Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lamborghini Race Car Collection - Part 3

Murcielago R-GT

After struggling to be competitive in its first two seasons (2004 & 2005), the Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT finally delivered this season with a win in the Super GT class at Suzuka. Following up with a pole position in round 5, the car continued the season with several top-10 finishes in the 2006 FIA GT Championship series. Hans Reiter, of Reiter Engineering who fields the cars for Lamborghini, is confident that the new car for '07 is even better and that they are more than ready to take a stab at LeMans.

The car that will compete is known as the "LeMans Edition" and pumps out 520 horsepower from its V12. With the amazing speeds reached at LeMans, aerodynamics have been totally revamped in searching for the delicate balance between downforce and speed. The front bumper has been completely redesigned with an extended splitter and large air intakes as well as driving lights for enhanced night driving. The rear wing has been modified to reduce aerodynamic drag and several of the air intakes in the body have been enclosed to improve not only airflow around them but also through them. The chassis sits considerably lower than the previous model as well, with ground clearance ranging between 4 and 8 centimeters.

Look for the raging bull at LeMans in 2007. Ongoing testing at Salzburgring has been promising and Lamborghini is pulling out all of the stops to firmly implant their name into the LeMans record books.

In 2007 team JLOC Isao Noritake took the raging bull to race in LeMans GT1 series with 3 drivers Koji Yamanishi, Atsushi Yogo, Marco Apicella.Unfortunately the promising Murcielago RGT didn't performed well in the 2007 LeMans. Bad luck stuck during first qualification round.

"The first qualifying session began under the threat of rain, so most of the teams tried to set a good lap time before the conditions deteriorated. The Audis and Peugeots swapped the overall pole position several times, and at the end of the session the #1 Audi was fastest overall with a time of 3.28.301. The #33 Barazi-Epsilon Zytek led LMP2, after an earlier misfiring problem had been repaired. Oreca's Saleens were the fastest two GT1 cars,while Ferrari and Porsche were close to one another in GT2".

The session was red flagged about halfway through because of an accident in which the #53 JLOC Lamborghini MurciƩlago, driven by Marco Apicella, hit the wall at the first Mulsanne chicane.

It was later announced by the ACO that JLOC Isao Noritake would be allowed to use another Lamborghini MurciƩlago R-GT chassis, borrowed from the French DAMS team, but Marco Apicella was not allowed to drive in the race due to the head injuries he sustained in his accident during qualifying, leaving the team with two drivers. Somehow the JLOC #53 machine qualified 43rd position with time of 4:06.223.

During race day! again the Murcielago failed to make any impression. The rebuilt Lamborghini of JLOC Isao Noritake was the first retirement of the race when the gearbox failed on the Mulsanne during its second lap of the race.

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