Aleksander Schjerpen returned to Leipert Motorsport for the final round of the 2017 Creventic 24H Series last weekend as the championship finale played out around the iconic Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship host venue, Circuit of the Americas in the state of Texas, USA.
Having suffered a difficult event last time out in Imola where incidents on track and mechanical issues put them out of contention despite their superb pace over a single lap, the #10 crew were hoping to put the speed to good use and end their season on a high.
Early indications were clear that a strong showing within the A6-Am class was on the cards as the team narrowly missed out on the top spot in the second optional private test before going one better and securing the fastest lap in class in Free Practice.
Hoping to carry their form into qualifying, when the chequered flag fell the team looked set to start second in class, but promotion to the Pro class for the Hofor Racing Mercedes meant that it was Leipert Motorsport who would start from the A6-Am pole position spot for the 24 Hours of COTA on Saturday morning.
With the race set to run in two parts, 14 hours on Saturday and 10 hours on Sunday, the Leipert Motorsport team set off just after 9am local time on Saturday morning into a good rhythm early on. Knowing that their nearest GT3 rivals would have an advantage over them at certain times in the race, the team ensured they kept their pitstops to a minimum to make any gains possible over the duration of the race.
At the end of 14 hours and the first part of the race, the #10 Lamborghini crew were running third in class and looking in good shape for the second and final part of the race on Sunday. Maintaining their third place for the majority of the morning, a brief slip to fourth was followed by some superb driving from the entire crew to quickly ensure they were back on the podium.
Approaching the final minutes of the race, it looked as if their podium finish was about to be taken from them. With Louis Jasper at the wheel, the car started to loose drive and dived into the pits. A failing drive shaft was found to be the cause of the problem. Never ones to give up, the team pushed the car down the pitlane enabling Louis to limp the car around the final lap to ensure Leipert Motorsport secured a podium finish from their debit at the Circuit of the Americas.
Aleksander Schjerpen – #10 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán:
“We got our third place – at last! We lost drive in the car with five minutes left, but just crossed the finish line to take the flag, with a driveshaft starting to fail! So, overall, I am very happy with the weekend, we started off qualifying P1. The start went off well, but since we were racing GT3 cars we knew we would lose a bit in the beginning. We had a strong couple of stints before darkness fell, some small errors and mistakes cost us some valuable time, but we made up for it in the last 10 hours. It’s been a great experience racing here at COTA in the USA, and a very tough but fun race to be part of! Safe to say this podium is a true team effort, so massive thanks to Leipert Motorsport for doing a great job, and to my partners of course.”