Thrilling championship climax is matched by announcements of exciting developments for 2013
Cédric Leimer, racing for Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter, was crowned 2012 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo champion after the first race of the weekend by securing sufficient points to open an unassailable lead. Dimitri Enjalbert/Bernard Delhez finished as championship runners up fought to the death by Andrea Amici who led a thrilling race two win from the back of the grid. Leonardo Geraci is the 2012 amateur champion. Autocarrozzeria Imperiale SRL took both the PRO-AM and amateur team titles. Alain Delamuraz, Blancpain’s Vice President and Head of Marketing joined Automobili Lamborghini’s President & CEO, Stephan Winkelmann to present the championship awards this afternoon as part of Blancpain’s continuing support of the series for 2013.
Race 1, Sunday
South African Adrian Zaugg paid no heed to the championship battle as he looked to convert his pole to a race win in the early morning race at the 3.993km Navarra circuit, and he led off the line comfortably, the early casualty being the #69 car of Bernard Delhez that dropped from second to P4 in the early laps. This promoted Cédric Leimer, the champion-elect who decided to run the first stint up into second place, followed by the other remaining championship contender, Imperiale’s Andrea Amici.
Zaugg controlled the first half of the race, pressed by Leimer and Amici up to the pitstop window, but penalized for cutting the pitlane exit line and suffering a drive-through penalty dropped Amici out of podium contention for a period.
After the stops, Julien Piguet picked up the baton from Cédric Leimer and took the fight to Zaugg, while Dimitri Enjalbert fought to keep his championship bid alive, but on lap 22, an unscheduled pitstop for a tyre change didn’t improve his fortunes.
Having showed strongly in qualifying, Mario Fasanetto and guest driver Paolo Necchi delivered one of the strongest #1 VIP car performances of the season, filling the final step of the podium, with Necchi climbing from P6 to third at the flag, with the promise of more to come in the second race.
Adrian Zaugg delivered one of his strongest performances of the year to take a deserved win, and Julien Piguet sealed his team-mate’s championship by finishing in second place. Laurent Jenny and Hervé Leimer finished as top amateurs for Autovitesse Garage R Affolter in fourth place.
Race 2, Sunday
With Andrea Amici excluded from race one results and consigned to the rear of the field, a repeat of race one seemed in prospect when Bonaldi’s Adrian Zaugg led Cédric Leimer away at the start of race two. But a lap 5 incident involving both cars saw their return to the pitlane and into retirement amid heated scenes. Third placed Paolo Necchi took the #1 VIP car into the lead, a position sustained until Andrea Amici, who had climbed from the back of the field, stormed into the lead on lap 16.
Dimitri Enjalbert also overhauled Mario Fasanetto, now at the helm of the #1 VIP car, but a stop-go penalty for Enjalbert further compromised by a slow getaway dropped him to 7th but despite the inevitable frustration, he recovered strongly to finish in third place and score a valuable 12 points. Enjalbert was beaten to the flag by Andrea Amici, taking an impressive win from the back of the grid, followed home by Mario Fasanetto with a second strong performance from the VIP #1 car.
Autovitesse looked to have another strong finish in prospect, with Hervé Leimer running as high as P3 before clashes dropped the Swiss driver to 9th in the closing phase of the race. Mike Edmonds took the amateur honors, finishing in fourth place for Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team UK, closely followed by Aristotelis Varvaroussis who brought Heico-Gravity Charouz home in fifth place.
PRO-AM Champion, Cédric Leimer #63, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter
“I am never 100% satisfied by nature as everybody knows, but when everything is said and done, I am really delighted at how the season has worked out. What I have achieved would be impossible if it wasn’t for the support of Michel (Devernay). This is my fourth season and my second title, which is unbelievable, especially as this season has been a big test, very very difficult and that’s why I wanted to win so much for myself, the team and Michel. The new car we saw today looks amazing, so who knows, maybe we try again in 2013?”
Michel Devernay, Team Manager, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter
“It has been a fantastic season with fantastic drivers and wonderful to win with Cedric. Who would expect that with only four years of racing experience that Cedric would achieve so much? It has been a hugely competitive season but we have a good team and we work hard to constantly learn and improve every race. When you work well as a team, you can do anything.”
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo 2013
Earlier in the day, Stephan Winkelmann, Automobili Lamborghini’s President and CEO set out a bold vision for the ultimate one make series Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo.
Flanked by the company’s Research & Development Director and Head of Lamborghini Motorsport, Maurizio Reggiani, the pair outlined how the series has significantly expanded its grid, inaugurated a successful championship in Asia, provided a fertile environment for guest and VIP immersion in the Lamborghini brand, and had built a significant following through traditional and burgeoning social media.
While summarizing the successes Super Trofeo had recorded over the past twelve months, the press conference in the Atalaya Centre at the Navarra race circuit provided the stage to unveil the series’ 2013 race car, the new Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo.