Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe 2015 Season – Yearend Review
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe Championship came to an end after the final event at Sebring International Raceway, November 19th-22nd. It was a season of ups and downs, but considering that it was the debut for both drivers making the transition from single-seater to GT cars, as well as the first foray into the world of GT racing for the Vincenzo Sospiri Racing team, there were a lot of achievements to celebrate. The duo ended the season 4th overall in points in the Pro Class for the 2015 European Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series. They also took the class win at Monza and earned 2nd place podium finishes at both Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps. There were also near-podium finishes in race 2 at Silverstone, as well as at both race1 and 2 at Sebring, finishing 4th place in class at those events. At the World Final, a super race that combines the European, Asian, and North American series to bring together the best Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo drivers from around the world to compete against each other, Michimi and Cozzolino earned a 5th place finish in the final race.
There were highs and lows, but the team certainly had its share of bad luck throughout the season. It was heart break at Monza to have a tire explode at Ascari while leading the race. It was also devastating at Nurburgring to be running in 3rd only to have the transmission give way with only two laps remaining. There were also unfortunate racing incidents, at times being an innocent victim caught up in contact between other cars, which would hamper an otherwise promising run.
As for some of the high moments, there was the amazing qualifying run for Cozzolino at Monza, where he pulled out a superb lap to set the fastest time in class, and 2nd fastest time overall, earning the outside pole for Race 1. Michimi’s most memorable run was at Spa, where he put in an epic drive, passing 3 cars with only 3 laps to go, out-braking to overtake the last car in the final corner of the last lap, to end up with a 2nd place podium finish.
Indeed there were times mid-season, where they looked to have a chance to challenge for the top spots in the overall European Pro Cup points championship. The duo was sitting in 4th place heading into Round 4 at Spa, and were a mere 3 points back from 2nd place in the championship after the results at Spa, and before heading into the next round at the Nurburgring. But for the bad luck throughout the season, and a few self-inflicted errors along the way, they stood a very real chance at racking up more victories and challenging for the championship. The drivers certainly showed that they were quick, and that the team had put together a fast race car. All in all, it was a very solid debut effort for this new team.
Shinya: “Overall it was a solid effort for the team this year. There were definitely highs and lows, but there is a lot of good that we can take away from this season. We also really had a good car under us, but we didn’t seem to have luck on our side when we needed it. I could not have asked for a better teammate in Kei, and I think we were a really strong driver pairing. I would also like to thank the entire Vincenzo Sospiri Racing crew for all of their hard work throughout the season. They always gave 100% to make sure that we had the best car possible to race with. I want to thank the team for giving me the opportunity this season to race in this incredible new racecar, and at some of the world’s most iconic race circuits. I also want to thank Lamborghini Squadra Corse for selecting me for their Junior Drivers Program, and I hope to continue to serve the brand into the future. And finally, thanks to my sponsors, family, fans and friends for their continued support in my racing career.”