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Monday, February 26, 2024

Thriller continues on Bortolotti’s DTM Nurburgring ‘technical downside’

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SSR Efficiency driver Bortolotti was unable to take the beginning within the second Eifel race in August after his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 stopped on monitor in qualifying earlier within the day. The issue occurred on the worst-possible time for the Italian, as he had underlined his title credentials simply the day before today with a lights-to-flag win in mixed conditions.

Bortolotti went on to complete second within the standings, 33 factors behind Porsche’s title winner Thomas Preining, indicating the importance of the DNS in deciding the result of this yr’s championship battle.

A number of months on, there’s nonetheless no readability as to why Bortolotti was consigned to the storage on a day Lamborghini had a automotive able to profitable the race, as attested by Maximilian Paul’s shock result with the Grasser team.

“We aren’t commenting on this,” was SSR staff boss Mario Schuhbauer’s response when Autosport’s sister title Motosport-Complete.com requested if the squad was now prepared to offer extra details about Bortolotti’s technical downside final month.

The staff had additionally remained silent when repeated makes an attempt have been made to achieve out for a solution within the fast aftermath of the race.

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Lamborghini has additionally refused to profile any readability on the scenario, stating “we do not launch particulars a couple of single tech difficulty that occurred months in the past”.

At Hockenheim, one other Lamborghini spokesperson advised Motorsport-Complete.com that the reason for the failure was ‘throttle our bodies’, the a part of the air consumption system that controls how a lot air flows into an engine’s combustion chamber.

The second Evo model of the Huracan GT3 that was launched in 2023 has ten electronically-actuated throttle our bodies with titanium valves, whereas the predecessor solely had two throttle our bodies, one per cylinder financial institution.

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Mirko Bortolotti, SSR Efficiency

It would not sound uncommon for a brand new half to have an issue. What’s curious nevertheless, in keeping with these accustomed to the automotive, is that it is neither notably tough to recognise such an issue nor to resolve it shortly. Given Bortolotti was SSR’s essential candidate for the title, the staff would have left no stone unturned to get his automotive prepared for the race.

Is it potential that the issue was unrelated to the throttle physique? Lamborghini is claimed to have been speaking about engine harm, as Motorsport-Complete.com realized from a dependable supply. This could additionally partly clarify why the difficulty is being stored a secret.

For advertising and marketing causes, producers do not desire a damaged engine to be seen as the foundation trigger for a driver lacking a race – and doubtlessly dropping out on the championship,

Allegedly, there was a so-called piston seizure, which might additionally clarify why Bortolotti skidded off the monitor a couple of minutes into qualifying together with his wheels locking. The sort of downside happens, for instance, when there is no such thing as a extra oil left within the engine. It may imply the staff merely forgot to place lubricant in an in any other case dependable engine.

Any of those causes may very well be behind Bortolotti’s withdrawal from the race, and supply a potential rationalization to the secrecy. However there’s one other inconsistency: the staff didn’t ask permission from the race organisers to interrupt parc ferme guidelines and begin repairing the automotive earlier.

Qualifying started at 9:05am and Bortolotti’s automotive broke down within the Mercedes Area with two minutes and 50 seconds on the clock. Following a quick pink flag, the session formally completed at 9:30am and the automobiles have been then not allowed to be touched till 10:55 as a result of parc-ferme rules.

Nonetheless, SSR made no effort to begin the restore work early, with a spokesperson for the German Motorsport Affiliation (DMSB) confirming “there was no request from the staff to get the automotive out earlier”.

Breaking the parc ferme guidelines would have meant a breach of the rules and disqualification from the session. However with out having set a lap time, Bortolotti was going to have to begin from the again of the grid anyway.

Mirko Bortolotti, SSR Performance Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

Mirko Bortolotti, SSR Efficiency Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

In response to an professional, it takes between two-and-a-half to 3 hours to alter in engine in newest Evo spec of the Lamborghini Huracan. If the automotive was towed again into the SSR pits by 10am on the newest and a spare unit was in working order, then the staff would have had three-and-a-half hours to alter the engine earlier than the race begin at 1:30pm.

SSR initially introduced that Bortolotti would take the beginning from the pitlane, earlier than deregistering the automotive completely from the race. This meant that the automotive was not checked by the officers after the race. So why did the outfit not attempt to repair the issue in time?

“There are solely two prospects,” mentioned one paddock insider behind closed doorways. “An absence of expertise or experience, or they did not need to begin and may need been disqualified.”

Bortolotti on retirement: “I do not perceive it but”

Even Bortolotti stays puzzled as to why he was pressured to overlook the race on a weekend that he lastly rose to the fore after a gradual begin to the season.

“The Nurburgring Sunday was very unusual, very destructive, very bizarre. I nonetheless do not perceive it, however it’s a part of it,” he advised broadcaster ran.de.

“We merely could not begin. We tried to test all the things till simply earlier than the race, the entire pit was on my automotive. These are the type of days which are a part of it, that was additionally a bit unusual for me.”

Bortolotti may have scored a most of 28 factors on the Nurburgring with out the technical downside, whereas additionally taking factors away from eventual champion Preining.

Given the 33-point margin between the 2 on the finish of the season, and the truth that fellow Lamborghini driver Paul received the race in his first race look of the yr, that Sunday was a case of ‘what may have been’ for the 33-year-old.

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