Richard Antinucci was once again untouchable at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) on Saturday, claiming his second victory in two starts this weekend at the Austin, Texas track. Making great use of his pole starting position, the driver of the No. 16 Change Racing entry, representing Lamborghini Carolinas, led flag to flag, concluding a dominant run in the season-opening doubleheader.
“Couldn’t be better,” the 2015 Super Trofeo North America Pro Driver Champion said of the race. The series veteran was quick to give credit to his Change Racing team, which provided the strong Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo he took to two overall victories at COTA.
“Change Racing has been awesome. I couldn’t be more thankful, appreciative, and proud of what we’ve achieved in two days.”
Claiming second step on the overall podium and winning the Pro-Am class was the No. 50 US RaceTronics entry of Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto, representing Lamborghini Beverly Hills, bettering their second-place Pro-Am finish in Race 1. The pair enjoyed a meteoric rise through the field from their 12th-place starting position. In the hands of Proto, the No. 50 gained six positions to run sixth by a mid-race caution period for a car beached in the gravel trap at Turn 1. After the safety car exited the track, Proto pitted at the first opportunity, giving over driving duties to Piscopo, who continued the march through the field.
The Italian driver made a beautiful pass around fellow countryman Riccardo Agostini in the No. 1 Prestige Performance entry with 12 minutes remaining in the race, securing Piscopo and Proto’s first overall podium of the season with their second-position finish. The move relegated the duo of Agostini and Hindman to the third step of the overall podium, their second top-three finish of the weekend.
Brian Thienes also turned a lowly starting position into a good result, weaving his way from 20th on the grid to a sixth-place overall finish and Am class win. The driver of the No. 17 US RaceTronics entry representing Lamborghini Beverly Hills did one better than his second-place class finish in Race 1. Despite an impressive drive, he gave credit for the strong result to his US RaceTronics team.
“It was a great result mainly because of the car the team gave us,” he said after the race. “They put together a great car and all I have to do is drive it. I want to congratulate the team on a job well done.”
J.C. Perez also improved upon a second-place class finish yesterday to claim LB Cup victory in Race 2. The driver of the No. 71 DAC Motorsports entry representing Lamborghini Palm Beach fell back in the race’s early stages, but made good use of a well-timed pit stop to leapfrog his opponents and claim a first class win of the season.
The pairing of Pippa Mann and Jackie Heinricher earned a notable result with a third-place finish in the Pro-Am category. The series’ first all-female driver pairing will be looking to improve on their first outing together in the No. 57 Prestige Performance entry, representing Lamborghini Paramus.
With many strong performances throughout the field in the opening event of the Super Trofeo North America championship, with two overall race wins, Antinucci stood out. Even the No. 16 Change Racing driver was surprised by his dominance.
“You think a guy with experience doesn’t need it, but that’s not true. You always need to dial in and adjust with a new team.”
If results are anything to go by, Antinucci and the No. 16 entry are already well-dialed in even in just the first event of the season. With hungry, young talent at his heels, however, the 2017 Super Trofeo North America championship is shaping up to be an exciting and competitive endeavor.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo races are live-streamed on the following platforms: squadracorse.lamborghini.com, motortrendondemand.com and Internationally on imsa.tv and radiolemans.com.
Tape-delayed coverage of COTA will air on CBS Sports Network on June 4, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The coverage will feature live commentary on both the broadcast and live streams.
Lamborghini provided world-class hospitality this weekend for clients and guests of Lamborghini dealers. Guests also participated in the IMSA Hot Lap Experience – high-speed rides around the circuit in a Lamborghini.
The Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo adopts the V10 direct injection engine mounted on the road car, managed by a MoTeC control unit that delivers a maximum output of 620 horsepower. The frame is a hybrid carbon/aluminum construction with modified geometries to house an improved radiator up front and better accommodate the racing gearbox at the rear, which also provides better aerodynamics.
The next Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America event will be June 28-July 1 at Watkins Glen International as part of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in conjunction with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 16 Change Racing, winner, first Pro):
“Yeah, awesome. Couldn’t be better. Maximum points. Led every lap of the day and yesterday, so what a huge start. We had no practice coming here. You think a guy with experience doesn’t need it, but that’s not true. You always need to dial in and adjust with a new team. Change Racing has been awesome. Lamborghini Carolinas as well just to support me to get here and make this happen. I couldn’t be more thankful, appreciative and proud of what we’ve achieved in two days.”
BRIAN THIENES (No. 17 US RaceTronics, winner, first Am):
“That was a good race. We started dead last and the team did a great job to get the car ready between the two races yesterday and today, we had to start from dead last. Drove up to sixth place overall and won the Pro-Am. It was a great result mainly because of the car the team gave us. They put together a great car and all I have to do is drive it. I want to congratulate the team on a job well done.”
J.C. PEREZ (No. 71 DAC Motorsports, winner, first LB Cup):
“This is my second race ever with this car. The car was amazing all the way through. Had some issues at the end, but it was really, really fun racing. I had a pretty good gap on my second guy but I lost it at the end of the second stint. My team did an amazing job. DAC, Patrice Brisebois, all my guys. Anthony that coached me this race-he did an amazing job with me. I appreciate everybody from Lamborghini who provide us with these cars that are absolutely amazing.”