The first race of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North American series for 2018 began was closely contested in the first half before two full-field cautions helped decide the outcome at the 12-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race marked the beginning of the sixth edition of the Lamborghini one-make series in North American and the start here of the 10th season worldwide of the series.
A total of 17 of the new HuracánSuper Trofeo Evo’s took the green flag with P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward’s Loris Spinelli leading the field to speed. Spinelli, and his teammate JC Perez, came into the race with the momentum after winning last week’s second race in the season-opening pair of races at Monza in Italy.
Spinelli jumped to the lead at the beginning with a fast start with the drop of the green flag on the backstretch. He drove the No. 71 to over a two second lead in the first six laps of the race. Madison Snow, in the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Carolinas, closed the gap to just over a second over the next few laps as he was closely followed by Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus No. 1 of Trent Hindman.
Those close gaps continued until the mandatory pit window opened 20 minutes into the race. Spinelli decided to stay out and drove his Lamborghini onto pit lane with 23 minutes remaining to turn the car over to Perez. Shortly after that stop, the first full-field yellow occurred as the No. 7 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus driven by Sheena Monk spun out in Turn 4.
The caution time was extended to almost 16 minutes after the No. 1 of Jonathan Cecotto, who had taken over from Hindman, lost the rear right tire early during the full-field caution to take them out of contention.
On the re-start, Perez was back in the lead of a close battle with Corey Lewis in the No. 29 behind him in second place with Taylor Proto in the No. 50 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills trailing in third.
With three minutes remaining Lewis made a move to get around Perez and there was contact between the two that resulted in a tire puncture of the right rear tire on the No. 71 that sent the car spinning off the track. The incident resulted in the second full-field caution of the race and Lewis went on to drive to the overall and PRO victory under yellow.
Brandon Gdovic drove the No. 46 PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach to a second-place finish in the class along with teammate Shinya Sean Michimi while Proto and his teammate Edoardo Piscopo finished third.
With that incident, the No. 47 PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach won the PRO-AM division with Dylan Murcott and Patrick Liddy earing the victory. The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus of Stevan McAleer and Randy Sellari finished second in the class.
Ryan Hardwick, the No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta, took the lead from the start in the AM division. Following the mandatory pitstops, the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini of Damon Ockey grabbed the lead and held on to the class victory over the No. 67 PPM Lamborghini Beverly Hills of Shea Holbrook and Martin Barkey.
The LB CUP race was led from green-to-checkered by the No. 88 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla team of Parris Mullins and Mark Proto. Mullins drove first and opened up a large gap before the first pit stop. After the yellow flag incident by Monk, the team easily went on to the win the class.
Corey Lewis/Change Racing (1st overall and PRO):“It was a blast. It’s great to be back in the Super Trofeo series. It’s been about a year off in this series so to be back here and to be back with Change Racing is an amazing feeling. You have Lamborghini Charlotte and Eddie Littlefield here and to be teamed up with Madison is just great, continuing the momentum we had from the 12 Hours of Sebring together. It seems like we were able to capitalize on that and continue the winning form. Thank you to all my guys, this is just a great way to start off the year and we’ve got Race 2 tomorrow so I’m looking forward to that. All around, it’s great fun to be back here.”
Madison Snow/Change Racing (1st overall and PRO):“The start of the race, I definitely had a good run on Trent. I was in third right behind first and me and first place managed to time the start perfectly. Trent just got caught out so that was good for me. Once we started going and Trent was running behind me, I knew if he was the one ahead of me, I’d be just like him. It’s super difficult to pass here and he was on me the whole time. We came in (the pits) in second and did everything we could. Then Corey was the one that got in a secured the win for us.”
Dylan Murcott/PPM (1st PRO-AM):“It was a pretty good race today. Me and Patrick, we’ve never been here and we’ve never driven these cars before. We only got maybe 10 laps here in practice so this is pretty cool to win our first time here and I couldn’t be happier. I’m just hoping to repeat tomorrow really. I’ll be finishing tomorrow, Patrick will be starting so hopefully we can sweep the weekend.”
Patrick Liddy/PPM (1st PRO-AM):“It was a great race, an awesome season opener with the support of PPM Motorsports and my co-driver Dylan. He gave me a perfect car, we had an awesome driver change. We came out immediate pace, and unfortunately, we had a lot of yellows, but we made the most of it with a great restart and came out with a number one and P4 overall. So, so really happy with that first race.”
Damon Ockey/US RaceTronics (1st AM): “The race was awesome. Great group of drivers. The restart was a little crazy, there were six of us bunched up and there was a little bit of bumping going on but I think everyone did okay. My first race back after taking a year off, it was really, really fun to be back. It was an exciting race.
Parris Mullins/US RaceTronics (1st Lamborghini Cup):“First time here, kind of an intimidating track, but we walked away on the podium and just, really, really happy. A great way to start the season.”
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America: Mid-Ohio Race 2
The second race of the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championship was a battle down to the final turn for Madison Snow, who piloted the Change Racing, Lamborghini Carolinas No. 29 to a weekend sweep of the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The drivers were welcomed by sunny skies and warmer temperatures Sunday morning as 17 ofthe new HuracánSuper Trofeo Evo’s took the green flag with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus’ Stevan McAleer leading the field to turn 1.
McAleer jumped out to an early lead with a clean start at the drop of the green flag on the backstretch. However, that lead would be short lived as he would lose the left rear wheel on lap two, retiring him from the race, handing the lead over to the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Carolinas of Corey Lewis.
Two laps later Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus teammate Sheena Monk stopped on track, bringing out the first full course caution with 42 remaining in the race.
The green flag would wave again on lap 10 with Lewis leading the No. 50 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills of Taylor Proto and the No. 79 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Atlanta of Jonathan Summerton.
Immediately following the restart, the mandatory pit window opened and several teams took the opportunity to hit pit road after only 11 completed laps and 30 minutes remaining in the event. The pit stop cycle would prove to be a major factor in the race with a lack of cautions to bunch the field.
A clean stop and driver change for the Change Racing crew put Madison Snow back on track in the lead on lap 18 with a one-second lead over the No. 71 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward of Loris Spinelli.
The battle for the lead closed to under a half-second with just five minutes remaining as Snow fought to hold off a hard charging Spinelli. The white flag flew on lap 32 and despite a valent attempt to pass in the final turn by Spinelli, Snow would cross the finish line to secure the weekend race sweep for Change Racing, Lamborghini Carolinas. Brandon Gdovic drove the No. 46 PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach to a second-place finish in the class along with teammate Shinya Sean Michimi with the No. 79 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Atlanta of Karol Basz and Jonathan Summerton finishing in third.
Despite not taking the overall victory, Spinelli secured the PRO-AM class victory for the No. 71 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward and his co-driver JC Perez. The No. 47 PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach of Dylan Murcott and Patrick Liddy would finish second in the class.
Ryan Hardwick in the No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta, lead the way most of the day and had little trouble securing the AM class victory by eight seconds over Race 1 victor Damon Ockey in the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Calgary. Brian Thienes and the No. 17 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills secured the double podium for the US RaceTronics team as he finished third. It was a bit of redemption for Hardwick who suffered a bit of bad luck in Saturday’s first race after he came close to winning the first race of the season.
The LB CUP race was led from green-to-checkered by the No. 88 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla team of Parris Mullins and Mark Proto. Proto drove first and after the yellow flag incident by Monk, the team easily went on to the win the class.
The next chance to see the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series will be at Watkins Glen International June 29 – 30.
Madison Snow/Change Racing (1st overall and PRO): “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s been a while since I was back in Super Trofeo. Coming back in here and sweeping the weekend without a lot of pressure. After seeing Corey do it yesterday, it made me nervous going into this race because of how aggressive and competitive everyone was going to be. I told Justin Bell before the race that it was Corey’s job to get the car into first and my job to keep it there. Corey perfectly did his job and it made it a lot easier for me. I just pushed consistent laps and Change Racing gave us a good car to go for it.”
Corey Lewis/Change Racing (1st overall and PRO): “The biggest thing for me today was the start and getting through the first couple of corners. The track does get rather tight through the twisty bits there. The biggest concern was to make sure I made it through Turn 1 and then stay out of trouble and then set sail from there. We were able to do that and get a little bit of a gap. My job was to hand the car over to Madison and nervously watch the last half hour or so. I was more tense watching the end of this race than any other race I have ever been involved in for whatever reason. It was exciting and I am extremely happy for Change Racing and Lamborghini Charlotte.”
Loris Spinelli/P1 Motorsports (1st PRO-AM): “This was my first time at Mid-Ohio and America and I want to thank my team for all of their work. I tried to overtake the first position and worked hard to do so but I am happy for the team because the car is very fast. I am looking forward to the next race already!”
JC Perez/P1 Motorsports (1st PRO-AM): “We came in today after having an unfortunate crash with three minutes to go. We had a really good car to win and unfortunately, we got taken out. But we re-grouped and had a plan today that included doing whatever we could. Loris did an amazing job. I was able to keep up with the leaders and we are happy. Our car was excellent, and we unfortunately didn’t have the top end speed. We will come back stronger as we are going to overall wins. We are to win everything we can. Thank you to Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and thank you for IMSA for having us it’s going to be a great series.”
Ryan Hardwick/Dream Racing Motorsport (1st AM): “Today was a bit of a statement for me. I had the most unlucky race that probably any driver could have yesterday. I felt that race was taken from me as I had a three second lead taken from me on a yellow flag and some issues on a restart after that. So today was a bit of a statement. I pushed all the way to the end and I’m proud of myself for making my fastest laps, the last two laps of the race. We are here for this championship and we are focused on winning it this year.”
Parris Mullins/US RaceTronics (1st Lamborghini Cup): “I feel bad that my teammate spent most of his race under the caution. It was a great for us today. Our class is about getting track and seat time and I will be happy to leave the weekend with a good time. I have never been here before, neither of us had, and it was exciting for us to have a new track on the calendar that is challenging even for the pro drivers, so it was good fun.”