Sergio Jimenez was overcome with joy Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca after driving to his maiden victory in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championship. The weekend of racing at the iconic California road course comprises the fourth of five doubleheader rounds on the 2020 schedule.
Jimenez led most of the 50-minute race in the No. 13 Ansa Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO to nab the win in just his fifth start. The Brazilian did so despite constant pressure through the last half of the race, holding off Pro class front-runners Madison Snow and Jacob Eidson to the checkered flag.
“Really, really happy for me and for the team and for Brazil,” Jimenez said. “I need to say thank you to them for believing in me and bringing me here. It’s an amazing championship – IMSA, Lamborghini, everything.
“We needed to manage the tires, that was the secret. We did the car for a long run; we saw it work. The hotter (temperature) was very difficult for myself, but we bring it home.”
Brandon Gdvoic started from pole position and led early in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán but had to pit after three laps with a fuel issue. That handed the lead to Jimenez, who put together a consistent and determined effort to win by 0.488 seconds over Eidson and Steven Aghakhani in the No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán. The runner-up result helped the No. 6 drivers trim their deficit to Snow (No. 16 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán) to nine points in the Pro championship standings.
Corey Lewis completed a bold last-lap pass to rally to victory in the ProAm class. Driving the No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán with McKay Snow, Lewis was bumped from the ProAm lead with just under seven minutes remaining by Danny Formal in the No. 99 Ansa Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward Huracán.
Undaunted, Lewis battled back on the white-flag lap and edged Formal by 0.320 seconds at the finish line. With their fifth win of 2020, Lewis and McKay Snow built their points lead to 15 over Leo Lamelas heading into Sunday’s second race.
“It was a hard fight all the way through that second half,” Lewis said. “I knew the (No.) 99 had pace and he got around the second-place car, which made it a battle between he and I. He made a strong move on me and if I didn’t have to get out of the way, we probably would’ve both crashed.
“I knew if I could return the favor, that’s exactly what we did. We could look at it, we can talk about it, but at the end of the day we did what we had to do to get the win.”
Victor Gomez IV faced Am class competition for one of the few times this season yet kept his record unblemished, winning for the seventh straight time in the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán. Brian Thienes, an Am class race winner at WeatherTech Raceway in 2018, finished second in his season debut in the No. 17 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán.
The victory was special for Gomez, whose family made the trip from Puerto Rico to see him win.“It’s finally good to have some competition,” Gomez said. “It definitely motivates you to be always on your game. The competition was tough today. I knew I had to show off a little.
“It’s like a love or hate (relationship) with Laguna. I’ve been coming here a few years. … Laguna is a nasty track, very historic and I had some good pace here today.”
In LB Cup, John Hennessy picked up his second win of the season by holding off points leader Randy Sellari by 1.028 seconds. It wasn’t easy for Hennessy, who spun early in the No. 33 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla Huracán but benefited in track position after being among the last to make the mandatory mid-race pit stop.
“This is a very tough track but very fun because it’s a short track so you can kind of get in the groove,” Hennessy said. “The uphill and the downhill – it’s my favorite track, actually. I love doing this.”Race 2 gets underway at 1:25 p.m. ET Sunday. A live stream with IMSA Radio commentary is available at IMSA.com.