A day at the 2015 European Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Championship
An exclusive championship, a partnership between elite brands, a passion that I equally share between watches and cars (despite the fact that I only write about the former) and a whole day spent in one of Formula 1's most important and historical places: the Monza racing circuit. To top off an already perfect day I even got to go for a spin in a Lamborghini Huracàn car sitting next to a professional pilot! The racing version of this car model is called LP620-2 and it is the official car of the 2015 European Super Trofeo: a championship which kicked off in the very same Monza racing circuit I visited.
Blancpain, the high quality watchmaking brand of the Swatch group, which has been in partnership with the car company from Sant'Agata Bolognese for a few years now, organized my visit to the circuit. Despite Lamborghini's relatively young history (the company was officially created in 1963), these two brands have quite a lot of things in common: refined atelier creations and manual assembly techniques to name just a few. Lamborghini, which has been recently acquired by Audi, represents the engine crafting excellence of a legendary brand, while Blancpain is a sophisticated maison, a leader in sober and refined micromechanic and the proud designer of the most compact complicated calibers on the market. Both brands focus on substance and quality rather than appearance, thus targeting real connoisseurs as their clients.
At 11am, once I reached the Blancpain stand, the sight of a group of Huracàn cars welcomed me and I even spotted the new Lamborghini Aventador SV standing on a platform: this is the most extreme and revolutionary version of the Aventador car model, which sports a consistent aerodinamic package, a prominent profiles extractor and various lightenings, which have been specifically designed to improve the weight-power balance of the car and the inertia of the unsprung mass.
The atmosphere of the Blancpain stand brought back some nice memories of the days I spent in Basel last month and despite being continually distracted by the roaring of the V10 and V12 engines made in Bologna around me, I didn't forget to bring along two of the watches that I have never been able to wear before. The first watch was a Blancpain L-Evolution
a perfectly designed piece belonging to the avantgarde Blancpain L-Evolution collection, while the second one was a Blancpain Bathyscaphe Fifty Fathoms Flayback Chrono.
The Blancpain Bathyscaphe Fifty Fathoms Flayback Chrono is one of those watches which is not photogenic at all: the Internet is full of pictures of the Bathyscaphe, but let me tell you that no photo or video does this nice piece justice. As we know, dark coloured and matte black materials (like ceramic) are notoriously difficult to photograph correctly.
The Blancpain Bathyscaphe Fifty Fathoms Flayback Chrono is a mixture between a classic three-counter-chronograph from the 70s (which includes the “lollipop style” second hand) and everything you would like to find in a mechanical chronograph when you wake up in the morning and feel like wearing a trendy watch, namely the case in black ceramic, the bezel in Liquidmetal® and the manufacturing movement with Flyback function and golden rotor.
My day at the races passed by quickly: my next stop was a tour of the circuit's technical room, from where all the steps of a racing course are coordinated. If compared to a weekend race of the historical Formula 1 Grand Prix (a yearly event which takes place in September) everything was far less complicated there and the atmosphere between the pilots was much more relaxed despite the unusual mixture of new talents and gentlemen drivers.
The most exciting part of the day was at 6pm, when I got to sit next to a professional driver on board a Lamborghini Huracàn.
It could sound like a normal spin in a car, but when you are on a Formula 1 circuit, the initial acceleration of the car makes you want to hold on to any item close to you within the vehicle, but then, slowly, you simply want the pilot to push on the accelerator pedal and do a second lap! Next time I would like to ask my hosts if I could go on the SuperTrofeo version of this car model, which resembles the original Huracàn in shape alone.
The end of this wonderful day was a visit to the press room, where Stephan Winkelmann (the CEO of Lamborghini) presented the 2015 edition of the Lamborghini SuperTrofeo and the company's sports programmes for the year to the journalists, while the vice-president of Blancpain concluded the press conference by telling the story of the brand, who was in charge of organizing this splendid event, the most enticing I have ever taken part in and an appointment not to miss for engines and watches lovers alike.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®