Marcel Leipert is the owner of Leipert Motorsport, a Motul-sponsored racing team running Lamborghini Huracans in the Super Trofeo Cup and Mercedes AMG GTs in the GT4 European Series. Last year, his team won the GT4 Championship – and he has big ambitions again for this year if coronavirus doesn’t stand in his way. With racing on pause for the moment, we thought it the perfect chance for a catch up.
Marcel, how are you and the team keeping busy with coronavirus putting a stop to racing?
Coronavirus has affected us a lot. We’re doing all the things that’s aren’t so important when it’s busy, like cleaning and renovating the workshop, the equipment and the trucks. Doing things like that to keep everyone busy. But I’ll think we’ll run out of maintenance work before the season starts [laughs].
Can you do any work on the cars?
The cars were prepared already for the season ahead, with the big revisions done during the winter break. So, there’s not a lot to do on them. Also, because they’re homologated, we don’t have a lot of freedom to make changes.
How far behind is the season now?
The season should have started a month ago in Sepang, Malaysia, with Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia. But the whole championship’s been cancelled. We should also have started the European season last weekend at Monza, and the next race, the DTM Trophy at Zolder, has also been cancelled. I expect the first racing to start again in August or September. I think we’ll still get to go racing. Behind the scenes, motorsport organisations are working hard to keep at least a few races in the calendar and going later into the winter. I don’t mind if we go until Christmas. But that’s up to track availability. I’m a little bit scared with the situation around EU borders and travel, though.
How did the team come about?
We started nearly 20 years ago in 2002 in Formula racing and touring cars. From 2009, we started racing in the ADAC GT Masters and since then we’ve been purely focussed on GT cars. We’ve gone through a lot of different championships in the past 20 years. We’re now running in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, and we’ve been with Lamborghini for a few years now and really proud of that relationship. We’re running six cars in Europe and Asia in Super Trofeo. On top that we’re planning a GT3 project with Lamborghini that should have started this year. We’re also running the Mercedes AMG GT4 car in different championships. And we won the championship last year in Europe with that car.
You’ve raced a bit, too?
I made the step from karting. I was still a kid with no driving licence racing in formula. In that time my dad decided to make our own team. We had a car service station, so he said to save some money we’ll do our own. That’s when it started, in 2002, with just one car, but it developed rapidly with more cars and more drivers. Now we have 18 permanent drivers in different championships. We’ve always had a very good profile progressing young drivers and developing them into professionals.
What difference does it make having Motul as a key sponsor?
We’re super happy with Motul products. Before we had many different suppliers for gearbox and engine oils but the range that Motul provides us is so good we can put that oil in each part of the car, and different cars, without any issues on reliability. We’re happy to have found a partner that has that wide range of good quality products.
Does it help you win more?
We change the engine and gearbox oil after each event. We saw that with the oil we’re running especially in the gearbox the parts are really good. It’s longer lasting than with previous oils we used. All the parts of the car have mileage recommendations from the manufacturer. And we always keep within that mileage. You can see when we rebuild the gearbox there are big differences between the parts if you do it with a good oil or a cheap oil. It lowers the risk of retirement. Last year in the European GT4 championship all our cars went each and every single lap. We didn’t have any defects or retirements. We were the only team that didn’t have any issues and it meant we were scoring points throughout the whole season, helping us win the title in the end.