Published on March 12th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in Top Positions During 2016 Blancpain GT Official Test Days at Paul Ricard
Circuit Paul Ricard hosted the Official Test Days preceding the start of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series, a season that promises to be more competitive than ever: 11 manufacturers; a record-breaking 38 cars for the opening round of the Sprint Cup at Misano Adriatico (8-10 April); and a stunning 57-car grid for the first round of the Endurance Cup in Monza, on April 23 to 24.
During the two days of testing at Le Castellet, over 50 GT cars took on the 5.7 km racetrack during four practice sessions at Paul Ricard, totaling 14 hours of track time in which to hone the cars’ development in advance of the championship’s imminent start.
Five Lamborghini Squadra Corse customer teams attended the test, fielding a total of eight Huracán GT3s: Attempto Racing, Barwell Motorsport, Grasser Racing Team, ARC Bratislava and Autovitesse. Over the two days, all teams achieved excellent results in terms of lap times: so much so, that in the last of the sessions the N. 78 Barwell Motorsport Huracán GT3, with Lamborghini Squadra Corse official test driver Marco Mapelli behind the wheel, set the reference for the two days with a lap time of 1’56”602.
There were excellent results too for Grasser Racing Team: car N. 63 led by Luca Stolz and Michele Beretta, both members of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program, clocked the third fastest time in the second and third sessions. The second car fielded by Grasser Racing Team also achieved a positive result, with N. 19 in the hands of Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti and Jeroen Bleekemolen, who ended the fourth practice session in second place with a lap time of 1’56”675.
Attempto Racing, which fielded two Huracán GT3s at Paul Ricard, concentrated on finding consistent endurance race performance, undertaking long stints to focus on the reliability of the car. Overall Attempto covered about 1800 km, still gaining good lap times, with its car N. 100 in eighth place in the fourth practice session. At its wheel were new members of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program: Patric Niederhauser and Daniel Zampieri and in Attempto’s N. 101 car, in addition to the Lamborghini GT3 factory driver Fabio Babini, were Max Van Splunteren and Jeroen Mul.
It was first time out in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 for ARC Bratislava and Autovitesse, taking part respectively in the Blancpain Endurance Cup and the Blancpain Sprint Cup in AM class. Both teams were satisfied with their results, as well as the reliability and easy-to-drive feeling of the Lamborghini.
Also pleased with these early tests was Giorgio Sanna, Head of Lamborghini Motorsport: “These tests at Paul Ricard officially kick off the European season of GT races, which this year are more competitive than ever. There’s a very professional approach by the customer teams participating in the Blancpain GT Series championships, Endurance and Sprint Cup, in three categories: Pro, Pro-AM and AM. I’m sure we will be among the protagonists.”
In the same period, Suzuka racetrack hosted two test days for the imminent start of the GT season in Japan. Direction Racing and JLOC, customer team of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, tested the performance of the Huracán GT3 that this season will take part in the prestigious Japanese SuperGT championship, in the GT300 class. Both Lamborghinis were the fastest on track during the two days, with a best lap time marked by Lamborghini GT3 factory driver Adrian Zaugg, who will compete this year for the Direction Racing team.