Leipert Motorsport starts its second season in the Asian Le Mans Series with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2. The team from Wegberg, supported by MOTUL, competes in the works-supported event with a top driver line-up: Gabriel Rindone (I), Brendon Leitch (NZ) and Lamborghini factory driver Marco Mapelli (I). In the previous season, an excellent fourth place overall was achieved with the same driver line-up. At the season opener at the Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), the Leipert-Lamborghini finished a very good fifth in the first race.
Asian Le Mans Series 2023/2024: Five 4-hour races on three race tracks
The 2023/2024 Asian Le Mans Series will feature five 4-hour races on three different circuits. The opening event with two races took place in Sepang (Malaysia). This will be followed by three more 4h races in Dubai (4 February 2024) and Abu Dhabi (10 and 11 February 2024). A total of 39 teams will be on the grid: 11 LMP2, 5 LMP3 and 23 GT3 cars.
Qualifying session with interruptions
As required by the regulations, bronze driver Rindone lined up for qualifying. The two fastest lap times determine the two grid positions for race one on Saturday and race two on Sunday. As the session was interrupted twice by red flags, Rindone was only able to complete two timed laps with sub-optimal tyre temperatures. The result was grid positions 14 and 16 for the races in the 23-strong field of GT3 cars.
Race 1: Strong fightback after collision
At the start, Rindone was hit on the rear by a competitor and dropped to the back of the 39-car field. The trio of drivers then showed an impressive race to catch up. The Leipert-Lamborghini fought its way back into the leading group quickly and without mistakes. When the race had to be stopped 10 minutes before the end after torrential rain, Rindone/Leitch/Mapelli were in fifth place among the GT3 cars, recording a perfect result after a difficult start.
Race 2: Top strategy not rewarded in the end
In the second race, Rindone was again involved in a collision after a good start. A subsequent “drive-through penalty” threw the Lamborghini back to the back of the field. Rindone was able to make up a few positions during his stint so that Leitch took over the Lamborghini in a strong eleventh place at the first mandatory pit stop. With an insane stint, the New Zealander moved up to first position, which he was able to maintain for a longer period of time. It looked as though the trio would be able to take another top spot until the Lamborghini pulled into the pits after 79 laps with a technical problem. As this could not be rectified in the remaining time, the team withdrew the car.
Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:
“An exhausting, but also in parts successful weekend. After the first night marathon for our crew (our sea container was delivered two days later than scheduled due to handling problems at the harbour in Kuala Lumpur), everything went smoothly and we were able to start the training sessions on time. We had a solid pace in the race, even though we were not completely satisfied with the BoP classification of our car compared to the other manufacturers. The result in the first race was very good, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be in the second race and we retired due to an electronics defect. A big compliment to the drivers, who showed strong performances. Our crew also worked perfectly – despite the unusually high temperatures and humidity. We will hopefully have luck on our side again at the next event in Dubai at the beginning of February and want to fight for podium finishes.”
Leipert Motorsport’s next event is already within reach: From 12-14 January 2024, the team from Wegberg will compete in the Creventic 24h race at the Dubai Autodrome with a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 and a Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO2. The Creventic 6h Abu Dhabi (20-21 January 2024) will follow a week later.