The Competitiveness of the Single-Make Series Goes on Full Display for the Second Straight Round of 2022
By Mark Robinson
AVONDALE, La. – The highly competitive nature of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America was on open display in Race 2 of the NOLA Motorsports Park weekend. For the second straight event to start the 2022 season, the four class winners on Sunday were all different from those who triumphed in Race 1 the day before.
The opening round three weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca also saw different winners in the classes from the first to second races.
Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal rolled to the overall and Pro class victory Sunday in the No. 1 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2. Starting from the pole, Marcelli ceded the lead early but Formal charged back in the closing stint, overtaking Giano Taurino (No. 88 Taurino Racing by D Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) with a bold inside pass in Turn 6 with 15 minutes remaining in the 50-minute race. Formal drove away to win by more than nine seconds over Edoardo Liberati (No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán).
“Awesome drive today,” Formal said after he and Marcelli earned their second win of 2022 and fifth in the last eight series races dating to mid-2021. “Kyle saved the tires for me, gave me a perfect race car and I just pushed, pushed, pushed.
“When I got to the (No.) 88, I saw he was having trouble with the rear of the car so I just looked for my moment, passed him going into (Turn) 6. He wasn’t expecting that, so that’s one of the reasons I passed him there.”
The win also gave Formal and Marcelli a two-point lead over Edoardo Piscopo and Patrick Kujala (No. 50 O’Gara Motorsport/Change Racing/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán) after the second of six doubleheader race rounds. Marcelli was glad to leave the demanding NOLA track atop the Pro standings.
“This place is wild,” he said. “We were out of breath after five laps. It keeps you on your toes. It’s a fast racetrack, requires a lot of commitment, it’s bumpy. But our Wayne Taylor Racing car rolled off the trailer well. Big thanks to the engineers.”
The ProAm class saw Sebastian Carazo and Bryan Ortiz collect their first win of the season in the No. 47 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán. Carazo regrouped from a disappointing qualifying effort on Saturday – he started the race 14th overall and fifth in ProAm – vaulted to second in class on the opening lap and held there until turning the No. 47 over to Ortiz on the mandatory pit stop.
Ortiz quickly disposed of Alan Grossberg (No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán) and pulled away to win by more than 12 seconds over Ashton Harrison and Tom Long in the No. 25 Harrison Contracting with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán.
“Today was offense, offense, offense,” Carazo said. “I tried to move up as many positions as we could. Qualifying wasn’t great with traffic so today was recover what we couldn’t do yesterday and keep our nose clean. That’s what ultimately got us to second place after the first two or three laps.”
Ortiz, the 2021 ProAm champion with Brandon Gdovic, was pleased to get the first win with his new teammate.
“What we needed today was to stay out of trouble and let him (Carazo) stay in the lead pack,” Ortiz said. “I knew we had a good car. It definitely paid off. We were able to get to the front and be with the lead guys. First win of many, hopefully.”
Harrison and Long took the ProAm points lead, four better than Race 1 winners Bryson Lew and John Dubets (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán).
Series newcomer Shehan Chandrasoma joined the Lamborghini Super Trofeo first-time winners’ club, driving the No. 19 MCR racing, Lamborghini Austin Huracán to victory in the Am class. He took the lead with 14 minutes to go and won by 8.5 seconds over David Staab and Nikko Reger (No. 48 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán).
“It feels amazing!” Chandrasoma said after being drenched in champagne on the podium. “I took a break from racing for about two years during Covid and it feels good to be back, for sure. It was all about staying consistent and having a good, clean race. I finished P8 overall, which is not terrible.”
Staab and Reger lead the Am standings by three points over Cam Aliabadi (No. 17 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Walnut Creek Huracán).
LB Cup welcomed a pair of first-time winners as well, Ofir Levy and Jon Hirshberg in the No. 13 O’Gara Motorsport/Change Racing/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Rancho Mirage Huracán. Hirshberg drove the closing stint, taking the class lead with 13 minutes to go and winning by nearly six seconds over Slade Stewart, Saturday’s LB Cup winner in the No. 14 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Lamborghini Newport Beach Huracán.
“It was fantastic,” Hirshberg said. “I just tried to play it smart and waited for an opportunity to get into first, and it worked out well. Super happy about it.”
Stewart leads Levy and Hirshberg by nine points in the LB Cup standings after four races.
A televised recap of the NOLA weekend airs at 10 a.m. ET Saturday on USA Network. Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America returns to action June 23-26 at Watkins Glen International.