Richard Antinucci continued his winning ways at Watkins Glen International, running a perfect race to take his third-consecutive victory of the season in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series. The No. 16 Change Racing driver, representing Lamborghini Carolinas, led from the pole and never looked back, remaining at the head of the field for the entire 50-minute race.
The 2015 Super Trofeo North America Pro Driver Champion maintained his perfect record in the 2017 season, expanding his championship lead. Antinucci delayed his mandatory pit stop until the end of the pit window, setting fast laps and opening a comfortable lead that could not be challenged in the second half of the race.
The race winner was pleasantly surprised by his dominant performance at Watkins Glen as he encountered no problems on his way to the checkered flag.
“We didn’t come here last year and we didn’t do the test, so we didn’t know what to expect,” said Antinucci after collecting his third trophy of the season. “Still, we have high hopes for ourselves as people and on the racetrack, so we did a great job. I’m very thankful for the whole team.”
The second-place finishers overall were also the winners in the ProAm class. Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto in the No. 50 US RaceTronics entry, representing Lamborghini Beverly Hills, drove a strong race, with Piscopo pushing Antinucci ahead of the race’s mandatory pit stop window. Proto inherited his Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo in second place, and the rookie impressed during his stint, driving quick laps and holding off a charging Riccardo Agostini to hold the position.
Piscopo was impressed by his teammate’s performance, enabling the pair to take their second ProAm win and overall podium of the year.
“[Proto] drove in an incredible way-no mistakes, flawless-so I’m very happy,” said Piscopo.
The magnitude of the result was not lost on the 19-year-old Proto. Staying ahead of much more experienced drivers at such an historic venue filled the rookie driver with pride.
“I was sort of running for my life, to be honest,” said Proto. “I’ve got to admit-for a win like that, this is a good place to do it.”
Stevan McAleer benefitted from late-race problems for other competitors to finish third overall. The 10th-place qualifier jumped up at the start to run seventh during the race’s opening stint. After the pit stops, McAleer began to rise up the order in his No. 11 Prestige Performance entry, representing Lamborghini Paramus before reaching third place overall on the final lap.
Patrice Brisebois and Emmanuel Anassis took another Amateur class win in the No. 18 DAC Motorsports entry, representing Lamborghini Palm Beach. Brisebois was unhappy with his qualifying effort in the morning, but made up for it with a tremendous start that put the pair in good stead for the rest of the race. Anassis took over in the second stint and continued the team’s climb to the top of their podium, finishing sixth overall.
Ryan Hardwick was the victor in the LB Cup class, following up on a pole position qualifying effort in the morning. His race in the No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsport entry, representing Lamborghini Atlanta, was far from easy, however. Hardwick was swamped at the start of the race and needed a great deal of patience to work his way back into the class lead. The Dream Racing Motorsport team executed a perfect pit stop and got their driver out ahead of his competition. Still Hardwick had to run a smart race to hold of a charging J.C. Perez who closed the gap at the end of the race.
In tomorrow’s race, Antinucci will try to keep his perfect season alive with another win at Watkins Glen. His task will be more difficult from a second-place starting position on the grid, alongside Lamborghini Squadra Corse Young Driver Riccardo Agostini.
The second and final race of the weekend will start at 5:10 p.m. Saturday, July 1. The race will be live streamed at motortrendondemand.com and on squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming. Tape-delayed coverage of each event will air on CBS Sports Network in primetime. The coverage will feature live commentary on both the broadcast and live streams.
The North American series continues to attract increasing numbers of competitors and interest.
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.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 16 Change Racing, winner, first Pro):
“Awesome. Couldn’t ask for more. I’m so appreciative for Change Racing and Eddie Littlefield of Lamborghini Carolinas. I love this team. We’ve got three wins out of three and it’s a good run. What can I say? Pole to flag. Very fun. This is a mega track. It’s so smooth now that they repaved it. We didn’t come here last year and we didn’t do the test, so we didn’t know what to expect, but we have high hopes for ourselves as people and on the racetrack, so we did a great job. I’m very thankful for the whole team.”
EDOARDO PISCOPO (No. 50 US RaceTronics, winner, first ProAm):
“Me and my old friend, Richy [Antinucci], we had a good fight at the beginning and then we started managing tires and brakes for the second stint for Taylor [Proto]. He actually did an amazing job to be a rookie driver. He drove in an incredible way-no mistakes, flawless-so I’m very happy.”
TAYLOR PROTO (No. 50 US RaceTronics, winner, first ProAm):
“I was sort of running for my life, to be honest. Edoardo [Piscopo] handed the car off to me in a really good way and I just pushed it as hard as I could. There were a lot of issues with tires at this race, so we were really conscious of that towards the end, but as we had [Riccardo] Agostini chasing after us, we had to really had to push. So, we were really counting on the tires to hold up, but luckily, he had some failures. I feel bad for him, but that’s how it goes. Luckily, we were able to bring back a class win and on the overall podium. I’ve got to admit-for win like that, this is a good place to do it.”
PATRICE BRISEBOIS (No. 18 DAC Motorsports, winner, first Am):
“Big win, big win. Honestly, I was not too happy about qualifying this morning. I only had three laps and I wasn’t really happy, but I know in the race, it’s a long race and you have to be patient. I had a really, really good start. I passed [Yuki] Harata and after that I had great rhythm. When I passed the car to Emmanuel [Anassis], he did a great job. Big points for the championship. Big win. It’s fun.”
EMMANUEL ANASSIS (No. 18 DAC Motorsports, winner, first Am):
“I’ve got to hand it to Pat [Brisebois]. He had an incredible start. We worked out our strategy perfectly. We put a lot of pressure on [Brian] Thienes and he started to make some mistakes. He hit a curb and his tire went flat and that’s all we could do and that was amazing. But I’ve got to hand it to Pat [Brisebois] with that amazing start. He got ahead of [Yuki] Harata which put us in position to put pressure on the No. 1 car and it was just incredible. Our team built an incredible car. We were running as fast as the leaders at the end of the race. It’s unbelievable.”
RYAN HARDWICK (No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsport, winner, first LB Cup):
“Race was awesome. We qualified really great, so started on the pole, but didn’t have a very good first couple laps. Fell back to P2 and had to battle back. My team did an amazing job. We had an unbelievable pitstop-right on the money-that helped us come out ahead. [J.C.] Perez was charging hard. He was a little quicker than me towards the end of the race, but I made the last few laps count and brought it home. It was awesome.”