Following an impressive debut in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo last time out at the Nürburgring, Aleksander Schjerpen completed a last minute deal to return to Leipert Motorsport for the highly regarded Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals event at the Autodromo Vallelunga in Italy last weekend.
Returning to the wheel of the same Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO he used last time out, Schjerpen would this time be partnered by 2014 Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final winner Jake Rattenbury to form a formidable line-up for the final races of the season.
As a new circuit for the Norwegian driver, Aleksander utilised Thursday’s free practice sessions to settle into the fast Italian circuit before Qualifying for both of Friday’s races got under way. Strong performances from both drivers in their respective sessions would place them on the outside of the front row for race one and the inside of row five for the second and final race of the day.
With the AM and PRO races being split up for this event, racing started early on Friday morning. Welsh driver Jake Rattenbury was in the car to begin race one and as the lights went out for the rolling start he got a superb get away to challenge for the lead into the first corner. Settling back into second, from there he would maintain the position until the pitstop window opened at the mid-point of the race, just after a brief Safety Car period.
A rapid pitstop from the Leipert crew placed Aleksander back into the car and he would return to the track in P3. Looking set to secure a podium finish for the team, Schjerpen came under increasing pressure for the position during the closing stages of the race. In a bitter blow with just a lap to go, Schjerpen’s car spun at the end of the back straight and he slipped to P6, which he would recover from and maintain to the chequered flag.
Hoping to make amends in race two, this time it was Schjerpen’s chance to start the race. As the lights went out, the determined Garage15 driver was already on a charge and working his way up the order. Approaching the pitstop window he was now up to P6 as he dived into the pits to hand the car over to Rattenbury. Another strong pitstop placed the Welshman back on track, however the team were deemed to have completed their pitstop too quickly and would suffer a 1.5 second penalty as a result to be added after the race. On a charge, it was a tough stint for Jake who was hit from behind during the closing stages of the race, but still managed to maintain his position. With concerns as to whether he could even finish the race now as a result of the damage, from there he preserved the car to ensure they secured their P5 finish to complete their final weekend of the year.
Aleksander Schjerpen – Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO:
“All in all, it’s been a really good experience. We have improved each time we hit the track, going faster and in the end we had a good race pace. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get the results to show for it. But that’s racing. A big thanks to the team for a brilliant job, making the car handle excellent around the Vallelunga track, and working hard as always. We will come back even stronger!”