Photo: Courtesy of IMSA

Lamborghini Wins 2019 IMSA GTD Manufacturers Championship

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

BRASELTON, Georgia — Lamborghini could only win one championship in GTD class competition, and win they did.

Paul Miller Racing, Magnus Racing and Precision Performance Motorsports could deliver the GTD Manufacturer’s Championship to the Italian make with their Huracan GT3 entries, but there was one big obstacle. Meyer Shank Racing’s pair of Acura NSX GT3 Evos have been the car to beat during the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

While the No. 86 NSX of Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher won the team and driver titles by starting the race and meeting minimum drive times, a rock puncturing the radiator caused the 86 to have a series of problems culminating in the car’s retirement.

“There’s not a damn thing you can do about that,” said Hindman. “It’s a real shame and a kick in the gut. But, look at how far we’ve come this year and how much we’ve accomplished. There’s nothing we wouldn’t be grateful for, for the opportunity.”

The Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini went out with clutch issues with a couple of hours to go, and with the No. 44 Magnus Racing Huracan falling many laps down to some early contact, Lamborghini and Acura each had one car left to fight for the manufacturer’s championship.

Katherine Legge in the No. 57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 held fifth place in class ahead of Toni Vilander in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 and Bryan Sellers in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3. On their 405th collective lap, however, both the Ferrari and Lamborghini passed Katherine Legge in the Acura. Despite her best efforts, Legge was not able to get around the Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Lamborghini won their second consecutive manufacturers championship by just two points (294-292) over Acura.

“It’s great,” said Sellers. “I mean at the end of the day, you have some goals you want to try and achieve at the beginning of the season, and certainly repeating with Lamborghini for the manufacturers championship is huge. You want to be able to deliver that to them, and that’s why they do this is to be able to hang the banner on their wall and say that they won the championship, so it feels great, glad we were able to help them do that.”

The beginning of the season gave Lamborghini an advantage that put all other manufacturers behind early. GRT Grasser Racing Team won both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a Lamborghini while Meyer Shank Racing’s highest placed Acura finished fourth and seventh in both races.

Magnus Racing switched to Lamborghini ahead of the 2019 season and was highest of the Lamborghini finishers in three races. Team owner and driver John Potter was happy to have contributed to that success despite not scoring a race win with full season co-driver Andy Lally.

“We were excited this year to work with Lamborghini,” said Potter. “Obviously they make a great car, but you know, we were pleasantly surprised to learn what great people they are as far as racing people and quality people. They’ve been really fantastic to work with and one of my favorite manufacturers I’ve ever worked with. They put together a great car and it’s exciting to drive and we’re excited to be a part of their manufacturer championship.

“Lamborghini helped us hit the ground running with our first year, they helped us with some testing at the beginning of the year and get off the ground running with engineering. They’re great people to work with.”

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.