17th November, 2017 – Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe, Imola
Victory in race one and a podium in race two was enough to seal the European Lamborghini Pro-Am Super Trofeo Championship for Christopher Dreyspring and JiaTong Liang at Imola. The first race of the day saw VSR win the Pro, Pro-Am and Am categories with Abbate-Nemoto, Dreyspring-Liang and Lewandowski-Myszkowski all claiming victories.
Imola hosted the sixth and final round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship this week. VSR ran a fourth car for the event with Costa-Liberati joining Abbate-Nemoto in the Pro Category whilst season regulars Dreyspring-Liang ran in Pro-Am and Lewandowski-Myszkowski in Am. After testing early in the week was blighted by unseasonal snow the action got underway in earnest yesterday with two sessions of free practice followed by qualifying.
Nemoto, Liberati, Dreyspring and Lewandowski took to the track for Q1 which proved to be an extremely tight session. With five minutes to go Nemoto went fastest of the thirty five cars on track and remained in P1 until a last gasp effort from Postiglione took the pole away. Liberati qualified on the second row, just 0.1 seconds off third. A super-fast Dreyspring claimed the Pro-Am pole after qualifying on row three and Lewandowski took the third Am pole of the year for the Polish pairing. Nemoto was immediately on the attack when the lights went green at the start of race one, drawing alongside Postiglione as the field raced into Tosa and again at Acqua Minerale before slicing decisively down the inside of the Italian at Piratella. Two laps later Postiglione pulled into the pits with a puncture leaving Nemoto to edge away from Spinelli who had the VSR car of Liberati hot on his heels. A brief safety car intervention closed the field up again but when racing went green Nemoto pulled away again. Liberati got involved in a scrap with Kujala and Jeffries for third and behind them Dreyspring took advantage to steal fifth place from Jeffries. On lap eleven the pit window opened and three of the four VSR cars entered pit lane immediately – Liberati handing over to Costa, Dreyspring to Liang and Lewandowski passed the Am lead to Myszkowski. A lap later Nemoto ducked in and Abbate took over the lead of the race. Spinelli opted to stay out for a further two laps and his team-mate Grenier exited the pits two seconds behind Abbate who pushed hard and soon increased the gap to a comfortable four seconds. Behind him Costa, the fastest man on track in the second half of the race, passed Antinucci to reclaim third and began closing on Grenier. Costa reduced the gap by eight seconds in eight laps and was right behind Grenier when the race was red-flagged. Abbate-Nemoto were declared overall winners moving into second place in the Pro Championship. Costa-Liberati finished third overall and Dreyspring-Liang won Pro-Am extending their Championship lead to eleven points over Galbiati. Am Championships Lewandowski-Myszkowski made it a clean sweep for VSR by winning their category as well after coming out on top after a race long battle with Giannoni.
Qualifying for race two was ridiculously close with the top four covered by just 0.15 seconds. Costa set the fastest lap with ten minutes to go but as the clock counted down Grenier found a clear lap and shaved 0.094 seconds off his time to snatch the pole. As the flag came out and Costa lost time in traffic Breukers moved ahead him with a lap just 0.02 seconds better. Behind the fiercely competitive top four was Abbate in 7th, Liang in 11th (2nd in Pro-Am) and Lewandowski 13th (2nd in Am). Costa lost no time getting to the front of the field when the lights went green. As the pack charged down to the first corner he drew alongside Breukers and was into second before the first corner. He harried Grenier for several laps before passing him decisively and taking the lead of the race. But luck was not on the Brazilian’s side and a broken suspension forced him to retire as he was making the race his own. Abbate, who had passed Cecotto at the start, was fourth, chasing Cecotto when the Safety Car came out for four laps. When racing resumed the pit window opened and Abbate stopped immediately to hand over to Nemoto. Myszkowski and Liang, who had been pushed down the order at the start followed him in and Lewandowski and Dreyspring took over in 15th and 19th places overall. On lap eighteen Nemoto, battling with the leading group, finished his race in the gravel, and the safety car rejoined the track. Racing resumed with just seven minutes left. Lewandowski and Dreyspring, who had made it up to 9th and 10th, swapped places and Dreyspring set about picking off the Pro-Am cars ahead of him, intent on ending the European season with another class podium. On the last lap he passed Still to finish 3rd, claiming the Pro-Am Championship for himself and Liang. Lewandowski took the flag 9th overall, 2nd in Am, completing a season that never saw himself and Myszkowski finish off the podium.
The Lamborghini action continues tomorrow and Sunday with the World Final races.