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‘Pass of the Year’ Sparks Formal, Marcelli to Win in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Opener

The Bold Maneuver on the First Lap Gets the Series’ 10th Season off to a Memorable Start

 

By Mark Robinson

 

Provisional Results

 

MONTEREY, Calif. – Danny Formal made sure that the first race of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America’s 10th season was memorable from the outset. Formal completed an amazing pass for the lead on the opening lap Saturday, paving the way to the overall and Pro class victory for him and co-driver Kyle Marcelli at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

Driving the No. 1 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2, Formal started the 50-minute race second to pole sitter Patrick Kujala in the No. 50 O’Gara Motorsport/Change Racing/USRT, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán.

 

Formal wasted no time, pulling off the bold overtake of Kujala as the two Huracáns sped uphill toward WeatherTech Raceway’s famous Corkscrew. Pressured heavily by Kujala after the pass, Formal held strong to the lead before turning the No. 1 Huracán over to Marcelli, who built a lead of more than seven seconds before the race ended under a full-course caution.

 

“I think it’s the best pass of my life,” Formal said “I risked it. I saw the opportunity to go and I went. I’m so thankful for Kyle, the whole team, Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing for the opportunity. The car was fantastic; they gave us a great car to race.”

 

It marked the fourth series win for Formal and Marcelli, who initially teamed last year.

 

“Danny, man, pass of the year going into the Corkscrew!” Marcelli said. “I think we’ll see that on the highlight reel all season. Danny and I, we just click. It’s basically a repeat program of last year and we’re here to win.”

 

Tom Long and Ashton Harrison gave Wayne Taylor Racing a pair of wins in the race, taking first place in ProAm in the No. 25 Harrison Contracting, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán.

 

Driving the closing stint in the car, Harrison quickly disposed of ProAm class leader Bryson Lew (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) and then dodged disaster when she and Luke Berkeley (No. 23 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Broward Huracán) tangled coming through the Corkscrew less than 10 minutes from the finish. Despite sustaining left-side body damage and losing a mirror, Harrison finished off the ProAm win – her fifth career Lamborghini Super Trofeo triumph and first with Long as a co-driver.

 

“It’s a great start to the year for us in Super Trofeo, in our debut in ProAm together,” Harrison said. “I was just trying to protect my space. (Berkeley) drove in deeper and I just held my line and looked at what I needed to do, and it worked out. My fender’s hanging off but it’s OK, we finished.”

 

Long, Harrison’s co-driver and long-time driver coach, was pleased as he watched the end of the race unfold.

 

“We’ve been working together for a long time and it is so much fun to finally be driving with her,” he said. “Handed her a great car and she took it to the front and killed it.”

 

The Am class saw David Staab and Nikko Reger charge from the eighth starting spot in class to win in the No. 48 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán. Reger moved the car into first place for the first time with just six minutes remaining when he passed Caesar Bacarella in the No. 45 TR3 Racing, Lamborghini Miami Huracán that had led the entire way to that point.

 

“It feels awesome!” Staab exclaimed after he and Reger won in their series debut. “There’s so much work that went into this weekend and seeing it all come together in the little amount of time that we had in the car, it’s a great feeling.”

 

Added Reger, “We’re in the California sunshine racing Lamborghinis; it doesn’t get any better than this. To take home a win, that’s just the cherry on top.”

 

In LB Cup, Wesley Slimp and Tyler Hoffman also collected their maiden Lamborghini Super Trofeo win in their series debuts in the No. 9 TPC Racing, Lamborghini Washington Huracán. Slimp was leading on a restart from caution with under 10 minutes to go but was passed by Bart Collins (No. 4 MCR Racing, Lamborghini Miami Huracán). Three minutes later, Collins slid into the gravel in Turn 2, handing the LB Cup lead and victory back to the No. 9.

 

“We’ve been really looking forward to this in the offseason and we’re really excited about the opportunity to be here racing with Lamborghini and the Super Trofeo series with the new car,” Hoffman said. “This win means a ton to us. This is the goal and we’re hoping to see a lot more of this this year.”

 

The second race of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America weekend starts at 12:40 p.m. ET Sunday and streams live on IMSA.com/TVLive.