OtojatimID– Lamborghini began its bid for a fifth International GT Open Championship title in seven years in the best possible fashion as Oregon Team’s Leonardo Pulcini and Benja Hites stormed to a superb double victory at Estoril. Meanwhile, some 300km further south, Lamborghini also claimed the lead of the DTM points standings thanks to pole position and a pair of third places for Grasser Racing Team’s factory driver Mirko Bortolotti at Portimão.
For its first appearance in GT Open, the weekend could not have gone any better for Oregon Team, which claimed the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe drivers’ and teams’ championship titles last season with Pulcini and Kevin Gilardoni. The #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO of Pulcini and Hites started fifth on the grid and made immediate progress courtesy of Pulcini to run third throughout the opening stint.
Hites took over at the pit-stop and moved up a position to second entering the final quarter, but with a significant pace advantage over the McLaren of Nick Moss in the lead. The #63 quickly hauled the leader in and Hites made the crucial move for the lead at the entry to the VIP Turn with just under nine minutes left to go. Behind, Gilardoni and team-mate Glenn van Berlo brought the #19 Oregon Team Huracán home in third place.
It was a similar story in the second race on Sunday, with Hites starting the race from sixth but moving up into fourth following a bold overtake around the outside of the tight first corner. The #63 was the best placed Pro category car throughout and, following the driver-change with Pulcini, it remained firmly in contention entering the closing stages. Having had to serve an extra three seconds in the pits as success penalty, Pulcini passed the Audi of Marcin Jedlinski and then closed the deficit to the leaders. Following patient build-up, Pulcini made a dive for second