Loris Spinelli and Max Weering completed back-to-back Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe victories for Bonaldi Motorsport in a second race which was punctuated by three full course yellow periods. The #61 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2 started second on the grid and maintained that position until the final stages when Spinelli passed race-leader Dmitry Gvazava (#9 Target Racing).
The double victory, plus pole position for Saturday’s opening encounter, gives Weering and Spinelli a strong lead in the points heading into the second round of the year at Paul Ricard in two months’ time. Elsewhere, ex-MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa completed his first weekend on four wheels with an impressive eighth place overall, and fourth in the Pro-Am category, alongside team-mate Antonin Borga in the #29 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2.
Following a sensational lap in Saturday’s second qualifying session, Leipert Motorsport’s Brendon Leitch led away from the rolling start despite pressure from Weering as the field negotiated Tamburello for the first time. Target Racing’s Marzio Moretti held third place at the start but slowed suddenly at the restart from the first safety car intervention, initiated after contact between Kerong Li (Leipert Motorsport) and Oliver Freymuth (AKF Motorsport) at Piratella.
Li, in his first Super Trofeo weekend, tagged the rear of Freymuth’s car approaching the left-hander which speared both cars into the gravel trap. Li hit the wall hard and suffered damage to the front of his Huracán, while Freymuth was beached in the gravel.
The subsequent full course yellow period was a lengthy one, as marshals cleared the accident scene, but once action resumed, it was Leitch who led away again from Weering behind. Moretti should have been in the mix at the restart but slowed coming out of the final corner just as the field was released. The young Italian completed one more lap before retiring in the pits.
That elevated the sister Target Racing car of Milan Petelet and Gvazava into third place, which the French driver kept until the second full course yellow came out just before the pit-window opened after 20 minutes. The Autovitesse #63 of Cyril Leimer spun into the gravel trap and was unable to get back onto the track. Leitch and Weering both took this opportunity to make their compulsory pit-stops, swapping with Gerhard Watzinger and Loris Spinelli respectively. Petelet and the #6 VS Racing car of Jean-Luc D’Auria, meanwhile, elected to remain on track for another lap, which ultimately gave Petelet’s team-mate Gvazava the lead.
Although Leimer’s car was retrieved relatively quickly, the safety car would not come in for another two laps, owing to the GT3 Poland car of Grzegorz Moczulski hitting the barrier while behind the safety car as the field bunched back up. A third FCY was called for when Holger Harmsen went off the road, following contact at the Variante Alta with Elie Dubelly (#2 Boutsen Racing), leaving a four-minute race to the finish.
Gvazva bravely held onto the lead from the pressing Spinelli, despite minor contact between the pair at the final corner before the safety car peeled into the pits. Spinelli had the faster car and duly took the lead with a bold move at the Rivazza corner, following an error from Gvazava at the Variante Alta. Stéphane Tribaudini, having taken over from D’Auria, also tried to make a move on Gvazva, having passed Watzinger at Tamburello, but could not find a way around the Target Racing car, and had to settle for third on the road. However, it did become second after Gvazava was penalised 0.612s for a pit-stop infringement.
Fourth on the road and second in Pro-Am was the Oregon Team combination of Massimo Ciglia and Lewis Williamson. The duo started eighth on the grid and made good progress in the opening stint of the race. But cooling tyres amid the various safety car interventions, plus late-race traffic meant that Williamson wasn’t able to move onto the overall podium.
In the Am category, Gabriel Rindone took another victory for Leipert Motorsport, beating GT3 Poland’s Andrzej Lewandowski by just over three-tenths of a second. Just like in the opening race of the weekend, Stéphan Guerin led the early stages but fell behind after the pit-stop phase. Rindone, therefore, claimed his second win in a row to take a healthy lead in the standings into round two at Paul Ricard.
Three-time Lamborghini Cup champion Gerard Van der Horst claimed a narrow class victory from compatriot and close rival Hans Fabri, with just under two seconds separating the pair at the finish. Fabri had led from pole, but Van der Horst got the better of the Imperiale Racing driver in the second stint to take the win. Boutsen Racing’s François Grimm completed the podium in third.
Race winner Max Weering (#61 Bonaldi Motorsport) said: “The race was quite okay for us, the car worked fine when we were racing, which was unfortunately not that much because of the safety cars. But we can be happy with the two victories, it’s good for the championship, almost maximum points so that’s the key.”
Team-mate Loris Spinelli ((#61 Bonaldi Motorsport) added: “Today was a bit of a tough day with all the FCY and restarts but anyway, he [Gvazava] went straight on a Variante Alta which gave me the chance to overtake him for the lead. Then, I just found my pace and kept the lead in the final minutes. I also got the fastest lap on the last lap, so I am very happy with that.”
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe – 2022 Calendar
Round 1: Imola (Italy), 1-3 April
Round 2: Le Castellet (France), 3-5 June
Round 3: Misano (Italia), 1-3 July
Round 4: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) 29-30 July
Round 5: Barcellona (Spain) 30 settembre-2 October
Round 6: Portimão (Portugal), 3-4 November
Finals: Portimão (Portugal), 5-6 November