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Caldarelli Hoping to Carry Paul Ricard Momentum to Spa

Andrea Caldarelli: 24H Spa “on the bucket list” for Lamborghini after repeated bad luck…

Photo: JEP/SRO

Andrea Caldarelli hopes Iron Lynx will be able to carry through its strong start to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season through to the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, although he acknowledged the Italian brand’s difficult history at the event.

Caldarelli, together with Mirko Bortolotti and Matteo Cairoli, finished second in the three-hour season opener in Paul Ricard, only behind current points leaders ROWE Racing.

That came after the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 started the race from pole and led the early stages before going on to secure the team’s first Endurance Cup podium since last year’s season opener at Monza.

Caldarelli told Sportscar365 that the result in France served as a morale boost after a challenging 2023 season, with focus now turning to the centenary edition of the Belgian endurance classic.

“I think Paul Ricard was definitely a good start,” Caldarelli said.

“I think we really started on the good path with our package, especially compared to last year, it was a very, very difficult year. So it was a good start.

“[Spa] is on the bucket list of Lamborghini, really. We’ve always been very close but never achieved it.

“We can’t hide it’s one of our priority races for GT. So we’re going to go there like fully prepared. We know it’s an endurance race.”

The 24H Spa has proven a difficult race to tame for Lamborghini in the past, notably having not finished on the overall podium there since the original Huracan GT3 made its event debut in 2015.

Its best finishes to date have been a pair of eighth places in 2019 and 2021, both with Caldarelli as part of the driver lineup.

“That’s why it’s on bucket list, because it’s not been really nice to us,” Caldarelli said.

“We’ve always been very close. We were always competitive, I have to say.

“My first one was 2017. So it’s going to be seven years that I try. For Lamborghini it’s [even longer] and it’s always been nasty to us. Hopefully this year is going to be different.”

Last year’s edition of the race was similarly challenging for Iron Lynx, with the No. 63 car missing out on Super Pole getting involved in an incident in a rain-hit qualifying session before brake caliper issues curtailed their run early in the race.

“Last year, it was the first year of the EVO2 and we had issues,” Caldarelli said.

“We can’t deny that. I think we worked on the issues and it seems like we solved them.

“So I think we completely forget what happened last year and we just focus on what we’ve been doing so far this year.”

Caldarelli went on to praise new co-driver Cairoli, who switched from Porsche to Lamborghini this year and is set for his first Spa appearance with the Italian brand last year.

“To be fair, Matteo is a great talent, he’s a great guy,” Caldarelli said.

“I think, honestly, he doesn’t need much of an introduction to anything. I think it’s more like system-wise and things that we normally do that I personally try to take really care of him.

“Showing him what our systems are and how we use them. He’s been great. As you saw in Ricard, he’s quick and we don’t need much more to [teach] him.”

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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