Spinelli/Weering take dominant victory
Johan Kraan Motorsports’ Max Weering and Loris Spinelli claimed a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the opening Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe race of the weekend at the Nürburgring. The #61 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo led from pole position thanks to a quite brilliant first stint from Spinelli, with Weering moving firmly back into title contention after maintaining the advantage after the mandatory pit-stop cycle.
Ordinarily a solo driver in the Pro category, Weering is partnered by the vastly experienced Spinelli who stormed to pole position in the morning qualifying session by nearly half a second. The Italian capitalised from a strong getaway from the rolling start to lead into the first corner, as fellow front-row starter Glenn van Berlo (#41 Target Racing) maintained his second position from Bonaldi Motorsport’s Milan Teekens.
Further back there was jostling between Oregon Team’s Leonardo Pulcini and 2019 Super Trofeo Europe champion Danny Kroes (#33 Bonaldi Motorsport), with Kroes diving down the inside of Pulcini at Turn 4 to claim fourth place. That battle raged on for much of the opening stint of the 50-minute race, with Pulcini launching an attacking on the inside of Turn 1 on Kroes, forcing both to run deep. That allowed the #2 Leipert Motorsport entry of Seb Morris – making his first Super Trofeo appearance since Silverstone in 2017 – to grab the pair on exit and move up to fourth. Pulcini stayed ahead of Kroes but the Dutchman repeated his Turn 4 exploits to reclaim the place.
Meanwhile, Spinelli had extended his margin over van Berlo at the front to nearly six seconds approaching the mandatory pit-stop window, which subsequently became eight seconds by the time the leader pitted with just 20 minutes remaining. Spinelli swapped with Weering, who maintained a healthy lead over van Berlo’s team-mate Raúl Guzman. The latter had superior pace in the second stint and carved chunks out of Weering’s advantage as the laps wore on. The margin came down to just over three seconds by the final lap, but Guzman fell back slightly as he encountered lapped traffic towards the end of the lap. Weering and Spinelli’s winning gap was therefore 5.4 seconds at the flag.
Weering’s second triumph of the season carries with it points standings permutations as Pulcini and Kevin Gilardoni could only manage fourth place at the finish, just behind the Teekens/Maxime Oosten Bonaldi Motorsport car. Pulcini handed over to Gilardoni at the pit-stops and last year’s vice-champion mounted a serious assault on Oosten entering the closing stages. Gilardoni ducked and dived for a way past Oosten in an attempt to wrestle the final podium position from the Dutchman but Oosten held on by three-tenths of a second. Just off the podium came Kroes and team-mate Daan Pijl, while Morris and his team-mate Sebastian Balthasar were fifth following a pit-stop time infringement penalty.
In the Pro-Am class, Andrea Cola and Dmitry Gvazava (#99 Target Racing) scored their second class victory of the season with a superb drive to seventh overall. The pairing started from pole and held their advantage throughout the opening stint with Cola handing over to Gvazava at the stops. The Russian brought the car home ahead of the Pro category GSM Racing car of Kevin Rossel, driving solo as regular partner Jonathan Cecotto competes in Italian GT at Imola.
Second in Pro-Am came the #16 VS Racing entry of Andrzej Lewandowski and Edoardo Liberati produced arguably the drive of the day as they battled their way back from a mechanical problem in qualifying which left them starting from the last row of the grid. Liberati started the race and was up to third in class by the time he handed over to Lewandowski, with the Polish driver maintaining that position until the end.
Target Racing also celebrated victory in the Am class as Miguel Ramos completed a comfortable performance to beat Boutsen Ginion’s Huilin Han by a fraction over 15 seconds. Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS regular Ramos and his teammate Adrian Amstutz led from pole and finished a highly respectable 14th overall. Class points leader Claude-Yves Gosselin was a non-starter, which could have had serious implications for his title aspirations. But the absence of Leipert Motorsport’s Ray Calvin and the equally non-starter Gabriel Rindone, means that Gosselin maintains his points lead heading into Race 2.
In the Lamborghini Cup class, Gerard van der Horst picked up the win in his self-run #98 Huracán Super Trofeo Evo, helped in part by a five-second penalty for Rexal FFF Racing Team’s Donovan and Luciano Priviltelio. The Privitelio car had led the early going from van der Horst and François Semoulin but dropped behind after the pit-stops. Micanek Motorsport’s Libor Dvoracek completed the podium in third despite serving a 0.5s pit-stop time penalty.