GT3, LeMans

Strong finale at the ALMS in Abu Dhabi

13. February 2024

Leipert Motorsport showed an outstanding performance in the final races of the 2023/2024 Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS). The team from Wegberg, supported by MOTUL, celebrated a magnificent victory in the GT3 classification at the last 4h race of the series in Abu Dhabi, but had to give up what was thought to be a safe first place after a time penalty. The day before, the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 #19 with drivers Gabriel Rindone (ITA), Brendon Leitch (NZ) and Lamborghini works driver Marco Mapelli (ITA) had taken second place.

3rd ALMS race in Dubai: Out after starting collision

The third race of the ALMS took place at the Dubai Autodrome (United Arab Emirates). After good free practice sessions, bronze driver Rindone (ITA) drove qualifying, as required by the series rules. The Italian put in a strong performance and placed the Leipert-Lamborghini 6th on the grid in the 23-strong field of GT3 cars.

The 4-hour race then ended sooner than expected. A starting collision involving several LMP cars in the first corner also caused difficulties for the leading group of GT3 cars. Rindone was unable to get out of the way and touched a damaged LMP3. The Lamborghini suffered considerable damage because of the collision, but was sent back out onto the track after 5 laps of repairs. Due to the hopeless situation, the team no longer had a chance to fight for points and parked the car in the pits shortly afterwards.

4th and 5th ALMS race in Abu Dhabi: Magnificent finale

The qualifying session at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) was interrupted by a red flag at half-time. The field was very close together and driver Rindone (ITA) qualified for the two races in grid positions 12 and 9.

As the starting driver of Race 1, Rindone came through his first stint unscathed and worked his way up the field with consistent lap times. After Leitch (NZL) took over, the Leipert-Lamborghini established itself in the leading group and collected a few leading laps. The race was interrupted for a short time after an accident. The final 25 minutes after the restart then developed into an intense sprint in difficult conditions, as the field was now close together and there was heavy traffic on the track. Mapelli (ITA), who was in fifth position after the mandatory stops, worked his way forwards with confident duels and crossed the finish line in an excellent second place.

The second 4-hour race in Abu Dhabi was also interrupted in the first third by a lengthy red phase. Starting driver Rindone (ITA) was in 7th place when the field was brought together again after an accident in the 47th minute of the race due to a red flag on the start and finish straight. This time the race break lasted about 70 minutes. In the remaining two hours, the Leipert team showed a top performance. After Rindone (ITA) handed the car over to Leitch (NZL), the latter took the team to the front. Mapelli (ITA) then confidently defended the lead on the track to the finish. First place in the GT classification once again brought great joy to the team at their magnificent success. Some time later, however, numerous penalties were imposed by the race organisers. The reason for this was the non-compliance with the maximum driving times of some drivers after the red phase, which also affected the Leipert team. The final result was P7. In the team and driver standings Leipert Motorsport finished 6th after a fantastic final weekend.

Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:

“We saw an almost dominant performance from the entire team in the two Abu Dhabi races. The past four weeks in the Emirates have been very intense and everyone has done a great job. Overall, our team’s performance in the five races of the Asian Le Mans Series was great and we are very satisfied. Unfortunately, we missed a bit of luck and we didn’t see the chequered flag twice. As a result, our performance in the overall standings was not as good as we had hoped. Nevertheless, we were very competitive on all circuits, and the team and drivers impressed! Now we are focussing on the start of the season in Europe.”

Leipert Motorsport’s next event is planned for Barcelona (Spain). The official test day of the Michelin Le Mans Cup will take place there on 10 April at the Circuit de Catalunya. The first race of the season will start there on 13 April. Leipert Motorsport has entered two Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2s in the series. The season opener of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe is scheduled directly afterwards.