Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe (Round 5)
After a good run at Spa for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo European Series, Michimi and Cozzolino were sitting in a solid 4th position, and only 3 points back from 2nd place in the championship. The Nurburgring would again be a new circuit for both drivers, thus they would have to make use of the practice time wisely to learn the circuit as quickly as possible. They showed promising speed in practice posting times of 6th overall in the first session and 4th overall in the second session.
Qualifying duties for race 1 were given to Michimi for the first time this year, so he would get his first opportunity to qualify on new tires. Although he felt that the car was really quick, unfortunately, the session was marred by a red flag and Michimi would only be able to get one semi-clear lap in. This would only be good enough for 9th in class, and 14th overall. Cozzolino would take over for Q2 and would set a solid lap time to qualify 5th in class and 6th overall for race 2 on Sunday.
Cozzolino would take the start for Race 1, and was able to put together an excellent opening lap, coming around in 9th position. Over the course of his stint, he had a long battle with one of the ARTLine cars and would finally take the position to move the car into 7th place just before the pitstops. Michimi would then take the wheel and began charging to catch the rest of the field. Although running a pace similar to the leaders, the gap would prove to be too large and Michimi would have to settle for 6th place, less than one second behind the 5th placed car. Unfortunately, Cozzolino would later be given a penalty for some contact in the first half of the race that would move them back to a 7th finishing position overall.
Cozzolino would also be given starting duties for Race 2 and would again make a brilliant start to go from 6th position and looking to hold 3rd place coming out of turn 1, when he became a victim of contact between Campana and reigning Super Trofeo Champion Pavlovic, and was shoved off the track. Despite the contact, Cozzolino would complete the lap in 6th position and would then have a three lap battle with Spengler. After holding up a train of 5 cars behind him, Spengler would finally be shuffled back through the order when Cozzolino first went by, and the others soon followed suit. Coming into the pits, Cozzolino was in P5 when he handed the car over to Michimi. After rejoining, Michimi would go to work clicking off quick lap times to close the gap to 4th place Di Folco. Meanwhile, the car running in 3rd would run into mechanical issues and have to retire, moving Di Folco up to 3rd. This now meant that Michimi would be chasing down the position for the final step on the podium. He made some smart moves to get around the slower traffic quickly and closed the gap to Di Folco. Unfortunately he began to hear a strange noise from the transmission. With just a few laps to go, the only option was to continue and hope that the transmission would hold out. With only 4 laps to the checkered flag, Michimi would make a quick and decisive overtake on Di Folco for that final spot on the podium. But then bad luck would strike as the transmission finally gave out with only two laps remaining, and Michimi, who was running in 3rd, was forced to retire the car on the spot.
Shinya: “What a really frustrating weekend. I think we had a really quick car, a car capable of finishing in the top 3 for sure. I think we definitely showed that pace in Race 2. Unfortunately bad luck would strike us all weekend. From the red flag coming out in Qualifying, to the transmission letting go in Race 2. This really puts a dent in our 2nd place championship hunt, and really puts us in a hard position for Sebring. I thoroughly enjoyed the Nurburgring and really hope that I get to race here again in the near future. Though, I’m even more excited for the final race weekend in Sebring. Sebring is the most iconic circuit in the United States and one of the most iconic around the world. The bumpy character provides a test of endurance on both the cars and the driver. This will also be the first time for me to be able to finally race cars in my home country. So I really hope to do well there.”
The final weekend of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo European Series will take place in the United States at the famed Sebring International Circuit. Following the European Series conclusion, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Final will take place. This is a race that combines the European, Asian, and North American Super Trofeo series in one super race, to see who can come out on top against all the best Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Drivers around the world.