After Sitting out 2020, the Former Champion Runs up Front Again Heading to VIR
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Like many people, Richard Antinucci’s world was disrupted by the global pandemic last year. He got a jump on setting things right with his racing career by winning the opener to the 2021 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America season.
Returning to racing after sitting out 2020, Antinucci drove to the Pro class and overall win two weeks ago at Circuit of The Americas, in the first race of the doubleheader weekend. With double-digit series victories and a pair of season championships already under his belt, Antinucci is a threat to come out on top again this weekend when Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America heads to VIRginia International Raceway for Round 2.
The No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO that Antinucci drives is among 27 entries in the four classes. He trails Pro class leaders Stevan McAleer and Madison Snow, co-drivers of the No. 16 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán, by five points heading into the VIR doubleheader.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America: VIRginia International Raceway Entry List
Now 40, Antinucci had little trepidation about getting back up to speed quickly at COTA, even with the year layoff.
“I have a lot of experience so I can get to my level quickly,” he said. “The key was to know how to suffer in the car again. It was hot out there, everybody’s sweating, some people are really knackered (at the end of the races). To do it by yourself, you also have a three-second penalty (for solo drivers when they make the mandatory pit stop), so a little bit of extra stress – but heavier lies the crown when you’re on your own in the car.”
Antinucci is appreciative of the opportunity to race for Dream Racing Motorsport this year after spending the bulk of 2020 doing “a lot of parenting and stuff.”
“I didn’t do any racing,” he added. “I wanted to; I think COVID put a big dent in a lot of people’s careers and momentum – not just racing. I’m just glad to get back to my craft, my passion and my best job.
“I couldn’t be this way, in this position, without an extremely good team. These are the best guys I’ve worked with so far in Super Trofeo.”
Seven cars are entered in the Pro class, including the No. 6 O’Gara Motorsport/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán shared by Steven Aghakhani and Jacob Eidson. The duo won the first race of the VIR weekend last year, Eidson won both ProAm races at VIR in 2019 and Aghakhani won the Am class second race at VIR in 2019.
In ProAm, Victor Gomez IV (No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán) holds a two-point lead over Brandon Gdovic and Bryan Ortiz (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán). Gomez won both Am class VIR races last year. Gdovic has a pair of Pro class wins at the track, one each in 2019 and 2020.
In the Am class, Ashton Harrison (No. 25 Harrison Contracting with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán) – who nabbed her first series win at COTA – is five points ahead of Giano Taurino (No. 88 Taurino Racing, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) and Alan Metni (No. 99 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán) in the class standings.
In LB Cup, Bill Peluchiwski (No. 62 Kelly-Moss Road and Race, Lamborghini San Francisco Huracán) is the class leader after posting finishes of second and first at COTA. Matt Dicken (No. 36 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán) was the LB Cup winner in the first race at COTA and won the class in last year’s second VIR race.
A pair of Lamborghini Super Trofeo practices are set for Friday on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course. Qualifying takes place at 3:05 p.m. ET Saturday. Race 1 starts at 8 a.m. Sunday, with Race 2 at 4:35 p.m. Both races will stream live on IMSA.com, TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and Lamborghini.com.