Engelhart returns to Lamborghini GT3 ranks after four-year Porsche stint

Engelhart returns to Lamborghini GT3 ranks after four-year Porsche stint

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Engelhart will again compete for the marque with which he won the 2017 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup title and scored multiple race wins in GTWCE Sprint Cup and ADAC GT Masters, having confirmed his split from Porsche last week.

He is the second driver to be added to Lamborghini’s GT3 roster for 2024, following the inclusion of 27-year-old Loris Spinelli at the end of last month.

Engelhart received permission from Porsche to drive the latest-spec Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the DTM finale at Hockenheim last month, which paved the way for him to make a full-time switch to the Italian supercar maker.

His exact programme will be revealed at a later date.

“To a certain extent, the DTM race at Hockenheim set the ball rolling,” Engelhart told Motorsport.com’s sister title Motorsport-Total.com. 

“Nevertheless, the decision was not easy in the end: I had a few options for 2024 and decided in favour of Lamborghini – it was a gut decision that just felt right for me.”

Christian Engelhart, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Christian Engelhart, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán EVO GT3

Engelhart was previously part of Lamborghini’s factory effort between 2017-18, although he continued to race the Huracan in ‘19, finishing second in GT Masters and taking a class win in the Daytona 24 Hours in that year.

His move to Porsche in 2020 yielded a title in GT Masters and race victories in GTWCE and DTM.

Although no exact reason has been revealed behind his split from Porsche, the German manufacturer has lost some of its teams, with Dinamic and Pfaff switching brands and Bernhard 75 leaving GT3 racing altogether, meaning it is facing some difficulty accommodating all its drivers.

Asked how his deal with Lamborghini came about, Engelhart said: “I have a lot in common with Lamborghini, we have already made history together with numerous successes such as the 2017 Blancpain GT title and the 2019 Daytona victory.

“Accordingly, I think we always had each other on our radar and there was regular, loose contact.”

Engelhart impressed on his substitute DTM appearance at Hockenheim in October with Grasser Racing – the team with which he previously competed in a variety of races and championships – finishing third in Race 1 as the top Lamborghini driver.

Following the podium finish, Engelhart agreed with Lamborghini motorsport boss Giorgio Sanna that Hockenheim should not be a one-off outing for him with the marque.

Although his exact programme for 2024 is yet to be announced, a full-season in the DTM could be one of the options. Engelhart has a long history with Grasser Racing from his previous stint with Lamborghini, and also developed good relations with SSR Performance during his title-winning season with ADAC Masters in 2020, when SSR used to compete with the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“There are already plans for 2024, but I’m not allowed to reveal them, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait much longer,” said the 37-year-old.

“Competing as a works driver for Lamborghini Squadra Corse next year is definitely very emotional and fills me with great pride. I can hardly wait to finally get going”

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