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26 April 1999....

Lamborghini GT Racing

More from John Z. about the Charriol Trophy....

Dates:

In some instances, they are supporting races for the ISRS Series. Last year, it was stated that you could, after having competed in the Lamborghini One-make Series, upgrade your car to GT2 spec and then even race in the FIA GT Series. However, after Audi (read Volkswagen) took over, this plan was canned. Actually, Volkswagen is not all to happy with this One-make Series. Maybe it will die at the end of 2000, but nothing is certain in this world.

There is one Lambo SVR converted to GT2 spec and it is racing in the French GT Series.

20 January 1997....

Miscellaneous News

Next year's GT Global Endurance Championship will see some changes in the rules for the GT2 class. The rule changes will allow racing versions of road cars with more than 450 bhp to race, which means that one is allowed to enter a Lamborghini Diablo, albeit the performance of the engines will be restricted.

Lambo Diablo Jota in Suzuka, Japan:
Driven by Luigi Moccia, Takao Wada and Hideo Fukuyama. Car was entered by the Japanese Lamborghini Owner's club with Valvoline as main sponsor.

The French RFR Sport Team will ditch its Ferrari F40 in favour of Lamborghini for next years assault on the GT Global Endurance GT1 crown. (besides Larrousse, this is the second team that will use Lambo's in the GT1 class. As mentioned above, also the GT2 class will be open for Lambo's, albeit with air restrictors)

A SVR will be entered in this year's French GT2 Championship. (3 March 1997). A seat will cost 60.000 French francs (about 8.000 pounds) per race.

The RFR team is NOT going to run a Diablo in this years GT Global Endurance Series. RFR will run a 333SP Ferrari and is trying to get Mario Andretti behind the wheel.

10 November 1996....

1997 Lamborghini FIA GT Global Endurance Assualt

At least two Diablo V12 based GT1 cars will enter next year's Le Mans 24 hour race. One car will be run by the Japanese Lamborghini Owner's Club, who also entered the Valvoline Diablo during 1996 Suzuka 1000 km GT Global endurance race. RFR Racing, co-owned by Ratel, the "R" of the BPR organisation and godfather of the Philippe Charriol Lamborghini SVR Supersport Trophy will enter the second car. The latter car will compete in all GT Global Endurance races next year. Both cars are prepared by the SAT company, a new company owned by former Formula One team owner/manager Gerard Larrousse, Ratel and Lamborghini collector Isa Noritale. Packing company Europack is funding the entire project.

The Valvoline Diablo qualified in 23rd position and finished in 28th position.

26th March 1996....

The Big Time For Lamborghini !!!!!

Stephane Ratel, the 'R' of Global Endurance GT Series BPR has set up a one-make championship series with Lamborghini. The series offers two seasons of racing around the world for just 175,000 pounds for 14 mini-endurance races over these two years. At the end of the competition the competitors are allowed to keep the supercars. The races of between 60 and 80 minutes are open to teams of one or two drivers, with the stipulation that professionals must share with amateur racers.

Between 20 to 30 identical 550 bhp Diablos SVRs, the racing version of the new two-wheel-drive Sport Veloce, are expected at the start of the first round, which supports the Le Mans 24 Hours race this year and then follow the Global Series through Europe.

Main sponsor of the Lamborghini Diablo Series will be watchmaker Philippe Charriol, Agip will provide the fuel.

Ratel also put the Venturi Trophy on the International Autosport map a couple of years ago, so it looks like the big time for Lamborghini !!!!

The continuing sage of this new trophy will be highlighted on the following page, as such an important subject deserves its own space!

Miscellaneous News

Sandro Munari (A highly successful rally driver for Lancia. PR-person for Lamborghini for a while. Also test driver for the Factory and responsible for most of the testing work on the Diablo) finished in 12th position during the Paul Ricard 4 Hours race, round 1 of the Global Endurance GT Championship, in the Agusta backed Callaway Corvette. The GT2 car, driven by Munari, Coppelli (Ita) and Spinelli (Ita) qualified in 24th position out of 48 starters (and 30 finishers).

Pre-March 1996....

Lamborghini at Le Mans?

Just one month before the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours race, the Lamborghini Jota GTI racer was completed by Amos International Motorsport (AIM). Despite missing the pre-qualifying day, the team (not officiailly supported) pushed ahead with plans to compete in the race. Officially two Lamborghini Jotas would enter, but because the Diablo-based car did not run due to a missing exhaust system, AIM decided to concentrate on running a single car.

The Jota made extensive use of carbon composites in the body and the chassis dramatically reducing the weight, from the 1500 kg of the basic Diablo car to about 1050 kg. Central to turning the Diablo into a GTI class racer was the rotation of the Diablo's 5.7 liter V12 engine through 180 degrees to allow the team to run racing transmission in place of the standard car's mid-mounted gearbox. The 600+ bhp engines were prepared by Lamborghini Engineering in Italy. One week later the Jota tested for the first time clocking over 200 mph at Paul Ricard, France with only a 520 bhp version of the 5.7 liter Lambo V12, instead of the more powerful 600+ bhp race unit.

Unfortunately rotating the engine through 180 degrees to accomodate the racing transmission was against FIA rules, and one week before the race, the Lamborghini Jota contender was withdrawn. The car should be considered a prototype though, just like it's predecessor the Miura Jota.

Lamborghini to enter Global Endurance GT Series?

Just before Christmas 1995 there were rumours that Lamborghini is looking to make an assault upon the Global Endurance GT series in 1997, in conjunction with ex-Formula One boss Gerard Larrousse. The Diablo is the only possibility at present.

Fulvio Ballabio inspires Revival

Also just before Christmas news came out that former Formula 2 racer Fulvio Ballabio has brought his Lamborghini-powered Centenaire out of storage and linked up with Porsche privateer Freisinger Motorsport to produce a revised car, complete with an entire Porsche 962 Group C car end.

Ballabio is lining up an all-star cast, including former Grand Prix drivers Henri Pescarolo, Bruno Giacomelli and Clay Regazzoni. Regga is gearing up to return to the race tracks after more than 15 years after the accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. With the aid of a new system of hand controls using sophisticated electronics and hydraulics developed in Formula One, Regga intends to burst back into the racing scene.

As of February 1996, the project has been put on ice. Due to a lack of funds it was not possible to make the necessary revisions and carry out some testing work. Although funds are expected later this year, the car will not run until this summer at the earliest.


Miscellaneous News

Lamborghini PR director Sandro Munari will probably race a Callaway in this years Global Endurance GT Championship.


Last Updated 16.07.2000

Created by A.J. Hawkes
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