Leipert Motorsport will contest this weekend’s Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 as part of the German team’s drive to promote young talent in the Lamborghini Junior Program.
Former 24H SERIES Continents Overall GT Teams’ champion Leipert Motorsport has confirmed the four young drivers that will compete in the squad’s first GT3 outing with CREVENTIC since the 2015 Hankook 24H DUBAI.
The German team has competed regularly in the 24H SERIES’ bespoke SPX/GTX class with the lesser-powered Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo since the Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD in 2015. This weekend however, Leipert Motorsport will make its first series start with Lamborghini’s flagship Huracán GT3 Evo, and marks the team’s return to CREVENTIC’s GT3 category for the first time in more than four years.
Leipert Motorsport has earmarked at least three 24H SERIES outings for the #10 Huracán GT3 Evo this season as part of a renewed focus to elevate young up-and-coming drivers from the Italian marque’s Junior Program into GT3 competition for 2021 and beyond. These include this weekend’s Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, and the 24-hour events at Portimão on 16-17-18 July and Sebring on 18-19-20 November. The project will be officially supported by Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
“After many years of successful collaboration with Leipert Motorsport, working together to support the career of many young drivers in our Super Trofeo series in Europe and Asia, we are glad to start a new challenge in the GT3 program, involving well noted drives coming from our young drivers’ program on the Huracan GT3 EVO,” explains Giorgio Sanna, Head of Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
“We are proud to have put together such a strong program for the 2021 season,” Leipert Motorsport team principals Ingo and Marcel Leipert continued in a combined statement. “We are very glad to be able to run a GT3 program again. The fact that we will have a strong line-up with young GT3 newcomers is a good signal that the development of youngsters from Lamborghini and us is bearing fruit. We are happy about the close and trusting partnership with Lamborghini and are planning further long-distance and sprint assignments beyond the races mentioned.”
Of the four drivers confirmed for Leipert Motorsport this weekend, three will be making their 24H SERIES debuts.
Brendon Leitch raced only in his native New Zealand during 2020, but prior to that, the 25-year-old has won races in Formula Ford New Zealand, the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand and the Formula 4 United States Championship. Leitch also finished runner-up in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia’s Pro/Am class with Leipert Motorsport in 2019.
“Despite the long layoff from international competition, I’ve been keeping busy," explains Leitch. "I hope my [New Zealand Grand Prix] performance reminded everyone that I intend to pick up where I left the international scene before COVID-19 came along, which is fighting to be at the front and winning podiums and races. The circuits for the [24H SERIES] campaign are all new to me, but I’ve been finding my way around them on the sim and I’m super excited to be stepping up to international GT3 competition. The opposition in the 24H SERIES is going to be very tough, but I know the team well and I’m confident we’ll have a strong car."
America’s Tyler Cooke meanwhile will make his first race start with Lamborghini at the Hockenheimring, following formative seasons in the Mazda MX-5 Cup, a part-campaign Stateside in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 in 2019, and six consecutive seasons in IMSA’s SportsCar Challenge, during which he twice finished 3rd in-class with Bimmerworld Racing.
Leitch and Cooke will be joined by Fidel Leib, a two-time Nürburgring 24 Hours class winner with Black Falcon and a semi-regular 24H SERIES competitor: the German driver has competed at every Hankook 24H DUBAI since 2017 and took his maiden class win at the event earlier this year with Leipert Motorsport. Former Bentley factory driver and 2017 British GT Champion Seb Morris completes the quartet as the team’s PRO entry. The Brit makes his 24H SERIES debut this weekend, as well as his first start with Leipert Motorsport since a one-off outing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe in 2017.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have agreed this deal with Leipert Motorsport,” Morris explained. “It’s a fantastic team with a very successful track record over the years in numerous endurance championships. Racing in GT World Challenge Europe over the last few years, and British GT before that, I’ve obviously seen first-hand just how competitive a package the Lamborghini Huracan is.
“I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel on Friday at Hockenheim, and working closely with the engineers in my role as the PRO, to deliver a great car and hopefully challenge for a big result. This will actually be my first time back at Hockenheim since 2014 when I raced in Formula Renault, so it’s going to be great to be back there after so long.”
Leipert Motorsport’s strong start to 2021 began with a GTX class win in Dubai, its third at the event since 2008. This was swiftly followed by 2nd overall at the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI. A potential GTX class podium at round two in Mugello though was derailed when a left rear puncture spat the Huracán Super Trofeo into the wall on the start-finish straight.
Track action for this weekend’s Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING begins with official Free Practice at 17.40 hrs local time on Friday 21 May, with GT and TCE qualifying sessions following at 09.00 hrs on Saturday 22 May. The green flag for ‘part one’ of the event will fly at 13.30 hrs later that same afternoon.
- Images courtesy of Leipert Motorsport, Brendon Leitch, Tyler Cooke and Bentley