Lamborghini Huracan Wins on Debut at Blancpain Endurance Series Opener


Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 claimed victory in its maiden race in the opening race of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza.

The Grasser Racing-entered car, driven by Fabio Babini, Andrew Palmer and Jeroen Mul finished 37 seconds clear of the opposition in the three-hour race.

Rinaldi Racing had locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying with their Pro-Am Ferraris, Norbert Siedler claiming pole position ahead of Pierre Kaffer. The Lamborghini was the best-placed Pro Cup car at the start in third.

Kaffer took the lead at the green flag, with Babini moving into second after an early safety car and relegating Rinat Salikhov down to third in the #333 Ferrari.

Kaffer stopped after around half an hour to hand over to Steve Parrow, handing Babini a lead which he opened up to more than 20 seconds over Salikhov when the two drivers handed over to Palmer and Siedler respectively for the second hour.

Siedler was able to cut the gap in the middle stint before giving the Ferrari back to Salikhov, while Mul jumped into the Lamborghini for the final third of the race.

There was a lengthy safety car period following a significant crash for the #54 McLaren of Ronnie Valori who slammed into the inside barrier at the entry to the Parabolica at high speed – but the Lamborghini still had a big lead over the second-placed car with plenty of traffic inbetween them and clear air ahead with which to stretch its legs.

The #333 finished second and took the Pro-Am victory, while third was the all-star #1 WRT Audi of Jean-Karl Vernay, Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor – a pleasing result for the latter two after they missed last weekend’s Sprint Series opener due to crash damage.

Vanthoor hauled the car up from fifth to third in the final part of the race, past the Ferraris of Duncan Cameron and Alessandro Bonacini.

Cameron finished fourth in the #51 AF Corse entry he shares with Matt Griffin, ahead of the #7 Bentley of Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane.

The new-generation Audi R8 finished fifth with Frank Stippler, Stephane Ortelli and Nico Muller on driving duties, pushing Bonacini’s Kessel Racing Ferrari (sharing with Michael Lyons and Michael Broniszewski) back to seventh.

The Pro RJN Nissan of Bathurst 12 Hour winners Wolfgang Reip, Katsumasa Chiyo and Alex Buncombe finished eighth in front of the Sainteloc Audi of Edward Sandstrom, Edoardo Mortara and Gregory Guilvert and the #53 AF Corse Ferrari piloted by Piergiuseppe Perazzini, Marco Cioci and Vincente Potolicchio.