Luca Del Grosso is the team manager and sporting director of Imperiale Racing, a Lamborghini racing team competing in championships across Europe. Earlier this year, it signed a lubricants partnership with Motul, something Luca is very excited about. This weekend, they will compete for the championship win at the Italian GT Championship in Monza with a Huracan.
Can you tell us more about Imperiale Racing?
I’m very proud of this team. You have to consider Lamborghini Squadra Corse was born here in Imperiale. Nine years ago, we managed some cars for the motorsport division of Lamborghini. Then Lamborghini opened its own racing department and our boss, Ivano Pignatti, decided to open his own team because he was enthusiastic about racing. This was the start of our adventure. Imperiale Racing is part of a bigger company called Autocarrozzeria Imperiale, which is the official painter of Lamborghini. We have 310 employees, and we have a very close relationship with Lamborghini, in both the racing and automotive sides. We painted all the bespoke colours for Huracan, Aventador and special projects.
How’s racing been for your team this year? Is it back to normal now?
The pre-COVID plan was incredible: 23 weekends, three championships, six cars. But once COVID changed the world, we cut a lot. Firstly, not to go outside. To avoid any lockdown of the company we decided to stay in Italy. Personally, I agree with the choice and this showed the potential to be concentrated in one championship with one or two cars. Because the quality of the motorsport is definitely higher: a lot of testing, improvements on the car, we are very concentrated on the championship. I want to be optimistic. It’s been a good year despite everything. We’ve experienced fewer races but with more quality.
Has this resulted in more race wins?
That’s difficult to say. We’ve gone from competing in three championships to only one. So not more. I’m happy about the result of this year compared to last year. We also had different drivers, so it’s not easy to compare. With the GT3 this year, we changed the tyres because Pirelli changed tyres at the beginning of the season. These tyres were a bit more complicated than last year. We achieved the same result because we concentrated more on this car.
You have a technical partnership with Motul – what does this mean and what benefit does it bring to your team?
I’m very proud because Motul asked us last year to partner for 2020. I was very impressed with that because I heard about Motul’s products and we absolutely wanted to be partners. Before this contact, we got in touch with Motul to test a special oil. With this partnership, we also discovered a lot of other products, especially those for cleaning that are incredible. The brakes and parts cleaners are very efficient. The lubricants and cleaners aren’t too aggressive on the parts. Honestly, we are very happy. The oil in the gearbox is more critical and we are very happy with that.
How important is a good lubricant when you’re racing?
It’s a part of the team. It’s like having good mechanics, good engineers, you know that you don’t have to worry about this area. Before, after every race we had to have more control over the parts, now we are more relaxed, especially with the gearbox. We now have more time to concentrate on other details.
You’ve got Monza next. How’s your preparation for that going?
We will be in Monza fighting for the Italian Endurance GT Championships. Only two points from the top, and we are working a lot to optimise the speed. If you have a good lubricant, you can get more speed. We hope to do a test to try out set up for more speed in Monza. We cross our fingers, because we are in the same position as last year. We want to win!