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May 05, 2013 - 10:52 AM
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Amateur Andrea Solime Claims First Career Win With Andrea Palma
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2013 - 10:49 AM
Sports Cars
Amateur Andrea Solime Claims First Career Win With Andrea Palma

Yesterday's qualifying session for round three of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo at Misano was a prelude to a captivating first for the series as it raced into the night at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. While Andrea Amici picked up from where he’d left off in Monza by claiming pole, the race delivered a far less anticipated outcome in a thrilling finale in the dark.


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While Adrian Zaugg lost out to Amici in the dying minutes of qualifying, the early stages of the race marked a complete reversal with Amici defending strenuously from the efforts of the hard-charging Zaugg. Despite the Italian and the South African driver battling fiercely, they opened up a gap of around 3 seconds per lap in the early stages of the race over the remainder of the field, and by lap five, the Bonaldi driver eventually found his way into the lead, and stretched out a small cushion over Amici which he took to the pit window.

Behind them in the unfamiliar floodlit darkness, series leader Cédric Leimer suffered an unprompted spin that pushed him to the tail of the field, along with Touring Auto’s Leonardo Geraci, who was adjudged to have been the innocent party in a coming together with Composit Motorsport’s Alessandro Bonacini.

As the driver change-over approached, front runners Zaugg, Amici, Palma and Automobili Lamborghini Racing Team Germany’s Marcel Leipert stayed out long to lap 16. Once the pit window had closed, Andrea Amici appeared to have been the beneficiary, taking the lead from Zaugg’s team-mate Federico De Nora, but a puncture and a return to the pitlane consigned the Imperiale driver down the order, and Andrea Solimè took up at the front of the field, pursued by another amateur, Marcel Leipert. In a mature drive to the line that belied the 23 year old’s relative lack of experience, Andrea Solimè brought home a popular debut win at his local race for Autocarrozzeria Imperiale.

Solimè’s delight was almost matched by that of German Marcel Leipert – the sometime driver instructor on the infamous Nordschleife – who felt that with a few more laps that he would have been able to challenge for the win. And the third happy ending was that of Cédric Leimer, consigned to the back of the field yet managing to rebuild his race to finish on the last step of the podium. Poleman Andrea Amici eventually rounded out his race behind Federico De Nora in fifth.

Fast Facts

• As well as racing in a Lamborghini, Alessandra Brena is having a busy weekend at Misano also contesting the CIEA Green Hybrid Cup
• Of our four new drivers in Misano, Andrea Palmer in car #27 qualified highest on the grid in P4
• Reigning champion Cédric Leimer competed in his first night race & finished on podium
• Laurent Jenny maintained his 100% amateur podium record this season
• Greatest gains over grid slot included Achim Winter (7 places), Tomáš Král & Erwin Stückle (6 places)
• Adrian Zaugg set the race’s fastest lap at 1:39.260 at an average speed of 153.270km/h

Meet the Drivers

Tomáš Král, the Gravity Charouz driver of car #88 can be more commonly found on the ice as a professional goalkeeper in the Finnish Mestis league playing for Tutoon. Tomáš originates from Plzeň in western Bohemia in the Czech Republic, the home town of the world-renown beer. As a full-time professional athlete, Tomáš approach to motorsport is highly impressive and he claimed six places off the grid to finish race one in the top ten despite his relative lack of motorsport experience.

Qualifying Quotes

P1 Andrea Amici #54, Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L.
“I felt very comfortable yesterday during the practice sessions and we did a good job today in qualifying too. I made a little mistake with the first set of tyres and I also found a bit of traffic but I had an excellent lap on the second set. The fact that a few raindrops started to fall and the temperature slightly decreased probably helped us. Despite the rain, I pushed to the limit and managed an almost spotless lap. I am really satisfied to be starting the night race from pole and, although it isn’t my first night race at Misano, it will be an amazing experience to compete in the Lamborghini Gallardo 570.”

Race Quotes

P1 Andrea Solimè #27, Autocarrozzeria Imperiale S.R.L.
“I can’t stop smiling and pinching myself. My racing career only began last year and we already secured a podium in Monza in the amateur category. But managing an overall race win so soon with many experienced and fast drivers is amazing. Having done it in Italy, my home country, makes it even more special. I want to thank my team-mate, Andrea Palma, who’s helped me a lot this weekend and he also had a strong drive. Our strategy was to take good care of the tyres and that allowed us to set pretty fast times towards the end and manage our advantage. I want to thank everyone at Autocarrozzeria Imperiale for their work and support. Tomorrow will be a tough race and even more so if it rains as predicted because I’ve never driven on a wet track. But this is tomorrow; now it is time to savour this moment.”

P2 Marcel Leipert #22, Automobil Lamborghini Racing Team Germany
“This was my first time racing in Misano and finishing second is a fantastic result. In fact, it is my best finish in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo. But I believe that, with a couple more laps, we had the pace to win the race. A night race is trickier as you can’t really see the apex of the turns and setting braking references is a lot more difficult. During the race I also had to be careful with the brakes and there were a few contacts between cars so I am very satisfied that we managed to avoid all of them and finish on the podium. Hopefully we can build on for tomorrow.”

P3 Cédric Leimer #63, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter
“This was my first night race and it was a good experience, although I still prefer to race with daylight. The race itself was pretty hard because I lost the rear of the car and spun on the first lap losing several positions. Luckily, I didn’t hit anyone and I could rejoin without damage. However, I had to play catch up and it was tough, both because of the high temperature and humidity, but also because of the tyres. They weren’t in the best condition from the beginning and having to recover, push and overtake finished them off towards the end. So given the circumstances, I am very satisfied to be on the podium again.”

The weekend’s second Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race takes place at 15:30hrs CET on Sunday May 5.

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