out longer.
Indeed, despite the safety car being deployed and bunching the pack up at reduced pace, Oosten was kept out for a lap longer than the remainder of the leading group – which included Target Racing’s Raúl Guzman, GSM Racing’s Rossel and Oosten’s team-mate Max Weering. Overall leader Pavlović also pitted, but Oosten was resigned to falling all the way down to ninth place after having to wait behind the safety car for an extra tour before making his stop.
After the stops, Pulcini inherited the lead of the race from Noah Watt and duly headed the field at the restart, with the Target Racing Huracán of Glenn van Berlo close behind in third. The top three runners remained nip-and-tuck but Pulcini used the superior tyre life on his car to extend his lead over Watt in the closing stint, eventually coming home nearly two seconds clear at the end of the race. Van Berlo claimed a third podium finish of the year in third, narrowly behind Watt, while Bonaldi Motorsport’s Daan Pijl recorded a superb fourth place finish, after a promising run in Race 1 came to a premature ending in the gravel trap.
A crash in qualifying forced the #33 Huracán to start each of the two races from the back of the grid, with 2019 Super Trofeo Europe champion Danny Kroes returning for the Zandvoort weekend starting Race 2. Kroes showcased his class and pure speed in the opening stint, charging from 23rd on the grid to lie a sensational 10th before handing over to Pijl. Teenager Pijl continued the impressive drive in his stint and fended off the more experienced Cecotto in the remaining minutes to claim his best finish of the season so far.
Race winner Leonardo Pulcini (#11 Oregon Team) said: “In my stint, I was just controlling the pace and the tyres. I knew our car is strong in the second stint so I was very comfortable to control the gap and then to push some more in the last two, three laps to be a bit more calm [at the finish]. We finished on a high, which is great and we are looking forward to the next round.”
Team-mate Kevin Gilardoni commented: “It was a great first stint, we pushed a lot at the beginning. The start was a bit crazy because the front row was pretty side-by-side, brushing mirrors, I don’t know why. I gained a position and on my in-lap I overtook Miloš. We were lucky with the safety car, but Leo did a great job in his stint to win the race. We’re very happy with the result but we will push harder for Spa and the rest of the season.”
The battle for Pro-Am honours was the closest all season long with VS Racing’s Karol Basz and Andrzej Lewandowski claiming their third win of the year somewhat against the form guide. Pavlović and his team-mate Petar Matić naturally held the advantage in class in the opening stint courtesy of their overall pole position, with their nearest rivals, Bromek Formanek and Josef Zaruba (Micanek Motorsport ACCR) in ninth.
Matić struggled to maintain Pavlović’s pace after the pit-stop and fell into the clutches of Formanek for the lead. The guesting Target Racing car of Kikko Galbiati – who had to serve a regulation drivethrough penalty after Miguel Ramos pulled out of Race 2 – was also in the mix after the safety car intervention, while team-mates Andrea Cola and Dmitriy Gvazava were not far behind either.
Loitering behind as well, was Basz – who had taken over from Lewandowski at the start of the pit window – and the Pole made his move on Matić just after passing Oscar Lee’s Leipert Motorsport entry at Tarzan to run third. That became second after Galbiati pulled off with mechanical issues, leaving Formanek and Basz to dispute the lead.
Formanek had been looking for his second win in a row, but ran too deep at the Turn 11 chicane, taking to the gravel and losing the lead to Basz in the closing stages. Basz then kept his nose clean to take the win.
Ray Calvin took his second consecutive Am class victory for Leipert Motorsport after a race-long fight with team-mate Gabriel Rindone. Rindone led at the start but the pair were never split by more than a second in the opening stint before pit-stops. Rindone remained in the lead after the stops but received a drivethrough penalty for being under the minimum stop time, having Calvin the victory.
It was a similar story in the Lamborghini Cup, with local driver Hans Fabri finally taking a victory on home soil after a drivethrough penalty for Pierre Feligioni. Feligioni’s team-mate Daniel Waszczinski had swapped the lead of the field with Fabri during the opening stint and looked certain to win after building a 10s lead, but had to settled for second post-penalty.
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