The fourth event of the Michelin Le Mans Cup (LMC) took place in extreme heat at MotorLand Aragon (Spain). 40 teams (29 LMP3 cars and 11 GT3 cars) competed in the fifth race of the season over the 110-minute distance. The team from Wegberg, supported by MOTUL, again fielded two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 cars. After a strong performance, Gabriel Rindone (I) and Patrick Kujala (FIN) in the #19 finished 6th, putting them in 4th place in the drivers’ standings. Gerhard Watzinger (USA) and Brendon Leitch (NZ) were very unlucky and retired with the Crowdstrike Lamborghini (#70) as early as the second lap with a technical defect. Leipert Motorsport is in 4th place in the team standings.
Test, Training und Qualifying:
The three-hour test in the run-up to the event went very positively for the Leipert team, so that the team went optimistically into the official practice sessions. In the first official free practice session, Watzinger (#70) had an accident that required major repair work. In the subsequent bronze test (training for the bronze drivers), Rindone (#19) also came off the track. Thus, the second free practice took place without Leipert Motorsport’s participation. With a strong effort, the team managed to get both Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 ready to go again in time for qualifying. Rindone finished 6th in qualifying, Watzinger 11th. Due to the missing second practice Leitch also had to do a mandatory lap in the 15-minute qualifying session. Therefore, Watzinger could only complete two fast laps. Too little to bring the tyres to the optimal temperature.
As usual, Watzinger (#70) and Rindone (#19) were the starting drivers. The US American had a fantastic start and came back from the first lap in third position among the GT3 cars. But already in lap two the early end came. With a technical defect the Lamborghini rolled out at the side of the track. Rindone drove constantly in 7th place, at race half-time partner Kujala took over. Several safety car phases pushed the field together again and again. In the last 20 minutes, this resulted in an exciting sprint race among the GT3 cars. Kujala presented himself in strong form, showed some spectacular overtaking manoeuvres and finally crossed the finish line in 4th place. Subsequently, time penalties were handed out for disregarding the track boundaries, so that the Leipert duo of the #19 was classified in 6th place.
Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:
“That was the hottest race we have ever experienced. Outside temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius were a challenge for the drivers and the team. The temperature in the cockpits reached 70 degrees at times. The team also struggled with the scorching heat in the team tent during the repair time of both cars. Watzinger/Leitch experienced an event to forget this time. First the training accident, then the race retirement. Rindone/Kujala delivered a very strong race. Unfortunately, they were disqualified from 4th place because they exceeded the track limits several times. Considering the pace we had, the results are far from satisfactory. We are now concentrating on preparing for the next round in Spa, where we will build on our old strength.”
The next race event for Leipert Motorsport is in Valencia (Spain, 15-17 September). There, the team from Wegberg will compete with five Lamborghini in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe. The next LMC event takes place one week later in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium, 22-23 September).