Lamborghini’s Triumph in Italian GT Sprint at Imola

Lamborghini, the iconic Italian sports car manufacturer, recently showcased its prowess on the racing circuit with an impressive performance at Imola, capping off the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup season in style.

While they secured two thrilling victories, Lamborghini’s triumph was tinged with bittersweet disappointment as they narrowly missed out on the championship title by the slimmest of margins, tying in points with BMW’s formidable duo of Jens Klingmann and Bruno Spengler.

VS Racing Dominance

The final weekend of the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup witnessed the absolute dominance of VS Racing, Lamborghini’s racing team. The #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2, piloted by Baptiste Moulin and Mateo Llarena, set the tone for VS Racing’s success by clinching victory in the first of two intense one-hour races on Saturday. Subsequently, the #63 car, driven by Mattia Michelotto and Edoardo Liberati, charged to a resounding victory in the second race.

Lamborghini's Triumph in Italian GT Sprint at Imola

Michelotto and Liberati entered the weekend with a five-point deficit in the championship standings. In the first race, they finished second on the road but incurred a 25-second penalty for contact with a rival BMW, which ultimately dropped them to the 11th position. Despite their heroic victory in the second race, it was not enough to wrest the championship title away from Klingmann and Spengler, who secured the crown due to their superior record of fourth-place finishes.

Am and Pro-Am Triumph

However, amidst the heartbreak of narrowly missing out on the overall championship, Lamborghini found reason to celebrate in the Am and Pro-Am classes. Massimo Ciglia and Giuseppe Fascicolo, representing Lamborghini, claimed a pair of race wins, securing the Am title. Meanwhile, Dmitriy Gvazava and Phillippe Denes, racing for Imperiale Racing, clinched the Pro-Am title.

On the race day, Liberati, starting from pole position, executed a brilliant getaway at the rolling start, taking the lead into Tamburello on the opening lap. Behind him, Moulin held onto the third position, while Artem Petrov in the #60 car gained two places from his starting position of sixth on the grid.

Liberati skillfully maintained the lead during his stint, keeping the BMW of Jens Klingmann at bay until the mandatory driver-change pit stops. As Liberati handed over the car to Michelotto with 20 minutes remaining, the #63 car managed to maintain track position ahead of the BMW.

Changing Fortunes

Michelotto initially rejoined in front of the BMW but slipped behind as the race approached its conclusion. Both cars were overtaken by the sister VSR Lamborghinis, with Mateo Llarena taking the lead in the #19 car, ahead of the #60 car driven by Riccardo Cazzaniga.

The battle for third place heated up as Michelotto attempted to pull alongside the BMW, but an incident forced him onto the grass. The situation escalated when Michelotto misjudged an overtake at Tosa, making contact with the BMW and sending it into the gravel. This incident resulted in a 25-second post-race penalty for the #63 car, relegating it to 11th place at the finish line.

Lamborghini's Triumph in Italian GT Sprint at Imola

In contrast, Llarena faced no such issues and steered the #19 car to its first victory of the season. The Imperiale Racing Lamborghini, driven by Philippe Denes and Dmitriy Gvazava, managed to overtake Cazzaniga’s #60 car late in the race, securing the final step on the podium and ensuring a Lamborghini sweep of the top three positions.

The Championship Battle Continues

With neither of the two championship contenders earning points on Saturday, the drivers’ standings remained unchanged as they headed into the final race of the season on Sunday. Michelotto and Liberati, still trailing the BMW by five points, faced a challenging qualifying session but quickly gained ground during the race. An early safety car period and a strong start allowed Michelotto to move up to seventh place within the opening 10 minutes.

A collision between a Mercedes and a Ferrari after the restart presented Michelotto with the opportunity to gain two more positions. The #63 car then surged into the podium positions, overtaking the Imperiale Racing Lamborghini of Phillippe Denes and Spengler’s BMW.

Lamborghini's Triumph in Italian GT Sprint at Imola

Eventually, Michelotto moved into second place, leading the sister VSR car of Cazzaniga. By the end of the pit window, with Liberati now behind the wheel, the #63 car had taken the lead after passing the Iron Lynx of Claudio Schiavoni. Unfortunately, a late safety car period meant that the race concluded under yellow flags, resulting in the BMW crew being crowned champions on countback.

Conclusion

Lamborghini’s performance at Imola was nothing short of spectacular, showcasing their racing pedigree and determination. While they narrowly missed out on the championship title, their victories in the Am and Pro-Am classes provided ample reason for celebration. The Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup season may have concluded, but the legacy of Lamborghini’s impressive performance on the track will endure, leaving fans eagerly anticipating their return to the racing circuit in the future.

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