Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Christian Engelhart will defend their Blancpain GT Series titles with Grasser Racing Team and Lamborghini, with the Italian manufacturer confirming long-term contract extensions for all three drivers.
The trio combined to win the Endurance Cup last year in the No. 63 GRT Lamborghini Huracan GT3, with Bortolotti and Engelhart also going onto claim the overall drivers’ crown, along with the Gottfried Grasser-led operation.
Bortolotti, Caldarelli and Engelhart will continue as factory drivers alongside the returning Marco Mapelli, Giovanni Venturini and Raffaele Giammaria, in an unchanged works lineup for Lamborghini.
“We have reconfirmed the same lineup as 2017 because we believe that our six factory drivers are the best that the international scene of GT competitions can offer,” said Head of Lamborghini Motorsport Giorgio Sanna.
“The sporting results speak for themselves. In 2017, the Grasser Racing Team won three titles in the prestigious Blancpain GT Series, thanks to Bortolotti, Caldarelli and Engelhart; Giovanni Venturini won the International GT Open championship with Imperiale Racing; Marco Mapelli, besides his excellent racing results, is contributing to the development of Lamborghini road and racing cars; Raffaele Giammaria, thanks to his proven experience, will help us in the development of racing cars for customers and is the ideal guide for our training programs aimed at young drivers.”
GRT will again field three Lamborghinis in both the Endurance and Sprint Cups, with Bortolotti and Engelhart set to team up in the Sprint Cup, alongside Caldarelli/Ezequiel Perez Companc (No. 19) and Loris Hezemans/Franck Perera (No. 82).
Perera, meanwhile, has been confirmed alongside Rolf Ineichen and a to-be-announced third driver in the No. 82 entry for the Endurance Cup, with Perez and Giammaria in the No. 19 car for the five-round championship.
Caldarelli is also set to take part in ADAC GT Masters alongside Bortolotti, with Engelhart/Ineichen and Companc/Perera also entered in the highly competitive German GT3 championship.
Fellow factory driver Mapelli will compete in the Blancpain GT Series Asia with FFF Racing Team by ACM and will also race a JLOC-entered Lamborghini in Super GT, with Venturini set to defend his International GT Open title with Imperiale Racing.
Lamborghini GT3 Junior Programs Set
While yet to reveal the new additions to the GT3 Junior and Young Driver programs, a number of existing drivers have already been confirmed with various customer teams.
Dennis Lind will team up with Martin Kodric in a FFF Team Lamborghini in Blancpain GT Series Asia, while reigning World Final and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America champion Riccardo Agostini, along with Jeroen Mul and Rik Breukers, have been confirmed as part of Imperiale’s lineup in GT Open.
Italian Super GT3 champion Michele Beretta, meanwhile, will race in GT Masters with the Rosberg team, while 2015 World Final winner Patrick Kujala is set to compete in the British GT Championship with Barwell Motorsport.
Lazarus will enter a Lamborghini for 2016 GT Open champion Fabrizio Crestani in the Blancpain GT Silver Cup, with Alex Frassineti also racing in the series but for Ombra Racing.
Loris Spinelli, Daniel Zampieri and Lorenzo Veglia, meanwhile, will take part in the Italian GT Championship with Antonelli Motorsport, while Madison Snow will continue his campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Paul Miller Racing.
“We are proud of our young drivers and in the past season, many of them obtained excellent results both in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo one-make series and in GT3 championships,” Sanna said.
“For this reason, considering the over 40 Lamborghini Huracán GT3s competing in the main championships worldwide and thanks to the most successful teams in this category, we, at Lamborghini Squadra Corse, are able to support our most deserving young drivers and make them progress in their careers towards professionalism. “