The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series completed its third race weekend on 23-25 July 2009, competing at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The world's fastest one-make series succeeded in avoiding the heavy showers, as rounds seven, eight and nine continued to provide thrilling entertainment and strong competition.
As the season reaches its midway point, eight different nationalities have competed in the series, with 19 different drivers claiming podium finishes.
Thursday's qualifying saw Petri Corse's Fabio Babini and Claudio Rossetto secure pole position with Babini setting a fastest time of 2:28.272 early on in the 30-minute session.
Lamborghini München Team Holzer's Maximilian Götz and Achim Winter started from the front row, with a fastest lap of 2:28.957. Despite setting the second fastest time, a decision by the stewards demoted the #24 Reiter Engineering car of Peter Kox and Marc A. Hayek to a third-place start, while Jonathan Cochet's fastest lap of 2:29.750 ensured that the Autovitesse car was fourth.
"I like Spa a lot, as it is long with many different corners, some fast, some slow," said Babini. "I know it very well as I have competed here many times. The Super Trofeo race car is very fast and we set a good time.
"We have different drivers to race against this weekend, and some are running really well. With a complex track like this, the gap between me and Claudio [Rossetto] is bigger, so tomorrow's strategy is very important," added Babini.
At the start, pole-sitter Rossetto took the lead with Hayek in second place, followed by Schoolmaster's Siebrand Dijkstra. Winter struggled as the lights went green and fell back to fifth place.
By the end of the second lap, Frei had climbed from fifth to the front of the field. Team-mate Cochet maintained the position after the driver change, holding onto the lead and starting to pull away until he spun at Rivage and had to retire from the race.
Götz now led the race, pursued by a determined Babini, who was quickly reeling in the #9 Gallardo LP 560-4 derivative. In the closing laps, Babini had reduced the gap to half a second and was looking for a place to pass. Götz defended well despite consistent pressure, and managed to hold-off Babini to cross the finish line first. Babini secured second with Kox recovering from fifth place to finish third.
"It was very crazy," said Götz. "Babini was faster than me in the last part of the race. I was running second until three laps before the end, and then Cochet crashed so I became the leader. Fabio was really pushing hard behind me, so I drove only on the slow, defensive line."
Babini stormed into the lead at the start of round eight, with Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe's Jarek Janis following in second place, while Giorgio Sanna improved his start position by four places to get to third.
Babini continued to pull away from the field before handing over to Rossetto. As the pit window closed, Bonaldi Motorsport's Davide Amaduzzi was running in second place and was charging around the Belgian circuit, attempting to close in on Rossetto. In third, Petri Corse's Giorgio Bartocci was defending from Götz, but was unable to maintain position, with Götz passing on the last lap.
Rossetto secured the win for Petri Corse, the duo's fourth victory of the season, with Amaduzzi second and Götz claiming the last place on the podium.
"I pushed very hard over the first 10 laps to build a big gap that Claudio would be able to defend," said Babini. "This is a great result and I'm very pleased for Petri Corse because it's very important for them to score points."
Making a guest appearance in one of the Automobili Lamborghini race cars for the Spa races, VIP drivers Tim Schrick and Benoît Galand secured the round nine win after starting 11th on the grid. At the start, Rossetto and Götz made contact, which forced the Petri Corse car to return to the pits for repairs.
Götz took the lead and began to create a gap between himself and the following Super Trofeo race cars of Bartocci, Janis and Ferruccio Bellini, who were battling for second place. However, as Götz lapped the circuit for the third time, he spun and hit the barrier, forcing him to retire from the race.
Kox climbed from 12th on the grid to third place, before passing Janis for second, and chasing down Bartocci, attempting to take the lead. Bartocci defended his position, but as the cars passed the pit entrance in the closing minutes of the driver change window, Kox entered while Bartocci stayed on the track. Bartocci pitted a lap later, but the pit-stop window had closed.
Automobili Lamborghini's Tim Schrick emerged from the pits in third place, and soon passed Kox's team-mate Hayek for second, charging after Leonardo Maddelena who had taken over from Bartocci. In the closing laps, Schrick passed the #6 car for the lead but he ran wide at La Source, allowing Maddelena back through. However, the Petri Corse driver spun shortly after and fell back to fourth.
Schrick secured the win with Cochet in second, after charging through the field from seventh at the driver change. Bellini claimed third place, his first Super Trofeo podium, after recovering from an incident in round seven that saw him retire from the race. Maddalena secured fourth, but because he and team-mate Bartocci missed the pit window, they were given a 30-second penalty that demoted them to sixth.
"I was a bit too quick on the accelerator at La Source on the final lap and went sideways," said Schrick. "Maddalena passed me, but at the top of the hill he spun off so I had a bit of luck. At the end it was a fantastic feeling; the Super Trofeo is a great series with great cars."
Manfred Fitzgerald, Director of Brand and Design at Lamborghini, said, "The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo has entertained the crowds with some outstanding racing action in challenging conditions. Spa is a fantastic, world-renowned track and the close racing is testament to the time and effort invested by the drivers and teams. We're looking forward to more of the same at the next round!"
The next Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race weekend takes place at Silverstone, UK, on 15-16 August 2009.
Qualifying results - Amended
1. Babini/Rossetto (#22), Petri Corse 2:28.272
2. Götz/Winter (#9), Lamborghini München Team Holzer 2:28.957
3. Kox/Hayek (#24), Reiter Engineering 2:29.094
4. Frei/Cochet (#11), Autovitesse 2:29.750
5. Dijkstra/Van de Zwaan (#16), Schoolmaster 2:30.529
6. Bellini (#3), Bonaldi Motorsport 2:31.450
7. Janis/Charouz (#77), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 2:31.987
8. Amaduzzi/Amos (#69), Bonaldi Motorsport 2:32.361
9. Sanna/Eckhardt (#1), Automobili Lamborghini 2:32.757
10. Galand/Schrick (#2), Automobili Lamborghini 2:33.200
11. Bartocci/Maddalena (#6), Petri Corse 2:33.697
12. Hommerson/Machiels (#88), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 2:34.416
13. C. Leimer/H. Leimer (#63), Autovitesse 2:35.466
14. Bassetti/De Plano (#66), Petri Corse 2:43.772
Round seven results
1. Winter/Götz (#9), Lamborghini München Team Holzer 42:06.869
2. Babini/Rossetto (#22), Petri Corse 42:07.293
3. Hayek/Kox (#24), Reiter Engineering 42:31.337
4. Dijkstra/van de Zwaan (#16), Schoolmaster 42:33.878
5. Machiels (#88), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 43:01.965
6. Amos/Amaduzzi (#69), Bonaldi Motorsport 43:10.451
7. Sanna/Eckhardt (#1), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A 43:36.460
8. Janis/Charouz (#77), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 43:45.341
9. Galand/Schrick (#2), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A 43:52.860
10. C. Leimer/H. Leimer (#63), Autovitesse 44:05.291
11. Bassetti/de Plano (#66), Lamborghini München Team Holzer 43:28.546
12. Bartocci/Maddalena (#6), Petri Corse 43:44.421
13. Frei/Cochet (#11), Autovitesse 32:02.836
Bellini (#3), Bonaldi Motorsport
Round eight results
1. Babini/Rossetto (#22), Petri Corse 41:55.919
2. Amos/Amaduzzi (#69), Bonaldi Motorsport 42:12.762
3. Winter/Götz (#9), Lamborghini München Team Holzer 42:24.038
4. Bartocci/Maddalena (#6), Petri Corse 42:25.999
5. Bellini (#3), Bonaldi Motorsport 42:42.629
6. Janis/Charouz (#77), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 42:58.077
7. C. Leimer/H. Leimer (#63), Autovitesse 43:28.796
8. Sanna/Eckhardt (#1), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A 43:51.664
9. Bassetti/de Plano (#66), Lamborghini München Team Holzer 42:41.166
10. Hommerson (#88), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 43:02.828
Galand/Schrick (#2), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A
Hayek/Kox (#24), Reiter Engineering
Dijkstra/van de Zwaan (#16), Schoolmaster
Round nine results
1. Galand/Schrick (#2), Automobili Lamborghini 42:14.058
2. Frei/Cochet (#11), Autovitesse 42:26.503
3. Bellini (#3), Bonaldi Motorsport 42:29.191
4. Kox/Hayek (#24), Reiter Engineering 42:38.779
5. Janis/Charouz (#77), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe 42:58.162
6. Bartocci/Maddalena (#6), Petri Corse 42:59.379
7. Dijkstra/Van de Zwaan (#16), Schoolmaster 43:28.535
8. Hommerson/Machiels (#88), Lamborghini Racing Eastern Europe + 1 lap
9. Sanna/Eckhardt (#1), Automobili Lamborghini + 1 lap
10. Bassetti/De Plano (#66), Petri Corse + 3 laps
Babini/Rossetto (#22), Petri Corse
Götz/Winter (#9), Lamborghini München Team Holzer
Amaduzzi/Amos (#69), Bonaldi Motorsport