Super sport cars from all over the world travelled to the county of Northamptonshire, Great Britain for the weekend where the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series took place at Silverstone Circuit.
Grasser Racing Team (AUT) is contesting the endurance series with two newly developed Lamborghini Huracán GT3 this season, officially supported by the factory.
Drivers Giovanni Venturini, Adrian Zaugg and Mirko Bortolotti share the Huracán #63. Andrew Palmer, Fabio Babini and Jeroen Mul are taking turns at the wheel of the sister car #19. Both cars contest the highly-competitive PRO Cup.
The free practice session and the pre-qualifying at the 5.831-km track on Saturday saw good and dry conditions.
The two cars were not able to achieve optimal results in the three qualifying sessions on Sunday due to the reduced engine power in compliance with the regulations. The Lamborghini #63 claimed P6 in the overall ranking while the second vehicle only took 32nd after an early retirement from the qualifying following a collision.
The start of the race on Sunday afternoon with a field of 60 cars went without any noticeable incidents. Having started from P6, Bortolotti gained a place right away, overtook a Nissan shortly before the end of his stint and handed the Lamborghini over to Venturini after one hour of the race. Venturini was involved in several exciting battles among the top group. However, he was outpaced again and again on the straight due to a lack of power. The third driver at the wheel of the car, Zaugg, also put in a great performance, although he was passed by noticeably faster cars shortly before the end. The South African took the chequered flag eighth.
Their team-mate Palmer at the wheel of the second Huracán gained several places after the start, coming into the pits in P25 for the driver change to Babini. Fabio Babini continued to put the drivers ahead of him under pressure during his strong stint, gaining a few places. Jeroen Mul did his best to push forward in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3, driving across the finish line in P17 after an exciting pursuit.
Team Principal Gottfried Grasser: “After the strong season opener at Monza, the goal for the team was another podium finish and more points in the championship. However, following several amendments based on the BoP (Balance of Performance) achieving our goal proved to be quite difficult. We received a smaller refuelling restrictor from the organiser. As a result we lost 7 seconds during the refuelling of each car. And the additional engine restrictor reduced our speed on the straight. We were not able to even pass lapped cars. Despite all of this we took eighth place which won us important points thanks to the great job by the drivers and the team. The guys in cars #19 showed a furious pursuit, considering the conditions. During the three-hour race they pushed forward from their start position 32 to P17. They could have achieved an even better result.
We probably had a slight advantage in the PoB classification at Monza. At Silverstone it was too strict. A solution in between would be optimal. The correct classification of a new car is not easy for sure, but I am confident that this will be resolved quickly.”
The team will contest their next race at the ADAC GT Masters weekend at Red Bull Ring in two weeks time.
Source: Grasser Racing Team/Photos: Sportscar Racing News/John Patterson