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Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe

Pulcini, Gilardoni Clinch Europe Crown at Eventful Final Round

Leonardo Pulcini, Kevin Gilardoni win European title despite incident in Race 2 at Misano…

Photo: Lamborghini

Leonardo Pulcini and Kevin Gilardoni won the 2021 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe title ahead of Max Weering after prevailing in a dramatic final round at Misano.

The Oregon Team duo arrived in Italy with an eight-point advantage over Weering, who managed to halve the deficit in the opening race before late drama between the title rival entries in the Race 2 enabled Pulcini and Gilardoni to come away with the championship.

Weering’s Misano co-driver Loris Spinelli led the opening stint of Race 1 from pole, while Gilardoni ran down in ninth before retiring when one of his Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO’s wheels came loose.

Weering took the closing stint for the Johan Kraan Motorsports squad but lost the lead when his car picked up a puncture, handing first position to Raul Guzman.

The Mexican was on course for the win until Daan Pijl produced a diving move down the inside at the Rio right-hander. Pijl’s Bonaldi Motosport teammate Maxime Oosten also tried to get past but collided with Guzman, causing the Target Racing driver to spin.

That episode enabled Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s Andrzej Lewandowski to claim the final podium spot with his co-driver Karol Basz, and behind Oosten and Milan Teekens.

Lewandowski also secured the Pro-Am title in the process.

Pijl shared the outright victory with Danny Kroes, while the pair went on to secure a sweep of the weekend’s Super Trofeo Europe races which both took place on Friday.

The second race determined the direction of the Pro championship crown, and saw Pulcini lead away from pole position after his car’s retirement from the first contest.

The Italian built a six-second lead inside the opening eight laps, only to lose time when he encountered backmarker traffic near the end of his stint.

When his driving partner Gilardoni entered the fray, the Oregon Team Lamborghini was running marginally behind Spinelli’s Johan Kraan machine that was started by Weering.

A safety car period after an accident for Target Racing’s Dmitriy Gvazava caused the front-runners to bunch up, while Spinelli appeared to drop his pace in order to back Gilardoni into the pack of drivers behind.

The chasing group included Glenn van Berlo, Kroes, Kikko Galbiati and Sebastian Balthasar, who was teamed up with former Bentley factory driver Seb Morris.

Gilardoni chose to make a move on Spinelli at Rio, only for the lead to swap back later in the lap in a move that produced contact between the pair.

Kroes was the main driver to benefit as his Bonaldi Motorsport Lamborghini charged past Gilardoni as Spinelli carried on.

Despite seeing the checkered flag first, Spinelli was dealt a 10-second penalty for causing a collision, bumping him and Weering to one place behind champions Pulcini and Gilardoni while Kroes inherited his second win of the day alongside Pijl.

Vincenzo Sospiri Racing drivers Mattia Michelotto and Michael Doerrbecker took second, while Lewandowski and Basz again captured third overall as the Pro-Am winners.

“After finishing second in the championship last season, I said that there was only way to improve [this year] and that was to win it, so it was a win-or-nothing year,” said Gilardoni.

“I just jumped into the car and pushed as hard as I could but unfortunately, we got a safety car. I tried to pressurize Loris and say ‘okay, let’s go’ but then he hit me, and I spun.

“But I think it was a really deserved title and I am so damn happy about this title, for the team and all my sponsors.”

Claude-Yves Gosselin won the Am class title while Hans Fabri successfully defended his LB Cup championship from last year.

RESULTS: Race 1 / Race 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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