The Pro Class Leader Leads Flag-to-Flag for His Fifth Victory This Season
By Mark Robinson
MONTEREY, Calif. – The first race of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca delivered just the antidote Richard Antinucci needed to rekindle his championship drive.
The two-time series champion and 2021 Pro class points leader drove the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO to the overall win from the pole position in Saturday’s 50-minute race. It was Antinucci’s fifth triumph of the season and provided the perfect rebound after a the 40-year-old Californian struggled in the previous three races and saw his lead trimmed to five points.
Antinucci finished 1.926 seconds ahead of Steven McAleer and Jeroen Mul in the No. 16 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán. The result allowed Antinucci to expand his advantage over McAleer to nine points heading into Sunday’s race.
“I felt like we took a long summer break from winning,” a smiling Antinucci said. “Change Racing, they’re pros, I won a championship with them. They’re really good. “To win with this Dream Motorsport team, we’ve been pretty awesome and I’ve got to thank this (No.) 27 crew and our BitBull sponsor.”
“I want to embrace what we did, collect the points, soak it in and then work hard for (the second race) tomorrow.”
Brandon Gdovic and Bryan Ortiz (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) edged closer to wrapping up the ProAm championship by winning from the pole in their class. The duo crossed the finish line 13.865 seconds ahead of Victor Gomez (No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán) to collect their fifth victory this season. Gdovic and Ortiz lead Gomez by 23 points with three races remaining.
“It’s been awesome,” Ortiz said. “The setups, the car, everything has been very similar for both of us. It’s been an easy transition to be in the team. We’re leading the points and looking to extending it every race we have left. We’re not holding back anything.”
Luke Berkeley won his third Am race of the season and took over the class lead in the process. Driving the No. 23 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Broward Huracán, Berkeley finished 11.470 seconds ahead of Ashton Harrison (No. 25 Harrison Contracting with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán). Berkeley is now three points up on Alan Metni (No. 99 Change Racing, Lamborghini Dallas Huracán).
“I just tried to keep consistent and focused and minimize mistakes, if any, and just drove my own race,” Berkeley said. “We did everything in practice to make sure the car was good for the start and the end. It was a very neutral car and it was great.”
LB Cup featured a nail-biting start and finish that rewarded Michael Mennella and Bart Collins with their first Lamborghini Super Trofeo wins. Caught in a multi-car incident on the opening lap in the No. 4 MCR Racing, Lamborghini Miami Huracán, Mennella battled back to third place in LB Cup before handing over the car to Collins during the mandatory pit stop.
“I got a great start, jumped about four cars in Turn 2,” Mennella said. “Got into Turn 3 and got hit from behind by two cars and they pushed me off the track. Got back in last place and just dug in deep and passed all of the cars, brought the car to my partner in good shape, and he just killed it.”
Collins took the class lead as the stops cycled through and held off Matt Dicken (No. 36 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán) by 0.497 seconds at the finish.
“I saw second behind me and he was closing,” Collins said. “Once he got there, I started pushing and we just had a good battle. Whenever I made a mistake, I moved over, held my line and we had a good fight to the end and luckily we held him off. Our first win!”