16th September 2018 – European Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship, Nurburgring
Forty-three Lamborghinis, split into four categories, participated in the penultimate round of the Championship at the Nurburgring this weekend. There was an unchanged driver line-up for the VSR Pro car raced by Ortiz and Tujula and for one of the team’s two Pro-Am entries, the number eight car driven by Koller and Liberati. In the second Pro-Am entry Kasai was partnered by MacBeth and local driver Wlazik joined Lewandowski in the Am car.
Wlazik was outstanding in qualifying for Saturday’s race - the German not only took the Am class pole by one and a half seconds but was fifth fastest overall. Ortiz earned a place on row four whilst MacBeth and Koller qualified the Pro-Am cars sixth and eleventh in class. Koller was later forced to reluctantly withdraw from the rest of the weekend due to a back injury. Some confusion at the start of the race saw front row men Spinelli and Altoe lose out to the drivers behind them. In the ensuing melee Wlazik gained two places and ran comfortably in third, outpacing the Pro driver behind him, until the pit window opened. Behind him Ortiz and MacBeth were both making up places but their progress was halted by a one lap safety car period. The track went green again on lap eight and Ortiz was soon up to fifth. A lap later MacBeth hit trouble and was forced to pit from fifteenth just as the pit window opened. He handed over to Kasai who limped home with the damaged Lamborghini to claim two vital points in the Pro-Am classification. On the eleventh tour Ortiz pitted so Tujula could take over the VSR Pro car and a lap later Wlazik ceded the Am class lead to Lewandowski. Tujula continued Ortiz’s good work and was immediately one of the fastest men on track. Running in third he soon ate up the ten second gap to Perez ahead of him and on lap nineteen passed the Colombian as the pair entered the main straight. The race was red-flagged with a handful of minutes left and a penalty picked up by Tujula for his pass on Perez dropped him to third behind Di Narda. Lewandowski took the chequered flag in fourth place, just four seconds off the overall podium and over twenty seconds ahead of the next placed Am.
In qualifying for Sunday’s race it was Liberati who stole the show, parking his VSR Lamborghini on the front row with a fine lap just as the chequered flag fell. His car’s withdrawal moved everyone up one grid spot leaving Kasai on row six, fourth in Pro-Am, with Tujula, thwarted by traffic, just behind him. Lewandowski’s best time was good enough for third in Am. After a fighting opening lap Kasai moved up to ninth with Tujula two spots behind him and after a further two laps Lewandowski was up to second in Am. With overtaking notoriously difficult at the Nurburgring the VSR drivers maintained position, gaining one more place each before the pit window opened when Pull retired. Tujula was the first VSR driver to stop, giving Ortiz a chance to find clear track. A lap later both Kasai and Lewandowski handed their Lamborghinis to MacBeth and Wlazik. Just as the pit window closed Wlazik wrested the Am class lead from Lauck and the two started a duel which would last until almost the end of the race. With ten minutes to go MacBeth and Ortiz were running together in seventh and eighth, closing down on the cars ahead. On lap twenty-two they both overtook Bontempelli, allowing MacBeth to move into second in Pro-Am. With five minutes left the gap to the Pro-Am leader Larsson was five seconds. MacBeth, protected by Ortiz behind him, pushed hard and caught up to the Target Racing car on the last lap but despite his best efforts couldn’t find a way past. He took the chequered flag in sixth, less than half a second behind the Pro-Am winner with Ortiz just behind him in seventh. Wlazik won the Am category, completing a perfect weekend for him and team-mate Lewandowski.
This weekend’s successes leave VSR leading the AM Championship with Lewandowski who has a twenty-four point advantage over Lauck and Scholze. Kasai’s return to the podium keeps him in the hunt for Pro-Am honours, the Japanese driver currently lies third with a nine point deficit to second place and eighteen points to the class leaders. The Championship will conclude in November at Vallelunga which will also host the Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals.