North American Champions Will Be Decided on Friday, World Final Races Set for Saturday and Sunday
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – There’s two times the fun and two times the pressure for Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America drivers and teams this weekend in Italy.
First, they’ll decide the North American championships in four classes with a pair of races Friday at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Then they’ll go wheel-to-wheel with their counterparts from Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe in World Final races on Saturday and Sunday to determine global bragging rights in the single-make series featuring Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO cars.
“It’s tremendous!” was how Richard Antinucci, the Pro class leader in the North American championship, described the World Final atmosphere. Antinucci has collected four podium finishes in previous World Finals, but this is the first time the event is being held at Misano along the Adriatic coast.
“The environment’s great, this year we’ll be in Italy and I’m from Italy,” Antinucci added. “It’s really exciting, the people are passionate. We’re going to have all those Europeans (competing) so it’s very, very high level. And the food’s great in Italy!”
Steven Aghakhani, who won an Am class World Final in 2019 at Jerez, Spain – the last time the event was held due to the global pandemic – calls it the perfect cap to the year.
“World Finals is obviously the big bang, the fireworks for the end of the entire season,” Aghakhani said. “Most of the time, the (North American) championship comes down to the World Finals races themselves. Misano is one of those circuits that you can go back any single day and you’ll leave with a smile on your face.”
Most of the class titles in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America will come down to Friday’s doubleheader. Following Thursday’s qualifying sessions, Antinucci, driver of the No. 127 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán, holds a 15-point lead in the Pro class with a maximum of 30 points remaining available (15 points for each race win). Stevan McAleer, sharing the No. 116 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán with Jeroen Mul, is second in the standings.
Aghakhani and co-driver Jacob Eidson (No. 106 O’Gara Motorsport/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills) are a distant third, 23 points behind Antinucci. But the hottest Pro entry of late is the No. 101 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán. Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal have won three of the last four races after crashing out at Watkins Glen International in early July.
“We struggled in the early part of the season and couldn’t quite figure out why,” Marcelli said. “We made some wholesale changes after Watkins Glen, and we’ve just turned this thing around. Big thanks to Wayne Taylor Racing having confidence in us.”
ProAm is the only class all but settled. Brandon Gdovic, who won the 2015 Lamborghini Gallardo Am class World Final when it was held at Sebring International Raceway, has teamed with Bryan Ortiz to roll to a 30-point lead in the No. 146 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán. They need only to start one of the races Friday to sew up the title.
Luke Berkeley (No. 123 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Broward) is the leader in the Am class. The 17-year-old is 15 points up on Alan Metni (No. 199 Change Racing, Lamborghini Dallas) and 19 ahead of Ashton Harrison (No. 125 Harrison Contracting with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus).
The LB Cup will see a change atop the standings since current leader Matt Dicken isn’t entered at Misano. Mark Kvamme and Terry Olson (No. 147 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach) trail Dicken by a single point heading into the weekend and will take the class title by starting at least one race.
Antinucci claimed both Pro class pole positions in qualifying on Thursday, taking the overall top spot for Race 1. Loris Spinelli, the Pro half of the No. 151 MCR Racing, Lamborghini Palm Beach ProAm pairing with Claude Senhoreti, took overall and class pole honors for Race 2, with a qualifying-best lap of 1 minute, 32.874 seconds. Patrick Liddy (No. 108 O’Gara Motorsport/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Westlake) won the ProAm pole for Race 1. Berkeley swept Am pole qualifying, with John Hennessy (No. 133 O’Gara Motorsport/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini San Diego) and Bart Collins (No. 104 MCR Racing, Lamborghini Miami) each earning an LB Cup pole position.
The North American final races start at 3:25 and 8:25 a.m. ET Friday. The first World Final race for the Am and LB Cup classes is set for 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, with the first Pro and ProAm race following at 11:55 a.m. ET. The weekend wraps up Sunday, with the Am and LB Cup World Final at 6:05 a.m. ET and the Pro and ProAm race at 8:25 a.m. ET. All of the 50-minute races will stream live on the Lamborghini Facebook page.