Brock Gilchrist stuns on GTNZ debut | Mixed results for Kiwis at the Lamborghini World Finals - Weekend Recap
Gilchrist makes incredible debut despite treacherous Taupo conditions
The winner of the Giltrap Motorsport Junior Scholarship couldn’t have shown he was more deserving of the accolade during his debut weekend in the GT New Zealand Championship at Taupo Motorsport Park.
Brock Gilchrist immediately swept away the competition in near-hurricane conditions, taking Pole Position in class for his first ever qualifying session in the McLaren 570 GT4 car, outqualifying most of the open class grid while he was at it.
Race 1 saw Gilchrist dueling with the Porsche GT3 Cup cars from the open class in the early stages of the race, falling back eventually in to a comfortable GT4 class-lead and bringing it home without any drama, resulting in a win on debut for the 20-year old.
“I really enjoyed it, and adapting to the conditions. Car felt amazing, over the moon to win the first race,” said Gilchrist.
The second race of the weekend was less straightforward, with an early safety car adding to the unpredictability brought on by the treacherous conditions. This didn’t faze Gilchrist though as he fought the Mercedes AMG GT4 of Joel Giddy to the line, finishing in P2 in class.
Race 3 proved to be another dominant performance for Gilchrist, convincingly holding the lead to the line, his second trip to the top step of the podium securing the young debutant an overall round win.
Leitch claims Lamborghini European championship and podium position in World Finals
Brendon Leitch opened a massive weekend of Lamborghini action by clinching the Super Trofeo Europe title in the final race of the series.
Leitch came to the grid just 0.5 points behind his title rivals Mattia Michelotto and Gilles Stadsbader. Crucially though, Leitch lined up fourth while his rivals were starting from eleventh.
A dramatic race saw Michelotto finish ahead of Leitch on-track, but multiple 5-second penalties saw the Italian drop out of the points and Leitch secure the title.
“It’s my first championship so thrilled with that,” said Leitch after the race.
Leitch didn’t have much time to celebrate though as he was straight into the Lamborghini World Finals that commenced the following day at the same circuit.
A culmination of the three regional Super Trofeo series, the World Finals would see nearly a hundred Super Trofeo cars competing to be the Lamborghini World Champions.
Leitch kicked off the World Finals with a podium in Race 1, only a few seconds off first among a hugely competitive field.
He followed this up with a P5 in Race 2, securing third overall in the Lamborghini World Finals, a fantastic result after a season full of ups and downs.
Asian Champions record-breaking run stopped
After a dominant Super Trofeo Asia season, the kiwi pairing of Marco Giltrap and Chris van der Drift came into the Lamborghini World Finals with high hopes and expectations.
Unfortunately, their weekend wouldn’t meet those expectations as issues with their car led to poor results in qualifying, with the pair securing starting positions of just 29th in race 1 and 13th in race 2.
Race 1 saw the kiwis fight hard right up to the checkered flag, climbing 11 positions before they crossed the line, but unfortunately this heroic effort culminated in just an 18th position finish.
In race 2 the pair weren’t quite able to replicate the heroics of race 1, only climbing one position to finish 12th in the final event of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo season.
Despite the troubles the pairing faced at the World Finals, their performance in the Asia series can’t be understated, with Giltrap and van der Drift finishing the regional series with a record-breaking 8 wins in a row.