Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at Spa Francorchamps

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Photography by: Lamborghini
Leonardo Geraci Spa Francorchamps, Belgium 2012
Leonardo Geraci Spa Francorchamps, Belgium 2012 Source Lamborghini
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Leonardo Geraci Spa Francorchamps, Belgium 2012 Andrea Amici on the top step of the podium Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Spa Francorcham Jean-Michel Martin VIP car #1 Spa Francorchamps Dimitri Enjalbert #69 overhauls Leonardo Geraci 22 1 VIP car of Jean-Michel Martin/Giorgio Sanna
Bernard Delhez (BEL) hands over Dimitri Enjalbert

The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at Spa Francorchamps this weekend for rounds seven and eight of the 2012 European series.

Qualifying, Friday 27 July 2012

The Touring Auto 2000 S.R.L. team was back on top in qualifying today at Spa-Francorchamps as Dimitri Enjalbert secured pole position for round seven of the 2012 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo. The French driver set his fastest lap early in the session and none of the other drivers was able to match his time of 2:25.909.

Adrian Zaugg, back in action after a crash at Paul Ricard kept him sidelined for the second race of the weekend, was second fastest. The South African finished the session seven tenths of a second behind Enjalbert. Third fastest was Andrea Amici. Amici had two fastest lap times disallowed for running beyond the track limits, but then managed to clock a 2:27.026 laptime.

Race 1, Friday 27 July 2012

Bernard Delhez started from pole position in round seven of the 2012 season, but before the end of the first lap Cédric Leimer, who had started from fourth place, had already overtaken him to take the lead.  Starting on the front row of the grid, Adrian Zaugg made a poor start and dropped down to fourth place, but the South African quickly recovered and by lap 4 he had retrieved second position. Leimer and Zaugg began to pull away from the rest of the field, as Delhez, Andrea Amici and Leonardo Geraci became engaged in a battle for third.

As the pit window opened, Delhez opted to pit early, while Zaugg and Leimer covered each other and chose to run long, staying out until lap 11. While the pitlane was busy, out on the track Zaugg took advantage of a slow lap by Leimer. The Bonaldi Motorsport driver took the lead on lap nine and two laps later, when both he and Leimer emerged from the pitlane, he had extended his lead to over three seconds.

Laurent Jenny missed the pitstop window by 39s and suffered a stop/go penalty, but when all the teams had completed their stops, Zaugg held the lead with a hard-charging Leimer behind. While the two leading cars were engaged in their own battle, Andrea Amici and Dimitri Enjalbert were fighting for third place. Enjalbert kept pushing and soon passed Amici, but he clearly had higher ambitions. With seven minutes of the race to run, Enjalbert had closed the gap to ten seconds behind race leader Zaugg and to within five seconds of Cédric Leimer.  With a three-way shoot out for the win in prospect, Zaugg suddenly slowed with a fuel pressure problem and both Leimer and Enjalbert were able to close down his advantage. On lap 18, Enjalbert overtook both Leimer and Zaugg for the lead, while the ailing Zaugg dropped even further down the order.

Leonardo Geraci (ITA), the first amateur home and 7th overall Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at Spa Francorchamps  2012

As Enjalbert started his final lap, the heat and humidity broke as rain began to fall, but fortunately the weather came too late to affect the outcome and after 20 laps, the Frenchman crossed the line to take the win. Leimer finished in second position, five seconds behind Enjalbert. Andrea Amici inherited third place, and erstwhile leader Adrian Zaugg eventually finished in sixth place. The best placed amateur driver was Leonardo Geraci, who finished fourth overall, while Spa debutant Roberto Tanca was the second amateur home in seventh overall.

Jean-Michel Martin, #1

I am very pleased as I had a big fight throughout my stint with everyone around me, but we dropped a lot of time during our driver change as we had to alter the tyre pressures. We lost maybe half a minute, so we went into the stop in p7 or so and when Giorgio took over the car, he came out in tenth. This was a bit frustrating as we have a good partnership as drivers and we are evenly matched, so we should have finished higher up.

Dimitri Enjalbert #69

“I saw that near Raidillon Adrian Zaugg was slowing, I didn’t know he had a problem, but Cedric was right behind him and was being held up. It gave me the opportunity, and while they were both braking, I accelerated past them. Then I had to hold onto the lead that I had earnt and managed at least one purple sector. But it wasn’t finished as the rain came and I had to make sure to get the car home. I am really happy and proud of Bernard who did a great job today.”

Bernard Delhez, #69

“Super Trofeo is a very good series for an amateur driver, allowing us to work alongside a professional driver and respecting how an amateur can develop by working in a single make series where the focus is on the driver improving. It is helping me to progress my racing working alongside Dimitri, and it is not just inside the car. Every race we arrive early to prepare, to discuss in detail, to run round the track together so Dimitri can give me his advice. And then in the race Dimitri is often on the radio, coaching me. I think we are a great partnership working together and winning is important, but it is much more important that we are improving as a team.”

The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at Spa Francorchamps this weekend for rounds seven and eight of the 2012 European series. Following Dimitri Enjalbert & Bernard Delhez’s victory in the scorching heat yesterday, late night thunderstorms changed the complexion of the Spa Francorchamps circuit to intermittent rain and a wet track for the second race of the weekend this morning.

Race 2, Saturday 28 July 2012

Andrea Amici on the top step of the podium following race 2 of Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at Spa Francorchamps

The second race of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo at Spa-Francorchamps got underway behind the safety car today as the track was still wet after last night’s heavy rain. Touring Auto 2000 S.R.L.'s Bernard Delhez started from pole position, with Cédric Leimer sharing the front row of the grid in second place.

After one lap, the safety car pulled in and the cars headed down towards the La Source hairpin at racing speed for the first time. Into La Source, Leimer managed to overtake Delhez and with it, he took the race lead. Behind the leaders, Heico-Gravity-Charouz-Team's Jan Urban crashed heavily into the tyre barriers just before La Source, but emerged unscathed from his ordeal. Andrea Amici was the next driver to make his way past Delhez, as the Italian claimed second on the Kemmel straight and set about closing down Leimer. In the event, he passed the Swiss driver for the lead on lap 2, and as Amici went forward, the poleman Delhez dropped out of the top 3.

After a good showing yesterday and finishing second in the amateur category, Roberto Tanca encountered problems early in the race. On lap 3, he was forced to stop off the track, but managed to recover for a short period before engine management problems forced his retirement after just four laps.

Six laps into the race, the pit window opened. Guest driver Jean-Michel Martin and Delhez pitted early. Martin, who had started from eleventh on the grid had made it up to eighth by the time he made his stop and was full of enthusiasm not just for the Gallardo, but also the hard but sporting nature of the on-track competition. Delhez had dropped from first to ninth. Second-placed Leimer opted to run a little longer, while Amici at the front of the field added an extra lap before his stop, in a bid to open a gap over the pursuing field.

Dimitri Enjalbert #69 overhauls Leonardo Geraci #20 & Alberto Cola, #22 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is at Spa Francorchamps  2012

Meanwhile out on the track Dimitri Enjalbert, frustrated after a slow pit stop after a problem with a wheel change, started to record a string of purple sector times. The French driver rejoined in 14th position and by lap 10 he had already climbed to ninth. One lap later, Enjalbert had gained another three positions and was challenging Leonardo Geraci for fifth. In the #1 VIP car, Jean-Michel Martin’s team-mate, Giorgio Sanna, was also making up places and ran as high as P4, but at the head of the field, Andrea Amici was still over half a minute ahead of his nearest rival.

In the closing laps of the race, it was Adrian Zaugg and Leimer who started to record fast lap times, making their way up the order. Leimer quickly closed the gap to Alberto Cola in P2 and after flashing his lights to show he was there, the Swiss driver passed Cola and claimed second position. Enjalbert quickly caught both Sanna and Cola and before the end of the 16th lap, the #69 car was back in third place, having advanced a remarkable 11 places in the second stint. Leimer ran out of time though to catch Amici and after 18 laps Amici was the first to cross the line. Leimer finished in second place, just five seconds behind Amici. Enjalbert finished in third place, only half a second ahead of Zaugg, whose efforts and fastest lap time were not rewarded with a podium finish.

Leonardi Geraci finished fifth overall and best in the amateur class. Petr Charouz and Aristotelis Varvaroussis took second in the amateur class, after starting from the back of the grid, and Jerome Lhoste and Philippe Barou took third in class. Cédric Leimer leads the PRO-AM classification with 91 points and Leonardo Geraci heads the Amateur (AM) classification with 112 points.

Jean-Michel Martin, #1, 6th place

It was a tough start to the race in the mixed conditions, trying to find grip on the wet track. With varying surface conditions, it made it tough to pick your location to overtake safely. I kept pressing the car ahead and finally the pressure paid off and I started to make up places. With all the cars the same, it becomes clear that the driver is the important factor, but I have to say the drivers race cleanly and fairly. It was a real pleasure to drive the car and race with Giorgio, a very positive experience. At first the Gallardo seems quite intimidating, but it is a great car to drive, very consistent and I still find the braking experience amazing! I must thank Giorgio and Lamborghini for inviting me to take up this challenge this weekend.

Andrea Amici, #54, 1st place

“It was a fantastic race to finish a great weekend. I started well and I was up to second place on the first lap, and then on the second lap, I passed Leimer for the lead. My next task was to to open up a gap. Then in the calm of the pitstop, I had a good think about the best way to preserve my lead and it was fortunate that I like racing in the rain most of all. It all went to plan in the second half of the race, and I must thank the team (Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L.) for a perfect job today.”

Cédric Leimer, #63, 2nd place

“The race was tricky today in the changing conditions. I saw that Andrea Amici was very quick and it made me consider which tyre he was using, but without radio communication, I had no real way of driving tactically. In the end, he caught me quicker than I expected, but it was good to finish in second place. ”

Dimitri Enjalbert, #69, 3rd place

“Okay, third is not bad, but it should have been better for us today. We had a problem in the pitstop with a wheel change, and I think this cost us the possibility of winning and in a way, this wasted all the good work we had done over the weekend to get to this position.”

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