Franck Perera believes Grasser Racing Team and Lamborghini will need a “perfect” race at the Total 24 Hours of Spa to score their second major 24-hour race win of the year.
The 34-year-old Frenchman, who formed part of GRT’s GT Daytona class-winning lineup at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, has his sights set on another victory but admits it will be a bigger challenge amid a 60-plus car GT3 field in this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series centerpiece.
Perera is sharing one of three Grasser Lamborghinis with Phil Keen and Rik Breukers after winning at Daytona with Breukers, Rolf Ineichen and Mirko Bortolotti.
“I think in the No. 82, we are more like [underdogs],” he told Sportscar365.
“We have a really big chance to score a really good result but I think we need to be perfect everywhere and have no touches, no crashes, no punctures, nothing.
“There are a lot of good lineups and good cars so we have to do everything we need to do to be good everywhere, and we’ll see.”
The Daytona win was followed by Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 claiming GTD honors at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, in what has been a breakout year for the Italian manufacturer in major endurance races.
Perera said Lamborghini’s early season success was an important moment but admits that it hasn’t had the results it wanted in the Blancpain GT Series so far.
While Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart claimed victory in the Blancpain GT season-opener at Zolder, a Lamborghini hasn’t won in the series since.
“The [Blancpain GT] season is difficult for everyone,” Perera said “It’s higher [level], there are more cars and constructors.
“It’s not easy for everyone and for [the SRO] to manage the BoP.
“For sure, it’s not easy but we still show that we are there and at the last race in Misano we were close to winning.”
Perera and Bortolotti will take part in this evening’s Super Pole session, with two of three GRT Lamborghinis making it through for the top-20 shootout.
With a good qualifying result followed by a clean race, Perera is confident of a strong result and the ability to score the Huracan GT3’s first top-ten finish at Spa.
“We have potential to finish in the top-six, but it’s still early,” he said. “Everyone wants to win, that’s why we do it, but we have to respect everyone.”
Perera Aiming for Long-Term Lamborghini Relationship
Perera says he’s looking to extend his relationship with Lamborghini into next year and beyond after switching between manufacturers each year recently, but doesn’t yet know where he’ll be competing in 2019.
The Frenchman has driven a variety of GT3 machinery from 2014-17, including Porsches, BMWs, Audis and Mercedes before joining the Gottfried Grasser-run squad this year.
“It’s still early to say for the future but yes, yes,” he said, when asked if he plans to remain with Lamborghini next year. “That is the goal. That is why I left last year.
“I like to race in Europe in Blancpain and ADAC GT Masters is good also. I like America. Whatever is competitive and good for the Lambo.”
Perera said his experience in several different GT3 cars has helped him as a driver.
“To arrive here, it’s a good experience to have been with different constructors,” he said.
“That’s why I also try to help my teammates and I tell them what they do and what they could do. It’s good experience and now I’m happy to be with Lamborghini.”