Back in the days: a journey into
Lamborghini Super Trofeo early years.
When it comes to Automobili Lamborghini and Motorsport, it is impossible not to mention the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, the one-make series that since 2009 has been held on the most prestigious circuits in Europe and has later extended to Asia (2012), North America (2013) and the Middle East (2017). After 10 seasons and 279 races disputed around the world, it is worth remembering the highlights of what has become over time one of the main assets of the company of Sant’Agata Bolognese.
It was during the first months of 2008 that the idea of returning to race tracks with a one-make series began to circulate in the marketing offices of Automobili Lamborghini, almost eight years after the last race of the Lamborghini Diablo GTR Supertrophy. In those eight years of official absence from races, Automobili Lamborghini had meanwhile expanded and evolved considerably: the Lamborghini Diablo had been out of production for some time and was replaced in 2001 by its natural successor in the 12-cylinder range, the Lamborghini Murciélago , which was accompanied, in 2003, by the new Gallardo equipped with a 10-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It was this platform that was chosen by the R&D department of Automobili Lamborghini to return to racing events. The new engine guaranteed a perfect balance between performance, reliability and running costs, together with the all-wheel drive, which had been in the brand's DNA for almost 20 years and guaranteed exceptional traction when cornering and great safety even in poor grip conditions. Once the project was approved by the company board the same year, all that remained to do was to transform the ideas into a marching prototype, which was made in August 2008, when the then head of test drivers of Automobili Lamborghini, Giorgio Sanna, now head of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, entered the first prototype of the Gallardo LP 560-4 Super Trofeo VIN 7330 at the Nardò Technical Centre. The car immediately surprised the test drivers and engineers for its ease of driving, which made the car suitable also for gentleman drivers, and for its performance, which placed it at the top of the list of the cars designed for one-make championships of that time.
The car continued to be developed throughout the winter by the Research and Development department of Automobili Lamborghini and external suppliers, because at that time there was no Motorsport department in the company; but as the project was already mature, in October of the same year, the first dynamic exhibition of the prototype took place in Hockenheim, in conjunction with a DTM race, with Giorgio Sanna at the wheel. After all the components had been deliberated, at the end of 2008, the first 30 cars were produced at the Sant’Agata Bolognese plants. All the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Super Trofeos were assembled on the same assembly line as the road car from which they derived, as it has happened for all the racing cars manufactured by Automobili Lamborghini to date. During the winter of 2008-2009, teams and drivers grew more and more interested in participating in the first season of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, which would consist of 6 Rounds with 3 races each taking place in conjunction with the main European GT championships, such as the DTM and the former FIA GT. The agreement with the watch brand Blancpain, which accompanied the Lamborghini Super Trofeo as the Title sponsor of the series for eight years, was also very important for the development of the championship.
On the weekend of 15-16 May 2009, the Adria circuit (Italy) hosted the first three races of what would become the world’s leading one-make series to date. It is impossible not to remember the victory in all three races of Fabio Babini in crew with Claudio Rossetto; the two drivers would then win the championship title at the end of the season. The event, however, was not only on the track, what impressed visitors not only during the first race but for the entire season was the atmosphere in the paddock and in the Lamborghini Hospitality that soon became a reference point for VIPs, brand-lovers and experts, while ensuring quality entertainment and Italian hospitality in typical Automobili Lamborghini style.
After the first season of 2009, work began immediately on the future of the championship, which was growing in visibility as were the expectations of teams and drivers. As evidence of how much Automobili Lamborghini was committed and believed in the Gallardo LP 560-4 Super Trofeo project and its development, a real laboratory car was set up for the 2011 season. It was based on the first prototype VIN 7330 and was fielded in the Italian GT Championship, in the GT Cup category, with Giorgio Sanna at the wheel. The aim of the project was to develop and deliberate mechanical and software updates to be implemented on the cars of the one-make series. Thus began a constant development of the Gallardo LP 560-4 Super Trofeo project that led the car to become an absolute benchmark of maturity and reliability. It is curious to remember that what was only supposed to be a laboratory car for the development of components for the one-make series won the Italian title in the first year of participation. Meanwhile, while in Europe the championship was continuing to grow in terms of number and quality of participants, Lamborghini was working to extend the format of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo also to other continents, especially to Asia. In 2012, Automobili Lamborghini established the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia, the Asian series for Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Super Trofeos. The brand Automobili Lamborghini had always been very popular among Asian fans and the races of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia immediately became a reference and meeting point for the numerous Eastern owners and clubs of the brand of the Bull.
In the wake of the enthusiasm encountered in Asia, in 2013 Automobili Lamborghini decided to export the Lamborghini Super Trofeo also to North America. On this occasion, IMSA, the federation that organizes the most important competitions for GT and sports cars in North America, such as the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, chose to host the races of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America during its events, so began a collaboration that continues today.
After 5 years of races and about 100 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeos produced and running in 3 continents, in 2013 the Lamborghini World Final was finally conceived: the event that encompasses the last Round of the 3 continental series and the World Final, the most important double race of the year that hosts the best crews of the 3 continental series and determines the World Champion by sum of points.
The first edition of this special event, which attracts Lamborghini fans from around the world for 4 days of brand celebrations, was held at Vallelunga, then it moved to Sepang (2014), Sebring (2015), Valencia (2016), Imola (2017) and will return to Vallelunga for the 2018 edition.
In these first 10 years of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, we have seen racing 11 former F1 drivers, gentlemen drivers from all over the world but also young drivers, who then became overall champions in the most important motor racing categories, such as Mirko Bortolotti, Lamborghini Factory Driver, Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Champion 2014 and defending champion of the Blancpain GT Series with the Grasser Racing Team; Andrea Amici, who is currently a Lamborghini GT3 Junior Driver and was the European and World Champion 2013 and then won the GT Asia Series title in 2016 and Riccardo Agostini, who was the North America and World Champion 2017 and is currently a Lamborghini GT3 Junior Driver and an important Lamborghini Squadra Corse instructor.
During this tenth edition of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, there will be plenty of activities to retrace the most exciting races of these 10 seasons and reveal the hidden secrets of the fastest one-make series in the world. All you have to do is follow our social networks to stay up to date on the activities organized by Lamborghini Squadra Corse. Enjoy the 10th edition of the Super Trofeo!
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