Podium Finish kickstarts Super Trofeo season in Abu Dhabi
22nd February 2017 in updates
22nd February 2017 in updates
A full grid of Lamborghini Huracans turned out for the first ever Super Trofeo Middle East event, building on the success of Lamborghini’s established continental series in Europe, North America and Asia.
FFF Racing – one of 11 teams to have committed to Super Trofeo Middle East – saw the series as an ideal platform to develop the next generation of professional racers under its newly-established Young Driver Programme, which was launched late last year when Carrie Schreiner, Richard ‘Spike’ Goddard, Jack Bartholomew and Parth Ghorpade were announced as the first four recruits.
The inaugural Lamborghini Super Trofeo Middle East weekend took on a familiar format, with two 50-minute races following a brace of one-hour free practice sessions and a pair of 20-minute qualifying sessions.
However, FFF Racing’s drivers utilised an open test day to acclimatise to their Lamborghinis and the Yas Marina Circuit before the weekend began in earnest.
The extra mileage paid dividends, as Jack Bartholomew took the #5 Huracan to third at the conclusion of first practice and Qualifying 1.
In the first of two Super Trofeo Middle East races on Friday 10 February Bartholomew started from third and did well to avoid a first-corner shunt, which caused an early Safety Car intervention, and then continued his hunt for the lead at the resumption of racing.
A well-drilled changeover saw Bartholomew hand the car over to team mate Parth Ghorpade leapfrog the other FFF Racing Lamborghini for what was second place on the road when, approximately three laps later, the Safety Car intervened and red flags brought the race to a premature conclusion.
Second for the #5 of Bartholomew and Ghorpade was well-received by all in the FFF Racing camp, but the Roger Dubuis-backed team faced an uphill battle from the back end of the grid in race two (Saturday 11 February).
Team Mate Parth Ghorpade started the race after he qualified towards the back of the grid , after 20 minutes in the car Ghorpade handed the car over to Bartholomew who managed to bring the car home in a respectable 7th position along with finishing with pumping in the fastest lap in the dying embers of the race while sporting heavily worn tyres.
“It was never going to be the easiest of weekends so it’s good to open the season with a second-place result”
“It was never going to be the easiest of weekends so it’s good to open the season with a second-place result,” said Bartholomew. “Qualifying was good, especially as there was less than a tenth between me and Spike (Goddard). We then sat one-two for most of race one, but mine and Parth’s driver-change was so smooth that we gained a couple of seconds and jumped ahead before the race got red-flagged.
“Race two was always going to be challenging, but Parth completed a strong stint, we had another smooth driver-change and went from 14th to seventh in the end. Setting the fastest lap when the tyres were at their oldest was a surprise to everyone and it felt like a win to me! We’ve set the bar high for the rest of the Middle Eastern series, but I’m still targeting wins in Asia.”
FFF Racing Team Owner, Sean Fu Songyang, said: “The Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo is a car I’ve driven. It’s a fantastic car to race and all four of FFF Racing’s young drivers exceeded expectations in the opening round of the Middle Eastern series in Abu Dhabi. The two with more experience, Jack (Bartholomew) and Spike (Goddard), were able to push at the front the entire time and Carrie (Schreiner) and Parth (Ghorpade) used the week really well and kept progressing. To reach the podium is an amazing effort by all and I think the results put us on a good footing for the rest of the campaign.”
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