Difficult weekend with race cancellation on the Ardennes rollercoaster at Spa

14. May 2024

Leipert Motorsport competed with two Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO 2 cars at the second event of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe (LSTE) on the traditional circuit of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). The team from Wegberg, supported by MOTUL, had a tough race weekend in the Ardennes. The race pace was very good, but due to unfortunate sequences of events, the performance was not reflected in the corresponding placings. The Germans Sebastian Balthasar/Jacob Riegel missed out on podium places in the Pro classification. The pairing of Nathan Herne (AUS)/Tim Stender (GER) also narrowly missed out on a place among the top three in the Pro-Am class.

With 52 Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO 2 cars, the starting grid in Belgium was once again huge. There were numerous interruptions and stops after red flags during the practice sessions. This also affected the Leipert drivers. The car of Balthasar/Riegel also had an accident in the first free practice session. However, the damage was repaired in time for the second free practice session.

The German duo Sebastian Balthasar/Jacob Riegel (Pro classification, #70) did not get a free lap in the two qualifying sessions due to the traffic. Riegel finally put the Leipert-Lamborghini in 12th position in the class. For Balthasar, only 14th place on the grid remained. Due to a technical problem, the Herne/Stender duo (Pro-Am classification, #88) did not complete a timed lap in qualifying and had to start both races from 52nd on the grid.

The first race was characterised by a race to catch up by the two Leipert teams. Riegel/Balthasar fought their way up to 8th place in the race, which was again characterised by several safety car phases. The decisive factor was a great final spurt in the last laps. Stender/Herne were also able to improve significantly over the course of the 50 minutes. In the end, they were just a few seconds off the podium in the Pro-Am category.

The two Leipert duos were correspondingly optimistic at the start of the second race. Unfortunately, their hopes were dashed early on. Balthasar got off to a great start, but was forced into the gravel after the first corner and finished the first lap in 28th place. Herne, the starting driver of the #88, found himself 20 positions further up the field after a breathtaking chase. Shortly before the pit lane opened for the mandatory stops, the safety car was deployed. Due to a miscommunication on the part of race control, some teams then headed for the pits for the mandatory driver change, while the remaining participants stayed on the track. In view of the chaos that ensued, the race organisers decided to red flag the race. As a restart was also not possible in the short time available with a proper line-up, the race ended prematurely. In the end, both teams lacked the time to make a decisive improvement on the track. A sobering outcome for Leipert Motorsport.

Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:

‘We had imagined the weekend in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo in the Ardennes to be very different. The practice sessions and races were repeatedly interrupted by yellow flags and safety cars. We simply had too few free race laps to compensate for the qualifying performances. Especially in the second race, there was no chance to work our way forwards. The team and drivers did their best, but ultimately the circumstances were beyond our control.’

The next LSTE weekend will take place as part of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans (France, 11-15 June).