10th June, 2018 – International GT Open, Spa-Francorchamps
Giulio Borlenghi and Andrzej Lewandowski scored their second Am class win of the 2018 International GT Open Championship, taking victory at Spa on Saturday. They completed their weekend with second place on Sunday while Liberati and Ling were the first Lamborghini home, finishing fourth overall.
As the teams headed to Belgium for round three of the Championship Edoardo Liberati joined Kang Ling behind the wheel of the VSR Pro entry whilst the driver line-up remained unchanged in the Am car with Giulio Borlenghi, a Spa novice, partnering Andrzej Lewandowski. The first qualifying session saw Ling and Lewandowski out on track. Ling sealed a place on row nine and Lewandowski was the fourth fastest Am. Both cars picked their way through the opening lap melee gaining five places each by the time they crossed the line for the first time. As the race settled down Ling picked off the Pro Aston Martin and Coimbra’s Mercedes and began a duel with the BMW of Saravia for the final points scoring place that would last until the pit window opened. During his stint in the Am car Lewandowski, who got caught up in a fight with Montermini and Rees both recovering from first lap incidents, moved up to third in class and established a comfortable gap to Konopka in fourth. Ling pitted on lap fourteen and his co-driver Liberati quickly found himself embroiled in a fierce five car battle for fifth place. Two laps later Lewandowski handed the Am Lamborghini to Borlenghi who moved into second in class when Salikhov crashed out. Borlenghi ate away at the gap to the class-leading BMW battle and was given a hand when Silva spun with three laps to go. The Brazilian passed him and cruised home to take the team’s second victory of the year. Liberati crossed the line in eighth place, making it five points finishes in a row for the VSR Pro car.
Sunday morning saw the turn of Liberati and Borlenghi to qualify the cars. Liberati took a slot on row eight while Borlenghi qualified fourth in Am, less than one second off the class leader Marques. A clean first lap saw Liberati gain two places while Borlenghi slotted in behind the vastly more experienced Calko, maintaining fourth in class. On lap five Liberati demoted fellow Lamborghini driver Breukers and ran comfortably in twelfth until the pit window opened. With no success handicap to discount Ling was able to leap-frog several cars and when he took over from Liberati he exited the pits just ahead of Venturini. For his entire stint Ling kept the Lamborghini factory driver behind him, even when they became embroiled in a five-car battle for sixth place. With ten minutes to go the group caught Hahn in fifth and Ling was quick to pass the Mercedes and earn a momentary respite from the pressure of the drivers behind him. For the remaining laps he held off Venturini and Championship leader Mac and was rewarded with a fine fourth place when Beirao da Veiga was penalised for cutting the chicane. The VSR Am car had a ten second success handicap but after Borlenghi’s stint kept them in the hunt for a podium, Lewandowski’s pace was enough to quickly overhaul Konopka for third. The Polish driver closed consistently on Marques in second and was within striking distance of the BMW when the Brazilian spun away his chances. Borlenghi and Lewandowski’s second place was the pair’s third podium in six races.
VSR’s successful Spa weekend means Borlenghi and Lewandowski lead the Am Championship by six points and Ling lies sixth in the overall Championship.
Round four of the International GT Open will be held next month at the Hungaroring.