August 19, 2012, Ordos, China – Lamborghini and Blancpain have yet again made history this weekend, celebrating their first ever China-held race of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series at the Ordos International Circuit. Already on their third stop around Asia, Italian supercar manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini and Swiss luxury watchmaker Blancpain brought to Chinese supercar fans and Chinese consumers first-class tickets to admire the incredibly competitive one-make racing series, and experience up-close Lamborghini’s “Extreme, Uncompromising and Italian” brand values. Over the coming months, China will be host to three more races, to be held in Guangzhou in September, Shanghai in October and again in November for the Grand Finale.
This first race weekend in China allowed many of the Series’ international drivers to experience for the first time the unique and challenging features of the Ordos International Circuit. Built in 2010, the circuit boasts 18 turns and a length of 3,751 meters, with straights allowing for a top speed of 296km/h. In what has been dubbed the first mountain circuit in China, the driving teams were able to put their experience from the Fuji International Speedway to good use as they negotiated challenging uphill and downhill turns across the circuit.
“With China being one of Lamborghini’s most important markets worldwide, we are extremely excited to bring the Super Trofeo to Ordos and demonstrate to Chinese consumers yet another dimension of the Lamborghini brand” said Super Trofeo Asia Series Coordinator Cristiano Inverni. “The fact that the Asia Series 2012 will hold four of its races in China this year clearly shows Lamborghini’s strong commitment to this market, and through our motorsport activities we look forward to supporting Lamborghini’s growth in China for the foreseeable future.”
Blancpain Vice President and Head of Marketing Alain Delamuraz said, “Over the years, Blancpain has been increasing its active presence in Asia. The Manufacture was indeed one of the first Swiss watchmakers to be in China. We are really excited to be back, here in Ordos International Circuit with the Super Trofeo. Last year, Blancpain attended a race in Ordos with the FIA GT1 World Championship and witnessed an amazing race. We hope this first race of the Super Trofeo Asia in China will bring as much excitement. This championship will allow our clients, and the media to discover the link between the art of watchmaking and the motorsport world.”
As a supporting race to the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC), the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo set itself apart with a series of unique characteristics. Featuring Lamborghini’s permanent four-wheel drive, the Super Trofeo is the fastest one-make, all-wheel-drive motorsport series. Open to Gentlemen drivers only (amateur & pro-amateur), the Super Trofeo allows teams of up to two drivers to compete in turns behind the wheel, subject to a compulsory driver change in the pit lane between minute 20 and minute 30. For drivers racing individually, a compulsory 1 minute stop during the same period also ensures a fair competition. Mixed levels of experience in the driving teams make for a thrilling race, as changes in the leader board ensure complete suspense until the finish line.
The race weekend opened with an impressive collision in the qualifying race between Japanese car #10 (Suzuki) and Taiwanese car #38 (Chao), preventing both from taking part in the first race on Saturday afternoon. Lamborghini R&D Chief Test-Driver Giorgio Sanna said: “This circuit is really technical, there are several turns where you cannot easily find the right line, and with the wind blowing sand onto the track, it makes the experience even more challenging for the drivers.” But both teams and drivers were determined to compete on Sunday, and following an incredible show of team-spirit and commitment to the Series, the cars were repaired overnight and met official safety standards to join race 2 on Sunday.
The first race on Saturday took off in sunny conditions, with favourites Liu/Rizzo (#37) from China in third position, following Ramli (#9) from Malaysia and Charlz (#99) from Singapore in pole position. After an unfortunate start in Sepang, Ramli (#9) surprised spectators in Fuji, jumping from 14th to 2nd position between race 1 and race 2. Now competing in Ordos, Ramli pulled an incredible performance to finish first on the podium with a best lap time of 1:46:522, ahead of previously undefeated Liu/Rizzo (#37), with Charlz (#99) following closely in third position.
Race 2 saw Hong Kong team Chan/Tse (#88) climb steadily but surely from their 6th position on the grid start to finally secure 3rd place on the podium. Meanwhile contending teams Liu/Rizzo (#37) and Ramli (#9) kept the pressure on throughout the race, overtaking each other back and forth and earning a few gasps from a tense crowd of spectators. But Ramli (#9) finally reaffirmed his leading position in Ordos and finished first on the podium for the second time. The next race weekend will be held at the Guangdong International Circuit on September 15-16, promising even more exciting performances from the competitors.