The fifth event of the Michelin Le Mans Cup 2023 (LMC) took place on the Ardennes rollercoaster of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). The large grid comprised 40 cars (29 LMP3 cars and 11 GT3 cars). The team from Wegberg, Leipert Motorsport, supported by MOTUL, entered only one Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2 this time. Gerhard Watzinger (USA) and Brendon Leitch (NZ) had to withdraw from the start with the Crowdstrike Lamborghini (#70), as Watzinger was unable to attend.
After a chaotic race with numerous safety car phases, Gabriel Rindone (I) and Patrick Kujala (FIN) finished in a well-deserved 2nd place in the #19, consolidating 4th place in the team and driver standings and further closing the gap to the championship leader.
Test, practice and qualifying:
Already during the test drives and free practice sessions, the Leipert duo achieved excellent results, both in the rain and in dry conditions, and could always be found in the top group. In qualifying, bronze driver Rindone put the Lamborghini #19 on grid position 4 in the GT3 category.
As usual, Rindone (#19) drove the start. But the Italian did not really get into a racing rhythm. Until the mandatory pit stop after 50 minutes, there were hardly any free race laps. One safety car phase followed the next, caused by permanent incidents in the LMP3 field. Rindone could not complete more than five laps under racing conditions. Even the driver change was carried out during a safety car phase. Rindone, who was in third position when the pit stop window opened, handed over the Leipert Lamborghini to Kujala for the second half of the race. But the Finn also had only a few race laps, but he knew how to use them intensively. With spectacular manoeuvres he brought the car further forward and finally finished the race in second place. This meant that the gap to the championship leader could be reduced again.
Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:
“We are satisfied with second place in Spa, although we would have had an excellent chance of winning the race in normal conditions. As expected, our pace was very strong, which is reflected not least in the fastest race lap. Unfortunately, there were only a few laps of real racing action in Spa. The next round of the LMC is the season finale in Portugal. There we will attack once again to still have a say in the title fight.”
The season finale of the Michelin Le Mans Cup will take place in Portimao (Portugal, 21-22 October). Leipert Endurance driver Gregg Gorski replaces the prevented Gerhard Watzinger there, so that Rindone/Kujala and Gorski/Leitch will compete with the Lamborghini Huracan GT3.