Aleksander Schjerpen returned to the 24H Series in style last weekend where along with his team Leipert Motorsport and co-drivers Alexey Karachev (RUS), Denis Soglaev (RUS), Greg Gorski (USA) and Harald Schlotter (GER), they won Class SPX aboard their Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO around the US Grand Prix host venue, Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Having previously enjoyed much success with the German team, including a podium finish on the same event back in 2017, Schjerpen was feeling confident coming into the weekend that they had a strong chance of another fine result. Two private tests and an official practice session in the run up to the event afforded the crew ample time to settle into their mount for the weekend, and indeed the timesheets gave them every reason to be confident. Going into qualifying on Friday, the team were aiming for the top spot in their class, and it was Norwegian star Aleksander Schjerpen who stopped the clocks at 2.11.065, fastest for the team and more importantly, fastest in class to secure pole position in class SPX going into the weekend’s two-part 24 Hour race.
The race itself was set to be run over two parts, 11 hours on Saturday, with the balance of 13 hours to be completed on Sunday. Starting the race for the #710 crew would be Alexey Karachev, with Schjerpen due into the car after him for his first stint in the race. It was a superb start to the race for the Russian driver, maintaining their class lead and quickly setting rapid times to build their advantage at the head of the field. It wasn’t long before the crew had a commanding lead, and set about maintaining this with a series of strong stints as they cycled through the drivers. As day 1 drew to a close, it was Schjerpen who had marked himself out as the fastest driver in the team and also fastest in class SPX. The quintet of drivers had secured a class lead of over a lap ahead of their nearest rivals while also running inside the top 10 overall.
Having taken the car across the line to close part one, Aleksander was also set to resume the action on track on Sunday morning for the second and final part of the race. However day two would be somewhat more challenging for the crew, who found themselves locked in an unusual fuel strategy battle with their nearest rivals in the MARC II V8. As they were running much longer after every fuel stop, the Leipert crew were forced to alter their strategy to counter their rivals efforts. Quickly it would appear that their adjustment would bear fruit as they charged back into a lead that would eventually extend to a winning margin of almost 11 laps ahead of their nearest rival in P2. This would lead to a convincing win in class SPX and with it, the Continents Championship for the team along with Aleksander securing the fastest class lap of the race in both day running and night time conditions.
Aleksander Schjerpen – #710 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo 2018:
“What a race, P1 in class, champions of the continent for Leipert Motorsport and their lead driver Harald Schlotter, so we can check off every box. Towards the end of the race there was no real drama, we tried to save as much tyres and fuel as possible, and keep it safe for the last few hours. Hats off to Leipert Motorsport, it was a true team effort and so well deserved after some tense moments earlier in the race. The guys in the pit did everything right, and made sure we had a great car for the whole race. It’s so nice to win my final race of the year and also for my partners, thank you so much to them for their support.”