The nearly two-dozen cars competing in this weekend’s Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season-opener at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca all share a large number of common links to the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 that’s on the road today.
But one of the most remarkable facts is that both the Super Trofeo race car and production car are assembled alongside each other on the same production line at Lamborghini’s state-of-the-art factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.
It’s a unique strategy that the Italian manufacturer has used to build more than 120 Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo cars for its single-make championships in Europe, Asia and North America over the last 18 months.
“It’s clear that in the last two years, Lamborghini Squadra Corsa is a new motorsport department, the first motorsport department in our history,” Head of Lamborghini Motorsport Giorgio Sanna told Sportscar365.
“We are growing up so fast, in terms of structure and human resources dedicated to customer racing activities.
“It’s even true that in terms of demand from the market, the last two years for the Huracán Super Trofeo, we have produced more than the whole lifecycle of the Gallardo Super Trofeo in five years.”
Sportscar365 received a special behind-the-scenes look of the assembly process at the Lamborghini factory, which encompasses multiple buildings and workshops throughout its facility, and employing up to 600 people for all of the manufacturer’s activities.
On the motorsports side, a dedicated team of 12 mechanics and engineers look after the production of the Super Trofeo and Huracán GT3 cars, which arrive at Sant’Agata just as a bare chassis.
The assembly process begins in its motorsports workshop, where initial parts, such as the fuel tank, air jacks and oil reservoirs are installed to each chassis.
The Huracán Super Trofeo cars are then moved onto Lamborghini’s main production line, where the majority of the components are installed throughout a rigorous 23-station process that takes up to two days to complete.
Components such as brakes, body panels, wings and even the V10 engine and transmission are installed by the mechanics, who follow the car along through every station on the line.
Sanna said they can assemble two race cars on the production line simultaneously, and up to six per week. By comparison, a total of 11 Huracán street cars are typically produced each day on the same line, with a parallel line for the Aventador model.
The line, redesigned in the early 2000’s following Audi’s acquisition of the company, has significant German influence in terms of procedure, but only a single robot is used on the floor, leaving nearly all of the assembly up to the mechanics.
(The above photos are of the Huracán road car’s assembly on the same production line)
Once complete, the race cars are then brought back to the motorsports workshop where final components, such as the floor, side skirts, diffuser and splitter are added, as well as oils, in preparation for a shakedown test at a local track.
Lamborghini introduced the streamlined build process in late 2014, and according to Giacomo Malagoli, technical project leader and support for motorsports, the highly trained staff have everything down to a science.
“The first few cars always take a little bit more time,” Malagoli told Sportscar365. “On the [production] line, everything is different as you have the timing. You know in 30 minutes, you have to mount this part.
“[At first] It wasn’t easy to understand the best way to mount which component at which station. Now this year’s production for the Super Trofeo was much, much easier.
“We know the timing, we know which the things you have to take a little bit more of a procedure or see more deeply. Now we have a little bit of history and knowledge.”
Sanna said build process for the Huracán GT3 is slightly different due to the complexities in the chassis, which sees the car taken to a dedicated assembly area instead of the production line, but still being returned to the motorsports workshop for final prep.
With 40 GT3 cars being built for this year, in addition to the 50-plus Super Trofeo cars produced for the 2016 season, the company has seen significant growth in the motorsports department, which has required additional resources to be dedicated to the motorsports department.
Sanna said they’ve grown by more than 30 percent in size since its inception in 2014.
“It’s clear we’re moving forward quickly but always step by step,” he said. “This year, the challenge was to produce the GT3 cars. We’re really [focused] about the fact that we’re in the condition to deliver all the cars from the start of the championships.”
Lamborghini has accomplished that, by already delivering 35 of the GT3 cars to customers worldwide, while strengthening its grids in all three of its single-make championships, with a car that largely comes off the same production line as its road-going counterparts.