By Mark Robinson
MONTEREY, Calif. - Sergio Jimenez and Ansa Motorsports took a major step forward Sunday in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championship, completing a weekend sweep of victories at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The twin wins, overall and in the Pro class, marked the first for driver and team. Jimenez, driving the No. 13 Ansa Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO, held off championship leader Madison Snow by 0.491 seconds in the caution-filled race.
"I knew that this race was going to be tough," said Jimenez, who earned his first series win on Saturday. "Everybody worked more for today, the second race. The first stint was OK and we chose to stop on the first lap (after the mandatory pit window opened) because there could be a safety car, and we did right.
"I think I won today on the restart when I could overtake a lot of cars in a few moments," Jimenez added. "It was a good call from the team when it was green."
Brandon Gdovic (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) and Steven Aghakhani (No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán) actually saw the checkered flag first and second in Sunday’s 50-minute race, but each was levied a 29-second post-race penalty for not completing a drive-through penalty assessed for passing cars before the green flag waved on a restart with 17 minutes remaining.
Knowing the cars in front of him would be penalized on the final restart with less than two minutes to go, Jimenez focused on holding ground on the pursuing Snow (No. 16 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán).
"The team said to me before the last green that the two cars in front had a punishment," said Jimenez, the 36-year-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil. "We’ve started to grow step by step and we see that hard work pays. If you focus, you’re going to win. With hard work, you can do anything."
Leo Lamelas made it a doubly good day for Brazilian drivers, taking the ProAm class win in the No. 24 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Westlake Huracán. Lamelas benefited as well by making his pit stop as soon as the mandatory window opened and cruised home 4.18 seconds ahead of Danny Formal (No. 99 Ansa Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward Huracán).
It was Lamelas’ third win this season and allowed him to unofficially close within eight points of No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán drivers Corey Lewis and McKay Snow for the ProAm lead. Two races remain, both on Nov. 13 at Sebring International Raceway.
"I’m very happy for the win today," Lamelas said. "It was such a difficult weekend for us; we could not find the right setup since the practice on Friday. Anyway, very happy for the guys that we could achieve (the win). We feel better going to Sebring, fighting for the championship."
Victor Gomez IV kept his 2020 record perfect on Sunday, winning for the eighth straight time in the Am class. The driver of the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán continues improving his race craft each time out.
"We were playing with the setup all weekend and think we struggled a little bit with the pace today," Gomez said. "We have work to do for Sebring to finish off the Am championship. I’m still getting used to the car, still getting used to the series and the competitors, so every time I get in the car, I learn something new."
LB Cup celebrated a first-time winner Sunday in rookie Sydney McKee, the Brown University student majoring in engineering and economics. McKee capitalized in the No. 87 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán by waiting to make her pit stop until the window reopened on a restart with 15 minutes remaining. Another full-course caution came out while she was in the pits and she returned on track ahead of the rest of the LB Cup field.
"That was an amazing race. The guys had an amazing call to bring me in just at the right time and put me P1," a smiling McKee said. "A little bit of a crazy race with all the yellows but it really worked out in our favor. This is actually my first time here so I’m loving Laguna Seca.
"It’s been a lot of learning this season," she continued. "Very new car to me, a lot more downforce than I think I’ve ever driven, much faster. So lots of learning every weekend and finally we were able to put all the pieces together. A huge confidence builder to walk away from this weekend with a win."
LB Cup points leader Randy Sellari finished second in the No. 03 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán.