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Jun 04, 2023

Victorious start to the Super Trofeo Championship for VSR

European Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Paul Ricard

VSR got off to a winning start in this year’s European Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship, taking Sunday’s pole, an overall win and a Pro-am victory from this weekend’s double header at Paul Ricard. A mega-grid of forty-eight cars assembled for the long awaited season opener. VSR entered a Pro car for the 2021 World Champion Mattia Michelotto and Championship newcomer Gilles Stadsbader, a Pro-Am car for multiple Super Trofeo Champions Andrzej Lewandowski and Loris Spinelli, racing together for the first time, and an Am car for series debutants Giovanni Anapoli and Piero Randazzo.

On Saturday morning an extremely early and extremely competitive qualifying session took place. Out in Q1, which set the grid for Saturday’s race, were Michelotto, Lewandowski and Randazzo. Traffic was an issue for everyone but Michelotto secured a place on the second row, Lewandowski was eleventh fastest in Pro-Am and Randazzo third quickest in Am. At the start Michelotto slipped down to sixth, passed by Schandorff and Pla as the field streamed into the first corner. Lewandowski maintained his position and Randazzo jumped up to second in Am. It took Michelotto just three laps to get back to fourth, overtaking first Moretti and then Pla. The quickest driver on track, he set the fastest lap of the race on lap four as he chased down Schandorff and Zonzini battling for second. On lap five Lewandowski and Randazzo swapped positions and five laps later Michelotto took third from Zonzini just as the pit window opened. The first of the VSR cars to stop was Lewandowski, handing over the Pro-Am car to Spinelli. Randazzo stopped for Anapoli two laps later whilst Michelotto remained out on track. His rapid pace meant that when he did stop just before the pit window closed Stadsbader rejoined in second place, just a handful of seconds behind Au. Despite a group of uncooperative backmarkers it took just three laps for the Belgian youngster to catch Au and pass him for the lead of the race. He quickly pulled out a five second gap to the rest of the field which he maintained until the chequered flag to take victory on his Super Trofeo debut. Behind him Spinelli was on a massive charge. The expert Italian racer broke into the top ten two laps after the pit window closed and ran third in Pro-Am. As the race entered its final five minutes he took second in class and on the final lap caught and passed Au to finish fourth overall and take the Pro-Am victory. Anapoli finished in a fighting fifth place in Am.   

Q2 decided the grid for Sunday morning’s race and Spinelli was the class of the field, setting the pole time just as the chequered flag fell. Stadsbader qualified in twenty-first and Anapoli was seventh fastest in Am. A clean start saw Spinelli getaway in the lead and begin to pull out a gap as both Stadsbader and Anapoli moved up through the field on lap five a Safety Car closed up the pack and racing resumed just three minutes before the pit window opened. Stadsbader pitted immediately for Michelotto and Anapoli followed him, giving the Am car to Randazzo in fourth in class. Spinelli boxed for Lewandowski just as the pit window closed and on the same lap a puncture forced Randazzo to pull over the VSR machine and retire it from the race. As the race entered the final fifteen minutes Michelotto had broken into the top ten and Lewandowski was holding on to first place despite pressure from Pro drivers Moretti and Testa just behind him. The Polish driver held them off for two laps before they found a way past but the fight had allowed the gaggle of Pro cars behind to catch up and in amongst them were the Pro-Am cars of Schandorff, Zonzini and Liberati. Lewandowski looked set to hang on for at least a Pro-Am podium until the cars started their penultimate lap when a wild lunge from Soderstrom tipped him into a spin. Lewandowski stopped the VSR car from rotating completely but in the melee fell down to fourth in Pro-Am. A chaotic final two laps saw Michelotto fight back to fifth overall, taking the flag just three tenths behind fourth placed Bonduel. 

VSR leaves Paul Ricard placed second in both the Pro and Pro-Am standings. The Championship continues at the end of June with a double header at Spa-Francorchamps.