The third event of the Michelin Le Mans Cup 2023 (LMC) took place at the Circuit Paul Ricard (France). 42 teams (30 LMP3 cars and 12 GT3 cars) competed in the fourth race of the season over a distance of 110 minutes. The team from Wegberg, Leipert Motorsport, supported by MOTUL, again started with two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 cars. Gabriel Rindone (I) and Patrick Kujala (FIN) took a well-deserved first win of the season with the number 19 car. Gerhard Watzinger (USA) and Brendon Leitch (NZ) crossed the finish line with the Crowdstrike Lamborghini (#70) in P5 of the GT3 cars after exciting fights. The excellent results mean that the team is now in third place in the drivers’ and team standings.
Practice and qualifying:
Already in the practice sessions, the Leipert drivers showed strong lap times. In the second free practice session, the two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 were in 1st and 2nd place. In qualifying, which was contested by the bronze drivers, Leipert drivers Rindone and Watzinger finished in grid positions 3 and 9.
Watzinger (#70) and Rindone (#19) took the start. Both drivers got off to a perfect start and returned from the first lap in 2nd and 5th place when the safety car came out for the first time. After the race was reopened, Rindone established himself in second place in the GT3 field. Watzinger brought the Huracán GT3 Evo 2 up to ninth position for the mandatory driver change.
After all teams had completed their stops at the halfway point of the race, Kujala was still in second place. Leitch started a perfect recovery from position 10 after a difficult pit stop (the car caught fire during refuelling). Both Leipert drivers subsequently demonstrated their strength with top lap times. Kujala, who set the fastest race lap of the day for the GT3 cars in lap 33, defended his position while putting pressure on the leader.
Leitch also ploughed through the field as if unleashed and continuously improved his position. 20 minutes before the end of the race, Kujala took advantage of a weakness of the leader to put the #19 Leipert Lamborghini into the lead. He did not relinquish the lead until the chequered flag fell. Leitch drove to an excellent 5th place by the end of the race.
Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:
“Our team had a great weekend in the south of France. The drivers put in a mega performance. After this successful race weekend, we are in third and eighth place in the drivers’ standings and third in the team standings. These top results are even more remarkable as we were unable to score any points at the season opener in Barcelona (Spain). Now we are concentrating on the next Lamborghini Super Trofeo event before the fifth Le Mans Cup round is on the agenda.”
Leipert Motorsport’s next round will take place at the Nürburgring (28-30 July) in Germany. There, the team from Wegberg will compete with five Lamborghini in the Super Trofeo Europe. The next LMC event will take place in Aragon (Spain, 24-25 August). There, Gabriel Rindone (I)/Patrick Kujala (FIN) and Gerhard Watzinger (USA)/Brendon Leitch (NZ) will again compete with the Lamborghini Huracan EVO 2.