Back to the foothills of Japan’s Mount Fuji for its second consecutive year, Fuji International Speedway on September 20-22 erupted with the extraordinary excitement of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series. Here at this renowned and picturesque circuit, Italian luxury super sports car maker Automobili Lamborghini and Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Blancpain joined forces to host round 4 of this exclusive championship.
While gentlemen drivers hurtled across the half way point of this year’s Super Trofeo Asia Series, the echoes of thrilling excitement from this championship were revived as the raging bull made its roaring return to the land of the rising sun.
Preceding race 1 on Saturday was the Lamborghini Japan Owners Parade, which hailed 50 Lamborghini models, displaying 50 years of Lamborghini prowess, from across Japan and onto Fuji Speedway for a magnificent spectacle of Italian automotive splendor. At this parade, the cutting-edge Gallardos and Aventadors of today were joined by the unique prestige of Lamborghini Murcielago, Countach and Diablo models.
“Japan is an invaluable platform for furthering Lamborghini’s emotional connection with motorsport in Asia“, said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “Returning to this esteemed track amid Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary marks a level of forward thinking and tribute that complements our commitment to the Japanese market.”
Incredible performances from Japan in the first half of the 2013 Super Trofeo Asia Series have seen first place victories from George Zhou and Ida Masahiko in Shanghai, Kazushi Kitaura and Hideto Yasuoka in Sepang, and Akihiko Nakaya in Inje respectively. Moreover, the success from host country drivers in the first 3 rounds of this championship brought high expectations from drivers this weekend.
Forged with a history of the world’s most renowned motorsport championships, and boasting one of the longest straights in international race tracks, Fuji International Speedway brought new racing dynamics for gentlemen drivers to overcome in this round.
The morning’s two qualifying rounds on Saturday really broke the ice as sharp competitiveness roused amongst gentlemen drivers. With remarkable speed and unsurpassed lap times were Johnson Yaptonaga and Manabu Orido (#63) of Indonesia and Japan respectively, who would lead this eager line-up of Lamborghinis.
In Race 1 on Saturday, group A’s Afiq Yazid (#2) of Malaysia showed unshakable nerves and control to win his 3rd first place victory in this year’s championship. Cheered on by a home crowd was Japan’s Akihiko Nakaya (#10), whose consistent talent and determination brought him into second place, just ahead of Max Wiser and Jiang Xin (#9) of China, who came in third. In group B, Dilantha Malagamuwa and Zen Low (#69) of Sri Lanka and Malaysia respectively, made an extraordinary performance to win their first every Super Trofeo victory. In a competitive see-saw of positioning in group B, Andrea Garbagnati and Bob Indrasasana (#6) of Indonesia came in for second, while Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (#16) of Japan raced in for third position and his debut on the podium.
Mr. Stephan Winkelmann Awards Malaysia's Afiq Yazid First Place in Race 1
In race 2 on Sunday, group A saw Max Wiser and Jiang Xin (#9) make their 8th podium finish and their second first place victory this season, a feat well earned and celebrated by the cheering crowds. In second place, and making their return to the podium, were Dilantha Malagamuwa and Zen Low (#69), whose teamwork and passion led once again to an exemplary race performance. In group B, unparalleled ambition led China to the forefront of success, as Steven Lin (#66) won first place. Closely behind and also making their first ever podium finish was Hong Kong’s Michael Choi and Kenneth Lau (#8), whose triumph of second place was followed by Andrea Garbagnati and Bob Indrasasana in third.
The grand layout of flowing corners and the longest straight in this championship made victory an ambitious goal this weekend in Japan. While raw talent, self-confidence and experience of the track were of undisputed value in this race, the thermal performance, downforce trim and aerodynamics of the Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo 2013 certainly leveled the playing field. The unyielding stamina of the feature model’s V10 engine and 570 horsepower made extraordinary driving a practical sight as drivers accelerated down the 1 .50 km long straight. Moreover, the provocative design and harmonious roar of the raging bull set a stunning site against the exquisite background of Mount Fuji.
Furthermore, taking to the track on Sunday was the renowned Asia Le Mans Series, where Lamborghini’s GT3 made an exceptional performance with Liu/Rizzo/Wiser, an accomplishment that brought further shine to the motoring exploits of Lamborghini this weekend.
Families, friends and guests immersed themselves in the refined hospitality of Automobili Lamborghini and Blancpain over the race weekend. First class Italian cuisine and a surrounding ambience of everything Lamborghini made the VIP lounge a lavish environment from which to enjoy this extraordinary round of motorsport.
The ultimate passion for lifestyle experiences will reawaken in Asia as Super Trofeo returns to Shanghai, China on October 25-27. This 5th round in the season will be a crucial occasion for gentlemen drivers to boost their standings before November’s grand finale in Macau, which will take place alongside the highly celebrated 60th Macau Grand Prix.