> Bortolotti joins Caldarelli and Mapelli for full-season assault
> Total 24 Hours of Spa kicks off global endurance series this July
Lamborghini has become the third manufacturer to join this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli roster following confirmation of Orange1 FFF Racing Team’s full-season entry.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse factory drivers Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Mirko Bortolotti will share the Chinese team’s #63 Huracan GT3 Evo at all four rounds, starting at the Total 24 Hours of Spa in late July.
Other teams can also score points towards Lamborghini’s Manufacturers’ Championship tally, just as they did in 2020 when the Italian marque entered the globe-trotting series for the first time, while Caldarelli/Mapelli/Bortolotti will also be strong Drivers’ title contenders.
Indeed, all three have won the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup championship with Lamborghini whom Bortolotti re-joins this year following one season with Audi Sport.
Lamborghini joins Audi and Mercedes-AMG on the list of manufacturers committed to #IntGTC programmes this year. Orange1 FFF Racing Team had intended to enter all four rounds last season but its programme was curtailed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, which prevented participation at Indianapolis and Kyalami.
“The Intercontinental GT Challenge participation provides a new motivating challenge for the whole of Lamborghini Squadra Corse,” said its head of motorsport, Giorgio Sanna. “[It’s] An incentive to continuously improve and to reach new goals.
“For that reason, we are counting on the likes of Orange1 FFF Racing, a top-level team, and the three Italian Lamborghini Factory Drivers well known for their talent to deliver yet more success on the track. These drivers have played an important role in the recent GT racing success of Lamborghini Squadra Corse and have the potential to create more history this year.”
Team owner Fu Songyang added: “After the complicated winter months, I am happy to be able to deliver some good news. It is an honour and a privilege for us to get back to race for Lamborghini Squadra Corse in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, which undoubtedly was an interrupted story last year.
“The partnership with ORANGE1 and Armando [Donazzan, President of Orange1 Holding] is really important to us, especially because it confirms the trust in a great, high-value international brand, while the IGTC platform represents the best way for us to put ourselves to the test again. I think we have the best possible line-up of drivers, in terms of speed, reliability and achievements, a condition that undoubtedly puts us among the top contenders for the title.”
Donazzan also confirmed that FFF’s Intercontinental GT Challenge entry wouldn’t be its final announcement ahead of the new season.
“2021 somehow marks the start of a new era in the world of motorsport,” he said. “The hard times we’ve been through the last year have made us stronger and more united, a value that has characterised not only our company but also our racing department. This is the second programme that we announce in a few weeks, but there will be more. We have many other surprises in our pocket and I’m sure that we’ll achieve great things. We continue growing bigger together with FFF Racing and Lamborghini Squadra Corse, thanks also to a driver line-up that I believe is almost unbeatable”.
The Total 24 Hours of Spa hosts round one of this season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli campaign on July 30 – August 1.