The Michelin Le Mans Cup (MLMC) made a guest appearance with two 55-minute races as part of the 100th anniversary of the endurance classic 24h of Le Mans (France). A total of 58 teams (38 LMP3 cars and 20 GT3 cars) battled for victory. The team from Wegberg, Leipert Motorsport, supported by MOTUL, brought two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 cars to the start. Gabriel Rindone (I) and Patrick Kujala (FIN) drove the #19, Gerhard Watzinger (USA) and Brendon Leitch (NZ) the Crowdstrike Lamborghini with the #70. There were strong results to celebrate for the team from Wegberg in the end.
Training and qualifying:
Due to the large starting field (numerous guest starters), the practice sessions and the qualifying sessions suffered from some interruptions after accidents and slips. Free laps were the absolute exception. Leitch and Kujala had just one lap in qualifying to get a starting position. The same was true for Watzinger. Rindone got his only timed lap cancelled for exceeding the track limits and thus even remained without a timed lap.
Watzinger (#70) and Kujala (#19) took the start from positions 9 and 11 of the GT3 field in the first race. The safety car had to come out on the first lap. In the end, only one free lap remained until the pit stop. Watzinger exceeded the speed limit by 0.4km/h when entering the pit lane, which led to a drive-through penalty, meaning that no more than 12th place was possible. Rindone crossed the finish line in P11.
Rindone and Watzinger took over the start of race 2. This time, the starting field on the 13.626-kilometre circuit was much more orderly. The safety car only had to take to the track after the fourth lap and then stayed out until the obligatory pit stop with driver change. As a result, the last 20 minutes of the race developed into an action-packed sprint race. Leitch and Kujala showed their best side and set top times. At the finish they were in 5th and 7th place. Taking into account the guest starters who were placed in front of the duo, this meant the excellent 2nd and 4th places in the GT3 field in the Le Mans Cup points standings.
Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:
“The atmosphere at Le Mans is simply unique. It is fantastic to be part of this mega event. The event with the large starting field was, as expected, not easy, but again impressive and very competitive. In the end, we are very satisfied with the results. Riders and team delivered a top performance and achieved top results. We are looking forward to building on our successes at the next Le Mans Cup event.”
Leipert Motorsport’s next races will take place at the CrowdStrike 24h of Spa (29 June- 2 July). There, the team from Wegberg will compete as usual with five Lamborghini Super Trofeo Evo2 in the Super Trofeo Europe (LST). A Leipert Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2 with drivers Gerhard Watzinger (USA), Brendon Leitch (NZ), Kerong Li (CHN) and Jean-Francois Brunot (USA) will compete in the 24h race. The next Michelin Le Mans Cup event will take place 2 weeks later at Paul Ricard (France).