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Caldarelli Buoyed By SC63’s “Encouraging” U.S. Debut

Andrea Caldarelli “didn’t expect to have so much fun” in Lamborghini SC63’s U.S. debut…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Andrea Caldarelli was “encouraged” by Lamborghini Iron Lynx’s solid showing with the SC63 prototype during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Cadillac, where the car finished the race without any major reliability issues.

Caldarelli, Matteo Cairoli and Romain Grosjean finished the 72nd running of the Florida endurance classic in seventh overall, coming home 28.501 seconds behind the race-winning No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 of Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz and Colton Herta.

Although the No. 63 Lamborghini was unable to challenge for a podium, with the Italian manufacturer being the only brand in the GTP class not to lead a lap during the race, Caldarelli was able to take away plenty of positives from the result.

“Our target was to finish the race, and we knew that the pace was not there yet,” Caldarelli told Sportscar365. “But I think we were closer than what we expected.

“The pace, especially during the daylight with the heat, I think was very solid. We struggled a bit more in the evening, when the sun went down and humidity went up. So that’s something we will work on.”

Caldarelli indicated that Lamborghini is somewhat puzzled by its lack of pace in cooler conditions, although when asked said he did not believe humidity was the key factor.

“It’s more like the temperature,” he explained. “I think we struggled when the temperature went down on the tarmac, because before we were very strong.

“So we need to investigate why. I have no idea. I was also surprised about it.”

Lamborghini remained on the lead lap through a series of late-race cautions, which allowed Caldarelli to battle with Philipp Eng’s No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 in the closing stages.

Caldarelli said the fight, which was decided by 0.063 seconds in the BMW driver’s favor, served as an important morale boost.

“We wanted to finish the race, but at the end I enjoyed the fight with Eng,” he said.

“I think we finished seventh, only a few tenths from sixth. We were side by side. I didn’t expect to have so much fun in the first race.

“But we finished the race, and I think I did enjoy the last ten laps. It was good. We did the race, trying to not really fight with people and try to keep the pace and bring the car home.

“At the end to fight in the last few laps with, I would not say the pack in front, but I could see the leaders, which is encouraging.”

Notably, the SC63 also completed the 12-hour enduro without having to go behind the wall as a result of any mechanical issues.

It only encountered a dislodged door for Grosjean, despite Sebring International Raceway’s well-established reputation as a car-breaker.

“Sebring, I think, is the hardest track in both championships, WEC and IMSA,” Caldarelli said. “So to finish and to finish with this result was a big achievement for the guys back in Italy.

“All Iron Lynx, Lamborghini… They all deserve it because there was such an immense work behind the scenes.

“It’s encouraging. We start from already a point that we were not expecting. So that’s good.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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