A ‘HURACANXX’ BLOWS THROUGH BIRA
By Edd Ellison
The new Lamborghini Huracán LP620-2 Super Trofeo is one of the most exciting new 'Cup' level cars to enter the sportscar racing world during the last year. And now it’s set to be on the grid when Thailand Super Series kicks off its first round of the 2016 season. The first example to arrive in Thailand stretched its powerful yet lithe legs at Bira Circuit.
Forming the backbone of the Italian supercar maker’s 'one make' Super Trofeo racing series, it plays the same role as the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup does for the German company or the Ferrari 458 Challenge for the Prancing Horse. And just like both those cars which have already arrived in TSS and stamped their mark, now comes the Huracán LP620-2 Super Trofeo, which slots perfectly into Super Car Class 2-GTM. It will be on the grid when Super Car kicks off for its first round of the year, which will make this particular Huracán LP620-2 Super Trofeo, which raced in the Super Trofeo Asia Pacific last year, one of the first to appear in a domestic racing series – and that’s another sign of how TSS is growing fast in stature. The latest and most exciting racing sportscars in the world are coming to our grids.
The Huracán will be in the hands of Sarun Sereethoranakul, who has emerged in just two seasons as one of our leading Super Car stars. He switched from a successful drifting career to Super Car for the 2014 season, choosing a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for his transition and continued with that combination for 2015. Sarun has quickly made the grade in circuit racing and his white #55 Porsche is now a regular on the podium, no mean feat in the most competitive category in Thai motorsport. His first win clearly isn’t far away. However it was also clear with the influx of newer cars last year, such as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP520, Ferrari 458 Challenge and Porsche’s new-generation 991 GT3 Cup that Sarun needed a newer car to match his ambitions.
“I decided to have a new car for the 2016 season because the GTM class is very competitive and every teams develop and make their cars faster and faster,” Sarun explains. “The 997 Cup car is quite old and not competitive enough and with this car our team never can think about winning the race or pole position, even getting on the podium still difficult. So it's time to take a chance with a new car.”
There are a lot of cutting edge racecars that tick most of the boxes for Super Car Class 2-GTM so it wasn’t a straightforward choice, but for Khun Sarun and his team, which includes his racing ‘tutor’, the highly experienced Japanese professional driver Keita Sawa, one car stood out. “The Huracán Super Trofeo is fast car compared to the one make race cars,” he reckons. “This version is the 610-2, it's two wheel drive so has good handling, low maintenance and our team can do the maintenance by ourselves.”
While Sarun has made a lot of progress in the last two years and proved himself as one of the leading Super Car drivers, he admits he still has some way to go and is quite cautious on what he can achieve with his new weapon. “I need to get on more podiums than 2015,” he says.
The Huracán Super Trofeo is certainly a capable racetrack ‘weapon’. The sleek and dynamic chassis is made from a hybrid mix of carbon and aluminum with modifications of the double wishbone suspension geometry that also allow a larger and more efficient radiator to be fitted at the front while accommodating a racing specific gearbox at the rear. The aerodynamics have been improved over the road going version too with a new racing splitter and dive plates being incorporated at the front, new side skirts to manage airflow along the flanks as well as a big racing wing, protruding rear diffuser and specific engine cover. With a lowered ride height it adds up to a visually stunning machine that oozes menace while 18-inch wheels all round further add to the look.
Under the skin the production 5.2 litre V10 engine is retained but fitted with a racing intake and managed by a MoTeC unit with Traction Control options. Maximum power is rated at 620 CV while peak torque comes in at 570 Nm.
As with previous generation Gallardo-based 'Super Trofeo' versions the production standard 4WD system is ditched in favour of rear wheel drive with power fed to the wheels via a racing clutch, lightweight flywheel and 6-speed sequential gearbox. There is ABS but no ESP.
The new Huracán LP620-2 Super Trofeo first joined the brand's three global one-make series last year. Some of those first year cars are have now filtered out of the series towards domestic championships, including the one acquired by Sarun. The car looks like being a highly competitive package so the task for Sarun’s support team will be to help him unlock that potential and attune the driver to his new mount. That journey started with a shakedown test at Bira Circuit.
On a very hot and dry April afternoon the Pattaya racetrack reverberated to the sound of a Huracán Super Trofeo for the very first time. The running was all about thoroughly checking over the car, starting to understand its characteristics and begin learn about setting it up. “The purpose is to test the car as we have just got it,” explained Sarun. “We prepare the car and it’s my first drive in Thailand so I want to test the car before I go to Buriram.”
Sarun was pleased with the shakedown and reckons the car is a good step forward over his outgoing 997. “The Lamborghini’s very nice to drive, very balanced if compared to the Porsche, the Porsche needs a lot of weight transfer,” he explains. “The engine has more torque so it’s fast, but sometimes it’s more sensitive, you have to adjust and accelerate very smoothly, and the car has Traction Control so even in Bira where there are some low speed corners and bumps so on acceleration it’s more convenient to drive.”