Reigning Blancpain GT Series champions Grasser Racing Team clinched a historic result for Lamborghini at Sunday’s 24 Hours of Daytona.
Fielding their Huracán GT3, the Austrian squad overcame a grid penalty to win the ultra-competitive GT Daytona class and secure a first 24-hour race victory for Lamborghini.
They did so with Blancpain GT Series stars Mirko Bortolotti and Franck Perera leading the assault. Bortolotti can now add a major race victory to the overall Blancpain GT Series and Endurance Cup titles he won in 2017, while Perera can celebrate a win on his competitive debut for Lamborghini.
They were joined for the event by Rolf Ineichen, who contested last year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa for the Grasser squad, and 19-year-old Rik Breukers.
A penalty saw the team start from the rear of a crowded GT Daytona field, but the Huracán quickly moved through the pack and hit the front around half-distance.
Their progress was helped by an impressive early-evening stint from Perera, who made strong progress in wet conditions.
Over the second half of the race the Grasser crew emerged as strong favourites to secure the win. Bortolotti took the controls of the Huracán for the final two-hour stint and was able to bring the car home for a momentous victory.
The Italian driver later told Motorsport.com: “It's a big day for us, definitely. I don't know if this happened before but I don't care – coming from last position, winning such an important race, it's great. Personally, I’m quite speechless about this. It's really a big thing, big day. I want to say thanks to everyone, also to the fans for coming down here for this race. The atmosphere in Daytona is always mega.”
The Grasser crew were joined on the podium by third-placed finisher Andrea Caldarelli, who won the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup for the Austrian squad alongside Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart. The Italian shared a Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini at Daytona, ensuring a double podium for the Italian marque.
The Grasser crew will be hoping to secure another major long-distance victory for Lamborghini when they contest this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, which takes place at the iconic Belgian circuit from 26-29 July.