Former Overall GT Teams’ champion Leipert Motorsport secured its eighth class podium at the Hankook 24H DUBAI before securing two top 10 finishes at the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI one week later.
Leipert Motorsport has praised “four top results and all cars at the finish” at the Hankook 24H DUBAI and the Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, during which the German team secured a class pole position and a category podium.
Leipert’s Middle East sojourn got off to a good start at the Hankook 24H DUBAI on 13-14-15 January, when the #710 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo secured GTX-class pole position courtesy of Fidel Leib and Alban Varutti setting the category’s fastest laps during their individual, 15-minute qualifying sessions. Consistent running from Jean-Francois Brunot, Brendon Leitch and Formula E’s Joel Eriksson saw the sister #10 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 – an outright podium finisher last year at Hockenheim – secured 13th fastest time in the highly-competitive GT3 class.
Off the line, both Lamborghinis made up positions during their opening stints, with Brendon Leitch and Alban Varutti respectively climbing up the order to 5th overall and 1st in-class. The #710 would continue to tussle for the lead with PK Carsport’s GT2-spec Audi R8 LMS and the razoon-more than racing KTM during the opening hours, and despite losing time during refuelling at one-quarter distance, remained within striking distance of the PK Audi.
All hope of a class win came to naught with just two hours left to go however when the Super Trofeo suffered suspected gearbox problems, the #710 Lamborghini losing almost an hour in the garage across two pit stops. The Super Trofeo, driven by Leib, Varutti, and American compatriots Erik Davis, Gerhard Watzinger and Gregg Gorski, would eventually finish 25 laps adrift of PK Carsport, but managed to hold off the troubled Vortex V8 for the GTX runners-up spot.
The result marks the eighth time Leipert Motorsport, a former 24H SERIES Continents Overall GT Teams’ champion, has claimed a podium (including three class wins) at the Hankook 24H DUBAI since its debut in 2006.
A consistent run from Brunot, Leitch, Eriksson, Kerong Li, and Betty Chen meanwhile saw the #10 Lamborghini finish 8th in the GT3 class.
The Hankook 6H ABU DHABI on 21-22 January proved equally as impressive just one weekend later. Leipert, which finished 2nd overall at last year’s inaugural non-championship event in Abu Dhabi, qualified an impressive 5th (#710) and 6th (#10) respectively, though the latter would drop back to 15th on the grid following a post-session track infringement penalty. Though unable to keep pace with eventual winner Baron Motorsport, LP Racing and podium finisher JR Motorsport, impressive stints from Brunot and Li saw the #10 Lamborghini climb through the field to finish 5th overall, while Watzinger, Gorski and new arrival Gabriele Rindone completed a consistent run in the sister #710 en-route to a 9th place finish.
Although unable to replicate its podium finish from a year earlier, Leipert Motorsport was nevertheless pleased to have brought both its cars home, twice, across 30 full hours of endurance racing.
“Once again, the Leipert Motorsport team demonstrated that it is a reliable endurance specialist,” as stated in an official statement. “The team from Wegberg finished both race events as the best-placed Lamborghini team.
“A successful start to the season that makes you want more. This year, too, the experienced team from Wegberg has a lot on the agenda. The plans for the 2022 season will be published soon.”
Images – Petr Frýba