Fanatec GT World Challenge 24h Spa: An early exit for Leipert Motorsport in the Lamborghini GT3 after a brilliant chase to catch up

1. August 2022

Top starting field at the season highlight of the Fanatec GT World Challenge (GWTC) in Spa-Francorchamps. The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from Leipert Motorsport was among the 66 GT3 cars on the grid at the TotalEnergies 24h of Spa. The MOTUL-supported team from Wegberg did brilliantly in the field of the world’s best GT3 cars on the traditional circuit in the Ardennes. However, the driver quartet Leitch/Cooke/Tutumlu-Lopez/Weering retired the Lamborghini in the pits shortly after race half-time after a perfect catch-up.

Good training – shock in qualifying

The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was driven by four drivers at the Spa 24 Hours. Brendon Leitch (NZ), Tyler Cooke (USA) and Isaac Tutumlu-Lopez (ESP) were joined by Dutchman Max Weering. The free practice sessions went well and the preparations for qualifying went according to plan. The starting position at the Belgian 24h classic is determined by the average of the lap times of all four drivers. Therefore, all four drivers were challenged. Weering and Tutumlu set fast laps. During Cooke’s performance, the team experienced a moment of shock. At top speed in the famous Eau Rouge bend, the US-American had a puncture. Fortunately, after two spins, the impact into the track barrier could be mitigated, so that the damage was limited. However, as qualifying was over for the team, only grid position 65 remained.

By the time of the night practice, the Lamborghini was able to go back on track repaired and complete the required mandatory laps. The warm-up again showed the potential of the car and the team. Leitch achieved the tenth fastest time with the Lamborghini and was pleased with the perfectly functioning car.

A brilliant start

The start to the 24h race was sensational. Leitch worked his way up to 29th place during his double stint. With consistently fast laps, the New Zealander continuously improved his position. Afterwards, luck was no longer on the Wegberg team’s side: After a contact through no fault of his own, Tutumlu lost a lot of time in the gravel. An additional stop due to a puncture threw the team even further back. The stints of Cooke and Weering went according to plan and some places could be made up again. After nine hours, the team was in 45th place despite a collision and punctures.

Decision of reason – early end of the race

As the race progressed, the Leipert quartet tried to improve their position and were already back in the top 10 of the class. But after almost 13 hours – i.e. after just over half the race distance – the Leipert Lamborghini was finally caught out. The yellow GT3 racer landed in the gravel. During the subsequent repair work, a technical defect was identified as the cause and the car was prepared in the pits for the rest of the race. However, the team then decided unanimously with all the drivers to withdraw the car, as the gap was now too large and a place in the points seemed impossible.

Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:

“On our return to the Spa 24 Hours, we were unfortunately unable to achieve the goal we had set ourselves. After an unfortunate qualifying session, the team and drivers were able to deliver a fantastic performance that showed what would have been possible with the Lamborghini GT3 if things had gone optimally. Therefore, we leave Spa with mixed feelings and look forward to the remaining races of the Fanatec GT World Challenge.”

Leipert Motorsport’s next events: Fanatec GT World Challenge in Hockenheim (Germany, 2-4 September) and 24h Series race in Barcelona (Spain, 9-11 September).