Lamborghini Super Trofeo gets bigger in 2016
It's been a spectacular year for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series. In its sixth year, the championship has gotten bigger than ever with 84 cars on the grid (there were just 9 when the series began in 2009) and over 60 making it to the World Final at Sebring in North America. I have been fortunate enough to have covered all three world finals and this year's was huge compared to the earlier two. It was a proper race weekend at Sebring with thousands of fans and some exciting racing. The parking lots were full of exciting machines, mostly American muscle, but lots of European exotics including over 30 bright and loud Lambos. Someone was even cheeky enough to bring a Ferrari!
This year was also the first year of the new Huracan Super Trofeo racecar, a big jump up over the earlier Gallardo. The previous car was essentially a roadcar modified to race but the Huracan is a proper race machine it's rear wheel drive, runs an Xtrac sequential gearbox and has some serious aero. The Super Trofeo was always touted as the world's fastest one-make series and the Huracan takes the one step ahead. In fact, it was actually faster than the more sophisticated Huracan GT3 at the Fuji Speedway this year thanks to its extra power and Fuji's long, long main straight. Almost all the drivers in the Super Trofeo have shifted over to the Huracan this year and the Gallardo racecar will be phased out by 2016.
Next year, the series gets even bigger. 2015 saw the first street circuit - a tight, challenging and high speed course that snaked around the famous Petronas Twin Towers. Following the huge success of the Asian Street race, the American series will now get its own street circuit in Boston. The Asian series, meanwhile, will now include the iconic Japanese circuit of Suzuka and Thailand's brand new Bhuriam Circuit will also be a first. After completing a full circle, the next world final will return to Europe but instead of the Valelunga Circuit outside Rome, it will be at Valencia in Spain, the very same track that concludes MotoGP.
Aside from the Super Trofeo championship, Lamborghini has also had a very positive year in GT3 racing. In its very first year in the category with the Huracan GT3, Lamborghini won two races out of eight, captured two pole positions and four podiums. Not bad at all for a newly developed car, one Lamborghini claims is amongst the fastest in the series. Lamborghini has a big order list for next year, both for the Super Trofeo car and the Huracan GT3. 33 Huracan GT3s have been ordered in total with five competing in North America, seven in Asia and 21 in Europe. More big news is that the Huracan GT3 will compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in 2016, a first for Lamborghini.
It's clear the Lamborghini Motorsport is growing exceptionally quickly. In the GT3 category, its car has proven itself in 2015 and surprisingly is a more affordable option compared with some of the competition. However, after chatting with some of the drivers, I discovered that the reason the Super Trofeo series has grown to be so popular is because of the involvement of the company and the feel-good factor this gives the participants. After all, this is primarily a 'gentleman's race series' aimed at the uber-rich. And I have seen that at every race I have attended. The company's top management, including the impressively suave president, and CEO Stephan Winkleman and the ever friendly R&D director Muarizio Reggiani are almost always attending the races, sharing a joke with the drivers and offering a sense of camaraderie that I'm told is otherwise missing in other similar series. The driver's also claim excellent service and support from Lamborghini. In effect, the series offers some of the best looking and sounding racecars on the planet, a friendly and closely knit society and the glamour of being a racing driver. What more could the billionaire helmsmen with a penchant for competition ever need? It's no wonder the Super Trofeo series is thriving.
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