Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini sweep all at the Paul Ricard
in the first round of GT Open Championship
Lamborghini took a clean-sweep in the opening round of the International GT Open Championship at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the South of France, with the Emil Frey Racing team claiming both race wins on the first outing for the Hurcán GT3 Evo.
Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoè dominated the first race of the weekend on Saturday from fourth on the grid, with Costa, a graduate of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse Young Drivers Programme, completing a near-perfect opening stint in the #63 Huracán. The reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europa (Pro category), World Final winner and Italian GT Champion moving up to third within the first few laps.
After handing over to Altoè at the pit-stop change, the #63 rejoined without losing a place and began setting about the leading duo of Marcelo Hahn (McLaren) and Miguel Ramos (Mercedes). The 18-year-old Italian made assertive overtakes on both to take the lead with half an hour of the race remaining. Altoè impressively held off the attentions of the McLaren of Henrique Cheves to win by just over half a second at the flag.
Altoè and Costa added a fourth place finish to their tallies in the second race as team-mates Norbert Siedler and Mikaël Grenier made it a double victory for Lamborghini.
Siedler and Grenier made great inroads from seventh on the grid in the #14 Lamborghini and lept to the front of the
pack thanks to an impeccable team strategy. Having started the race, Siedler ran closely behind Altoè in fourth before the driver change stops but fantastic pit-work from the Emil Frey Racing crew allowed Grenier to feed back out in the lead, making the most of the handicap time penalties for those in front.
From then on, it was a case of maintaining position and bringing the car home to another victory, which Grenier did by 0.607s from Fabirzio Crestani's Mercedes AMG.
Raffaele Giammaria and Liang Jatong brought their #19 Raton Racing by Target Lamborghini to fifth overall, celebrating the Pro-Am class win.
In the same weekend, Franck Perera and Rolf Ineichen began their ADAC GT Masters season in impressive fashion by recording a podium finish in their #82 Orange1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini in the second race at Oschersleben. Team-mates Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart suffered bad luck in the #63 Huracán GT3 Evo, despite leading the early stages from pole. They were forced to change the left-rear tyre after suffering a puncture due to debris on track.