The final race of the 2023 Michelin Le Mans Cup (LMC) season took place at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (Portugal). The 40-team grid (28 LMP3 cars and 12 GT3 cars) again included two Lamborghini Huracán GT3s from Leipert Motorsport. The MOTUL-supported team from Wegberg sent Gabriel Rindone (I)/Patrick Kujala (FIN) with the #19 and Gregg Gorski (USA)/Brendon Leitch (NZ) with the #24 into the race. The duo Rindone/Kujala finished 4th in the race and in the championship – one point behind the third-placed team.
Test, practice and qualifying:
The team travelled to Portugal well prepared. Everything went smoothly during the test drives and free practice sessions, but the weather god made life difficult for the race teams. Strong winds, heavy rain showers and short sunny stretches in quick changes presented the drivers with great challenges. In qualifying, Leipert Motorsport achieved solid results with both cars. Bronze drivers Rindone and Gorski (who replaced the prevented regular driver Gerhard Watzinger (USA), put the Lamborghini Huracán GT3s on grid positions 4 and 7 in the GT3 field.
The race over the 110-minute distance suffered from the extreme weather conditions. Heavy rain caused a start behind the safety car. Rindone (#19) and Gorski (#24) drove the first stint. Visibility was extremely restricted by the spray, with water running over the track in some sections. The Leipert drivers made no mistakes and initially held their positions. Due to the difficult conditions, there were again some “full-course yellow phases”. After the pit stops, the Pro drivers Kujala and Leitch were in 4th and 8th place. The planned race to catch up was slowed down by another heavy rainfall. After a series of aquaplaning excursions – especially of the LMP3 cars – the race control stopped the race with the red flag 30 minutes before the end. As a result, Rindone/Kujala were unable to improve their positions and finished the stopped race in 4th place. As a result, the duo missed out on a podium position in the championship by just one point and also finished in 4th place. Gorski/Leitch crossed the finish line in 8th place as guest entrants and showed a very strong performance in Gregg Gorski’s Le Mans Cup debut.
Managing Directors Marcel Leipert & Marc Poos:
“We are very happy with the result of our first season in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. In the end, only one point was missing and we would have finished on the championship podium. The zero lap in the first race of the season was bitter and we were not able to fully compensate for this deficit until the end. Nevertheless, as the season progressed, our team proved its strength and developed very strongly. We were able to win a race and fight for the title until the last race of the season. We can be proud of that. The Michelin Le Mans Cup will also be an integral part of our programme in 2024!”
The grand finale in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo is coming up in mid-November. The chances are good that Leipert Motorsport will again finish this season very successfully. The Autodromo Vallelunga in Italy will host the fifth and sixth events (12-13 and 16-17 November 2023) of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe as well as the Lamborghini World Final (18-19 November 2023). There, as usual, the team from Wegberg will start with five Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO 2 and wants to defend its lead in the Pro, Am and Team classifications.