Blancpain Reiter Engineering’s Marc A. Hayek and Peter Kox claimed two victories and a second-place finish at the first round of the 2010 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo season at Hockenheim, Germany, on 23-25 April 2010. The duo was joined on the podium by Pro-Am drivers Eugenio Amos in the #69 Touringauto entry and Bonaldi Motorsport’s Ferruccio Bellini in the #3, who both secured three podium finishes during the weekend.
Former Grand Prix driver and BBC commentator Martin Brundle made his Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo debut at the German track, accompanied in the #2 Automobili Lamborghini VIP race car by his 19-year-old son Alex. The pair claimed two fourth-place finishes in rounds two and three after a collision in the first race forced the Brundles into early retirement.
Also competing this weekend was Sebastian Asch, son of German DTM legend Roland Asch, who got behind-the-wheel of the #1 Automobili Lamborghini VIP race car. Asch put in consistent drives to claim fourth, seventh and sixth-place finishes with team-mate Mario Fasanetto, while father Roland supported his son from the pit wall.
The new Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo season has attracted new teams Touringauto, Black Bull Swiss Racing, MIK Corse and Charouz-Gravity Racing to the world’s fastest one-make series. Also joining the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo family this season are new drivers Giovanni Berton, Jan Urban and Jan Stovicek.
At the first race weekend of the season, Black Bull Swiss Racing’s Mirko Venturi put the #23 car on pole position, having set a fastest lap time of 1:43.209 around the German circuit. Fabio Babini set a fastest lap time of 1:43.941 to put the #22 MIK Corse entry alongside on the front row. The #24 Blancpain Reiter Engineering car started from the second row after Kox set the third fastest lap time of 1:44.083 with the #88 Charouz-Gravity Racing Super Trofeo driven by Jarek Janis and Stovicek completing row two.
The #1 Automobili Lamborghini VIP car started on the third row of the grid after Sebastian Asch set a fastest lap of 1:44.400. Lacko qualified the #99 alongside, while M. Brundle set the ninth fastest lap time of 1:45.301.
After his first Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo outing, M. Brundle commented: “The car is very fast and great fun, although it will be a challenge for both Alex and I; especially for Alex, as he’s never driven a car like this before. Racing with 570 hp in a car that weighs just 1330 kg will be a vertical learning curve for him but extremely exciting.”
At the start, Giorgio Bartocci took the lead behind-the-wheel of the #22 while Venturi’s team-mate and pole-sitter Invernizzi in the #23 Black Bull Swiss Racing car slipped back to third place. Hayek in the #24 climbed to second, while a collision between the #77 Charouz-Gravity Racing entry, piloted by Urban, and the #2 Automobili Lamborghini VIP car of A. Brundle forced both cars into early retirement.
Touringauto driver Amos made a strong start from 10th on the grid, improving his position by four places on lap 1, and while Fasanetto in the #1 Automobili Lamborghini VIP car put pressure on the #23, Amos took advantage and passed both to move up to third.
Current leader, the #22 suffered a puncture, allowing the #24 to take the lead, but after the mandatory pit stop the Blancpain Reiter Engineering car was issued with a drive-through penalty placing Amos in the lead. Amos maintained his position to claim his first Super Trofeo victory, followed by Kox behind-the wheel of the #24, with lone Pro-Am driver Bellini in the #3 Bonaldi Motorsport entry third. By the chequered flag Asch, who took over from team-mate Fasanetto, had managed to pass the #23 to finish fourth, making him the highest-placing Super Trofeo rookie.
“It was a fantastic race!” said Amos, who is Sales Manager for Lamborghini Centro Milano. “At the beginning I was trying to push as fast as I could, but after the first three or four laps of chasing the #22 MIK Corse for the lead, I couldn’t keep up with the pace. Then Bartocci made a mistake and I managed to overtake.”
Amos started from pole in race two, but fell back to third during the first lap, allowing the #24 Blancpain Reiter Engineering car to take the lead, with the #1 Automobili Lamborghini VIP entry second.
Having started 13th, M. Brundle drove the #2 Automobili Lamborghini VIP car through the field, gaining six positions by lap 10, when he pitted to hand over the wheel to his team-mate. A. Brundle then continued his father’s charge, climbing to secure a strong fourth place.
Ahead, Hayek in the #24 Super Trofeo race car maintained the lead to claim the chequered flag ahead of Amos in second, while Bellini completed the podium.
“The car’s performance is fantastic,” said Kox. “Reiter Engineering have done a fantastic job. You should always have a goal in everything you do, and for us, our aim is the series title, so we’ve made a promising start.”
From pole, the #24 Blancpain Reiter Engineering car charged off the start line to take the lead followed by Amos and M. Brundle in the #2. M. Brundle slipped back to fourth on the second lap when he was passed by Venturi in the #23, and soon felt the pressure from Babini in the #22, who was running in fifth.
The pair continued to battle for six laps before the #22 car went wide, and rejoined the pack in sixth place. M. Brundle senior entered the pits on lap 13 and handed the wheel over to A. Brundle. Back on track, A. Brundle began gaining on the #22 which had managed to get ahead during the pit stops, but spun the #2 Automobili Lamborghini VIP car. He rejoined the race in sixth place, and managed to climb back up to fourth before the chequered flag.
Kox’s team-mate Hayek crossed the finish line first to claim their second win of the day, with Amos second and Italian Bellini securing third place, his third of the weekend. Babini’s team-mate Bartocci claimed fifth in the #22 MIK Corse behind A. Brundle, with Asch securing sixth for Automobili Lamborghini.
“We’ve had an amazing first weekend,” said Marc A. Hayek, Pro-Am driver of the #24, and President and CEO of Blancpain. “We had to work very hard: we knew that the competition was tough last year, but with the new teams and drivers the grid is extremely strong.”
“As title sponsor of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, we are proud to be involved with a series that’s so competitive, which you can clearly see in the races,” continued Hayek. “We’ve received fantastic feedback, and this year we have some great events planned, so we’re looking forward to a very exciting season ahead.”
The next Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race weekend takes place at Brno, Czech Republic on 21-23 May 2010, partnering the newly-formed FIA GT1 World Championship.