MEDIA RELEASE/Lamborghini – Photo: supplied
Lamborghini secured the gold and silver medals in the GT Cup category of the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy, as Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Ukyo Sasahara claimed two out of three race wins. The Team Japan supported by FFF Racing pairing ended the weekend as overall victors, with Team Poland (supporte by Vincenzo Sospiri Racing) making it a Lamborghini one-two with the silver medal following the main race.
It was a particularly special victory for Sasahara, who this weekend made his debut in GT3 machinery, having won this year’s Asian Formula 3 championship. Poland, with Andrzej Lewandowski, finished the first race of the weekend on Saturday in fourth, as Steffen Görig took victory for Team Germany. Hamaguchi started from pole position but suffered bad luck either side of a red flag stoppage as heavy rain affected the running, and could only manage 11th by the flag.
The conditions remained treacherous on Sunday morning, but this time Sasahara and Hamaguchi took victory following a decisive overtake on the Mercedes of Team France’s Jean-Luc Beaubelique on the run into Turn 4 with 17 minutes of the race remaining. Chinese Taipei finished third in the hands of Evan Chen and Hanss Po Heng Lin, while Poland ended up fourth again with Artur Janosz joining Lewandowski. For the third “main race”, Hamaguchi and Sasahara led from start-to-finish in a safety car affected encounter, from Lewandowski and Janosz. Heavy rain meant that very little racing was completed, with the race finishing under yellow flag conditions.
Japan headed Poland to the line by just over three seconds, to secure the gold medal in the GT Cup category with Lewandowski and Janosz winning the silver medal. The FIA Motorsport Games is a multi-discipline nation-based competition, encompassing various motorsport categories such as GT Cup, Formula 4, Karting Slalom, Drifting and Touring Car Cup.
Speaking about taking the gold medal for Team Japan, Ukyo Sasahara: “Firstly, I have to say a huge thanks to Hiroshi, who took me to this race. It’s such a wonderful team, it’s a perfect day.
His team-mate Hiroshi Hamaguchi also said: “We didn’t expect the safety car to come in, but we definitely needed it. The team has done a great job, we have won every possible thing you can imagine this season, and to close out like this, we could not be happier. Ukyo has also done a great job this weekend, I cannot believe this is his first time in a GT3 car, and I am so happy for him.”
FFF Racing Team Principal Andrea Caldarelli said: “Knowing that this weekend was the first time for Ukyo in a GT3 car and that he hadn’t done more than a test before this race, honestly he did an amazing job. The team, we didn’t make any mistakes, for us it’s the first time in the FIA Motorsport Games, we didn’t do it last year but it’s fantastic to finish the season with another victory. Thanks also go to the Japanese Federation (JAF) who gave us the authorisation to race with their flag.
Giorgio Sanna, Head of Motorsport for Lamborghini added: “We are really proud of closing the 2019 season with a such important victory, especially as we won in Italy on one of our favourite tracks. This event represents GT Customer racing at its best and I want to thank the Japanese Automobile Federation, our drivers and Orange1 FFF Racing team for this amazing result.”
SUBSCRIBE TO VELOCITY MAGAZINE
For all our news keep your eyes peeled on the Velocity Magazine website and social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for our daily updates and to get the latest edition of our glossy magazine subscribe here from just $55 for 12 months subscription.
GET OUR LATEST ISSUE NUMBER 34 HERE