Lamborghini secured its second successive victory in the 24 Hours of Spa courtesy of Barwell Motorsport’s Sandy Mitchell, Leo Machitski, Rob Collard and Ricky Collard in the Pro-Am class. Having taken victory in the Silver Cup last year and second in the same class in 2018, this latest triumph marks the third consecutive year the British team has stood on the podium in the Belgian classic.
The quartet, driving the #77 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, started fourth in class (41th overall) with Rob Collard at the wheel and recovered from a second-lap spin and puncture to move up the order following the first round of pit-stops.
After the early set-back, Collard was the last of the Lamborghinis – and one of the last cars in the field – to pit at the end of the first hour, swapping with Lamborghini GT3 Junior Driver Mitchell, who went to spent more than 10 of the 24 hours at the wheel.
The Scot handed over to Ricky Collard before switching with father Rob, who completed an impressive quadruple stint before the end of the seventh hour where the #77 reclaimed the class lead.
This lead ebbed and flowed throughout the night, with the #93 Tempesta Racing Ferrari and the #188 Garage 59 Aston Martin providing stern tests for the #77. Come the morning though, Mitchell, Collard, Collard and Machitski emerged at the front once more and took the chequered flag by more than a lap’s margin and 15th overall.
This was the first time the prestigious 24 Hours of Spa had been held outside of its traditional July/October date, which threw up a number of challenging variables for the eight Lamborghini supported entries on the grid.
The race started in almost dry conditions, but it wasn’t long before the typical Spa rain showers hit the circuit. The track did dry up in the early hours of the morning, but persistent rain for the final quarter ensured tyre choice and calculated driving was necessary.
In the fight for overall victory, Orange 1 FFF Racing led the Lamborghini charge with the #63 crew of Factory Drivers Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Dennis Lind. The leading Lamborghini pulled a strategic masterstroke by pitting off-sequence with the rest of the frontrunners, giving it the lead courtesy of a superb opening stint from Lind.
Mapelli and Caldarelli maintained the advantage heading into the dark, but the #63’s strong run came to an unfortunate end when Lind lost control and crashed out of the lead at Raidillon in the 16th hour.
Hugo Chevalier, Taylor Proto, Baptiste Moulin and Florian Latorre brought the #555 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team car home third in the Silver Cup.