Grand-Am Ambitions

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Lamborghini is building a new GT3 car to take on Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche, but is also looking to the Grand-Am Championship in 2014

Should you measure a race category’s success by how many different cars compete in it, then GT3 racing has been one of the most prosperous over the past few years. Whatever you have to say about the balance of performance, it has encouraged many manufacturers to use GT3 as a shop window for their products. Competing against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes and Aston Martin is a great way to prove your car’s ability.

The growth shows no signs of slowing as Lamborghini is currently developing a Gallardo to race in GT3. The Volkswagenowned Italian manufacturer has not been far away for the past few years, because race team Reiter Engineering has been competing with Lamborghinis since 2000 when it raced a heart-in-the-mouth Diablo – and Lambo has also run a one – make championship, the Super Trofeo, since 2009. The new GT3 car is the product of the Super Trofeo racer, the work Reiter has been doing and Lamborghini’s own design department.

We started our Super Trofeo activity back in 2009,” research and development director Maurizio Reggiani says, and that just happened to be one of the worst years for car business of all time! Since then, though, things have improved dramatically and we now have a series in Europe, one in Asia and we are launching one in the US. America is a big market for us and we don’t currently have any racing there. The next obvious step was an entry to the GT3 category.”

The target this year is to sell 18 cars and then a further 10 in 2014, but Lamborghini wants more than just the one-make series in its US campaign. The really important thing for us is the GT class of the GrandAm championship. We looked at Le Mans, but that’s not our target, it’s not part of our strategy. With the Super Trofeo championships, GT3 and the GrandAm we will be present in Asia, Europe, America and many other places where GT3 cars race.

We studied the Super Trofeo car very carefully before deciding to make the jump into GT3 because it’s a big step,” says Reggiani. If you’re putting the face of your company out there against some of the most famous names in racing you have to be sure you can compete. It’s the best time, though, because the car is at the right stage of its life.”

Having Lamborghini on the grid is another feather in the cap for GT3 and good news for its fans. With the balance of performance it’ll be interesting to see whether Volkswagen’s other brand, Bentley, will trouble the Gallardo on track…