AN OUTSTANDING WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP WITH DISAPPOINTMENT IN BARCELONA
The #77 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO rolled to a stop as the curtain came down on another thrilling 2019 Blancpain GT Series this weekend after Leonid Machitski and the Barwell Motorsport Team once again for the second year running officially claimed victory in the AM Cup Championship in Barcelona.
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup finale began with the Bronze Test session on Friday. The hour-long run gave all bronze-graded drivers a chance to familiarise themselves with the Spanish venue ahead of this weekend’s race. The team knew of the aerodynamic challenges that the circuit poses for the cars, so it was vital that they prepared and found the perfect balance of straight-line speed and the mixed cornering downforce. There was enough time to perfect the race car set-up after the Bronze Test session, in the 90-minute Free Practice session hours later.
The race weekend started off very well and the team were buzzing, having qualified in Pole Position for the race ahead, the Vimetco Extrusion and Renaissance Construction backed #77 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo showed superb speed in its qualifying effort, placing 29th overall and ahead of the entire Pro-Am class at the end of the session. The Barwell Motorsport Team had secured a number of Pole Positions throughout the season which gave Leonid Machitski the perfect race start, ahead of the AM Cup Championship challengers.
On race day the stands filled with motorsport fans, all ready to see the highly compact field go head-to-head into turn one and then battle it out for 3 adrenaline-fuelled hours. When the lights went out to signal the start of the 3 hour race, over 46 cars accelerated off the line to get the race underway. Adrian Amstutz started the race from the 14th row and showed clear intentions that the team was ready to race from the start.
However, the race was neutralised on the first lap following a number of first lap incidents. To the grid’s surprise almost half of the race was spent under Full Course Yellow or under Safety Car conditions with driving standards appearing to have been considerably slower than usual. When the green light signalled normal racing conditions there were a number of arguably avoidable crashes which took place, halting the smooth progress of the race. It was a difficult race, with teams not being able to run their race strategies due to the stop-start nature.
Leonid Machitski and the team were leading the race for 2 hours, until an incident between Ramos and one of the Bentley drivers, which forced Miguel out and off the track. This resulted in the team loosing 2 laps and placed the car down to P7 in the AM Class at the chequered flag. Despite the finish, Leonid Machitski and the Barwell Motorsport Team were officially crowned the 2019 Blancpain GT Series AM Cup Champions! A remarkable back-to-back winning seasons.
Leonid Machitski: “It was an unfortunate weekend. We were leading the first two hours but then Miguel had made contact with the Pro-Am Bentley car so we lost two laps and it wasn’t possible to fight for a podium anymore. However,it would take a very long sentence to sum up the emotions of everything we have achieved this season. I am extremely proud of all of them and I would also like to thank all of them too.”
Mark Lemmer, Team Principal: “Leonid, Adrian and Miguel smashed Qualifying once again and we are on course for yet another fantastic victory until Miguel tangled with the Bentley in the 3rd stint, lucky we had already wrapped up the championship in Spa. It’s been another epic season and I am so proud of there achievements along with those of the faultless team. Let the celebrations begin!”