As the 18 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Huracan EVO’s took the green flag for the first 50-minute race of the year around the 2.38-mile, 15-turn Barber Motorsports Park circuit there was a sense in the paddock that there would be a great deal of action during the race and the fans were treated to a caution-free race that featured lead-changes and passing on the track’s wide, sweeping turns.
Conor Daly held off a pair of challengers over the last laps of the race to win overall and in the PRO Class along with teammate Brandon Gdovic in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward entry.
Gdovic took the lead during the first stint of the race when the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte entry driven by Richy Antinucci was assessed with a drive-through penalty for an incident early in the race.
The team pitted early in the mandatory window and returned to the track to find themselves behind eventual PRO-AM Class winner Damon Ockey in the No. 09 USRaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver who was leading the race.
With just under 17 minutes remaining Daly and Corey Lewis, who had taken over for Antinucci, both passed Ockey but the three cars stayed closed. Daly increased lead to over a second but Ockey fell off the pace from the leaders and found himself being chased down by Lewis and Sandy Mitchell in the No. 1 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus.
Daly slowly increased his lead over the two and went on to record his first Super Trofeo win by just under two seconds.
While he dropped off the overall lead, Ockey and teammate Jacob Eidson earned the victory in the PRO-AM Class after being the fastest in class during practice and qualifying.
The AM Class race was dominated from start to finish by McKay Snow in the No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte entry.
He took the lead from the class pole and was never headed during the entire 50-minute race winning by just under 30 seconds ahead of Cameron Cassels (No. 33 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus).
There was some drama in the LB Cup race as Ashton Harrison in the No. 43 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus entry had the car in the lead at their pit stop. Stephanie Cemo took over for her and was assed a drive-through penalty but was able to serve that and still keep the class lead.
With 12 minutes remaining there was an incident that changed the landscape of the LB Cup race. Contact between their car and the No. 88 of Jeremy Cheng that took the 43 out of the lead. That resulted in the class lead falling to Mel Johnson in the No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach entry and he went on to win over Matt Dicken in the No. 36 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte.
Round 2 of the championship continues Sunday at 1:55 EDT. That race can be streamed live on IMSA.TV and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming.
What they Said:
Conor Daly – No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward
“It was fun because I think my longest stint in the car before the race was only five laps. It was cool because you had to make some adjustments in the car and I got used to that. It was fun fighting off Corey (Lewis) because he is a good driver and has a lot of experience with these cars. Brandon did a great job at the start and I am thankful for the opportunity to drive for Change Racing and Lamborghini Charlotte.
“It was tough today because I know this track but not really the car. Brandon is the opposite. When you look at our times we knew we were fast but hadn’t been able to put it together until today so it was fun to get out there and learn more about the car.”
Brandon Gdovic – No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward
“Obviously a lot of experience in the car really helps as a run progresses. I just wanted to keep the tires on it for Conor because I knew he was going to need them. It has been a learning process because I have not raced here but it is good to get a win in the first race of the season. Good way to start the year.”
Jacob Eidson – No. 09 USRaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“I got off to a little bit of a shaky start. But if you are on the outside you never know what is going to happen and after a crazy start we all kind of settled down. I was able to get us in a good spot to hand it off to Damon (Ockey) and he did a great job.”
Damon Ockey – No. 09 USRaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“Jacob handed me the car in first place overall and I wasn’t able to keep us there but we were P4 but first in class is great. I was able to hold off some of the Pro guys for a few class and was able to hold off second place in our class so it was a great day.
McKay Snow – No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte
“I am real tired right now. That was a tough race. I was able to get some good pace going and hold off everyone for the class win. It’s good to start the season off with a win.”
Mel Johnson – No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“I was able to take the lead late in the race and go on for the win. I had some time in the car before with a couple of tests but it was great out there today. It’s nice to win my first Super Trofeo race.”