Lamborghini has long been associated with drama and flare. With its fighter-jet appearance and equally sonorous engines, Lamborghini definitely knows a thing or two in motorsports. Last weekend, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia series invaded Sepang for round 4 of the 2016 series. The experience was nothing short of a sensory overload.
Since the inception of the Super Trofeo Europe series in 2009, the series has now expanded to 2 other regions, namely Asia and North America. This year, the series kick started in Shanghai International Circuit (CHN) subsequently moving on to Suzuka Circuit (JPN) and Chang International Circuit (THA) before arriving at Sepang International Circuit (MAS) for round four. The race will then take the teams to Fuji Speedway (JPN) with the final stop at Valencia (SP). Winners from each region will then have a final showdown at the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Finals in Valencia (SP) from the 1 to 2 December 2016.
Now in its fifth year (Asian series), the one-make series boasts a full line-up of race prepped Lamborghini Huracan LP 620-2 Super Trofeo. Using the same engine from the road going LP 580-2, the naturally aspirated V10 is tuned for a healthy 620 hp. With those large wings and body kit for aerodynamics, it was a sight to behold when the cars blitz through Sepang’s main straight.
The championship consists of three categories, Pro-AM (seasoned drivers), AM (intermediate drivers) and Lamborghini Cup (beginner drivers). We are proud to report that out of the 20 participants, two are Malaysians. Afiq Yazid, the 25-year old from Kuala Lumpur is an alumni of Lamborghini’s Young Driver Program. Together with his partner Toshiyuki Ochiai from Japan, the duo in car #12 has the podium in their sights. Zen Low together with his partner Max Wiser from Italy steers car #69.
With the sun blazing upon Sepang and the tarmac bone dry at around 41 degrees Celsius, conditions were perfect for a heated morning race. As the cars line-up after their warm-up lap for a rolling start, spectators held their breath (and ears) for what is to come. The nanosecond the lights turn green, all 12 competitors unleashed the full 620 hp grunt onto the track. Spectators were treated to an orchestra of naturally aspirated V10’s. The experience was only second to the good old Formula One V12’s.
In round one, Yazid and Ochiai battled Dilantha Malagamuwa from Sri Lanka and Armaan Ebrahim from Indonesia into pole position for Pro-AM class. Meanwhile, Yudai Uchida from Japan and partner Jono Lester from New Zealand pulled a spectacular performance making their way up to third place from their grid position (started 10th on the grid). The Low and Wiser pair came in a close fourth. For the AM class, Andrew Haryanto from Indonesia emerged at the top, beating George Chou from Taipei and Samson Chan from Hong Kong. Coming in at third for the AM class was Vincent Wong from Hong Kong and Sanghwi Yoon from Korea. Lastly, in the Lamborghini Cup class, Supachai Weeraborwornpong from Thailand flew solo for 50-minutes to beat lone ranger Sam Lok of Hong Kong.
Round two of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia series commenced at 2:20p.m. when the sun is most brutal. The second race is more physically demanding for the participants as they brave through 50-minutes of sprinting at a track temperature of 50 odd degrees. This time, we again witnessed our local hero bagging first place for Pro-AM class together with his teammate from the Land of the Rising Sun. Consequently, they finished first place overall.
Uchida/Lester who started sixth on the grid ploughed their way through to second place followed closely by Malagamuawa/Ebrahim pair. Once again local competitor Low and teammate Wiser came in a close fourth as they battled their way from a seventh grid position. Moving to the AM cup, Wong/Yoon took came out on top while Keong Wee Lim of Singapore came in second. Completing the podium is the Chou/Chan pair.
After the race, Yazid said it was his first ever race on the newly resurfaced Sepang track. It’s much smoother and helped Yazid up his rhythm one notch. “Racing on my home turf always feels great and I’m overjoyed with the end result,” said Yazid. The young Malaysian also shared with us his experience in Lamborghini’s Young Drivers Program. He jokes that it is akin to a university degree as racing is not the only thing that he does.
In Lamborghini Accademia, drivers are taught more than just to race. It is a complete immersion of the brand. From track set up to handling the media, the Young Drivers Program is aimed to develop young ambassadors for the brand. When asked what is next for Yazid, he hints that he will be working closely with Lamborghini as their test driver. With his extensive experience on track, he is looking forward to help develop next-gen vehicle technologies which will be deployed on race cars and subsequently trickle down onto production cars. To think that a Malaysian will have a part in the development of next-gen Lamborghini’s is truly a proud moment for the Jalur Gemilang.
The next stop for Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia series will be at the iconic Fuji Speedway in Japan. We at AutoBuzz.my would like to extend our support to the Malaysian drivers as well as our best wishes to those participating!