In its second season working with CREVENTIC, we speak with trophy producer Libe Incisioni about its first race in Dubai, the intricacies of each design, and the excitement of its home race in Monza.
Though the race leading up to it was hardly the most orthodox we’ve seen in the 24H SERIES – and that’s putting it very mildly! – you wouldn’t have thought so by the podium celebrations in Dubai. Commemorative photos were taken, cheers from the crowd in the slowly drying paddock below somehow made themselves heard over podium compere Nick Daman, and, most importantly, trophies were held aloft in celebration, despite the shortened running time.
Enter Libe Incisioni, the Brianza-based supplier of all trophies awarded in the 24H SERIES since 2019 and a company built purely on Lorenzo Invernizzi’s passion for motorsport. Indeed, since its foundation in the late 1980s, Libe has fashioned trophies – sorry, “special awards” – for series as diverse as the DTM, the Blancpain GT World Championship, and select rounds of the World Rally Championship (most recently Rally Italia Sardegna) and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, as well as non-motorised events like the Sea Milano Deejay triathlon.
First things first though, how did Libe Incisioni first get involved with the ‘special awards’ business?
“Ever since I was a boy, one of my greatest passions has been motorsports,” Lorenzo explains. “The dream of go-kart racing followed me for many years but unfortunately, it was not a sport my family could afford to let me practise. But a passion for rally driving and GT racing eventually led me to the creation of trophies: something special that a driver can display on his wall but designs that would stand out from others. That’s where Libe Incisioni comes in.
“I always wanted the company to be recognized for its elegant and refined products, so over the years we’ve created plates with silver-plated aluminium, personalized turned cups, and bespoke trophies for sporting, company and institutional events. Something we gave a clients an elegant look but which we could produce quite easily. This choice paid off as the response we got from the market was positive from the very beginning.”
Fast forward to 2019, and Libe’s first affiliation with CREVENTIC at the season-opening Hankook 24H DUBAI where the Monza team leapt in at the deep end (how apropos). By themselves, GT and TCE winners Car Collection Motorsport and Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing took home 10 trophies from the event. Add in eight categories across two divisions, three-step podiums, and four-to-five drivers per car, that’s a staggering 88 trophies Libe Incisioni designed, crafted and shipped to the Middle East on its first race with CREVENTIC. A daunting challenge, yes, but no less rewarding.
“There was certainly a lot of tension,” Lorenzo continues. “We knew we couldn’t make any mistakes, knowing that, for the client, it was the biggest race of the year. That definitely added extra pressure. I must say though that, together with all my staff, we organized everything down to the tiniest detail to avoid any kind of problem, and after the prize giving, I praised all of my staff because we did a really good job. It was so satisfying seeing our trophies being held on the podium in Dubai.”
Next up was the European season opener in Mugello, a quieter affair yielding ‘just’ 54 car entries to Dubai’s 75, but one that nevertheless produced an all-too familiar challenge for Lorenzo and his team: not only does each series require a unique design – “to create an award that distinguishes itself from others and which certifies our hand” – but so too does the character of each race and, often, the heritage of the circuit itself need to be reflected.
Miniature (2D) Lamborghini Huracáns crafted for the Super Trofeo round in Fuji for example but don’t exactly scream ‘enthusiast-driven endurance racing’, nor does the Emirati flag, which proudly adorned this year’s four-poster, inverted conoids in Dubai, accurately depict the 98-year history of Monza. Unsurprisingly, these bespoke creations – each of which are 100 per cent made in Italy – require deft skill at the head of Libe’s ‘high tech lasers’ and no little amount of imagination from Lorenzo and his team.
“One of the first things we do is to build a direct relationship with the client in order to understand their needs, both in terms of layout and budget. After that, skilled personnel within the company, who deal solely with graphic planning, pull together some ideas for overall winners, the overall podium, and each of the categories participating. First drafts are the submitted to the client for approval.
We then create the design in 2D and later 3D formats, so the client can really experienced what the final trophy will look like in terms of shape, colour and materials. For the 24H SERIES, we layer various cuts of precisely lasered and printed Plexiglas, almost like acrylics, to obtain a three-dimensional effect. It’s quite a simple process but attention must be paid to the smallest detail in every trophy. The finished look is very striking.”
Perhaps Libe’s grandest work for the 24H SERIES though was reserved for the 24H SERIES Europe championship trophies, awarded to driver and teams alike at last year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA. Incorporating traits of the preceding five European rounds, these are trophies that are ornate, yes, but not ostentatious.
“Working with CREVENTIC is very exciting as a good collaborative relationship was established right away. Last year’s trophies for example were personalized individually with the flag of the country in which each race took place. And from that, we conceived the idea for the final championship trophy in which we grouped together each race teams and drivers had participated in across the season. It’s a refined and particular product, bringing together every leg of the journey.”
“I like to think that has an economic value based on the materials used, but the more important value is of the driver who receives it. We want to leave every driver with an unforgettable memento of their season.”
Focusing ahead to this year, and with a damp (ahem) season-opener in Dubai already behind us, the first round of the 24H SERIES Europe in 2020 takes place, for the first time, at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Libe Incisioni’s home turf, and a race Lorenzo is relishing.
“For me it’s a special emotion. It’s our home race, and it will be a prize-giving at the ‘temple of speed’. It’s so exciting to follow the walls around the circuit, to hear the sound from the second Lesmo curve. To know that on Saturday 28 March, our trophies will be on that podium, to be able to take my children there, to explain even to my youngest, who is six years old, that her dad made those trophies, really will be something unique.”
*Lorenzo Invernizzi was speaking with James Gent. Our thanks also to Fabio Carrabetta