Other Classes Remain Tight Following Weekend Doubleheader
By Mark Robinson
ALTON, Va. – Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli picked the perfect time to find their way back to the winner’s circle in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. The duo won Sunday’s race at VIRginia International Raceway to clinch the Pro class championship.
With 14 minutes remaining in the race, Formal made a daring pass for the lead through the VIR esses in the No. 1 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2. He pulled away to victory by 6.808 seconds, delivering the fifth victory of the season for himself and Marcelli.
By stretching their points lead to 33 with only two races left in the North American season, it secured the season championship as well.
“So happy to be able to bring a championship back to Wayne Taylor Racing in the Pro class – 2017 was the last time they got it,” Formal said. “So grateful for Kyle. He gave me a car with the rear tires like brand new. The car was a rocket ship. As soon as I left the pits, I knew we had the pace.”
Marcelli started the 50-minute race in third place and was still there when the mandatory pit stop window opened. Formal moved into second following the pit cycle, hot on the heels of Dario Capitanio in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán.
Formal wasted no time making the decisive pass, maneuvering inside Capitanio heading into Turn 4 and slipping past unscathed. Marcelli was impressed with his teammate’s moxie.
“It was picture perfect,” Marcelli said of the pass that brought the No. 1 its first win since June at Watkins Glen. “I knew Danny had the pace. All weekend, he’s been 100 percent here at VIR; this has been his track. It rewards a lot of risk and Danny’s not afraid to take risks. A fantastic move to take the lead and he clearly had the pace after that.”
Capitanio and Edoardo Liberaiti finished second in the No. 27 Huracán with Billy Johnson third in the No. 71 TPC Racing, Lamborghini Washington Huracán.
ProAm leaders Bryson Lew and John Dubets completed their second straight weekend sweep to expand their points advantage in the class. Starting from the class pole in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán, Dubets lost the ProAm lead early after contact with teammate Bryan Ortiz in the No. 47 Huracán.
But Dubets regained first place with a blistering pass on Tom Long in the No. 25 Harrison Contracting with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Huracán, then turned the car over to Lew to finish out the win – their sixth of the season. Dubets and Lew lead Ortiz and Sebastian Carazo by 11 points with two races remaining.
“We came in (this weekend) and everything was a struggle,” Dubets said. “From practices going haywire to no track time to just hopping in the car and having no concept of where we would land and what the car would do. To come out with results like this is just a reflection of this team’s never-give-up attitude and their will to win.”
Shehan Chandrasoma doubled up on Am wins at VIR to tighten the championship battle in that class. Employing an undercut pit strategy Sunday in the No. 19 MCR racing, Lamborghini Austin Huracán, Chandrasoma overtook the pole-sitting No. 48 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán during the pit sequence and cruised to a 17.706-second win over No. 48 co-drivers David Staab and Nikko Reger. Staab and Reger lead Chandrasoma by four points heading to the North American doubleheader finale in Portimao, Portugal.
“Back-to-back wins at VIR, I was able to close on the lead now again,” Chandrasoma said. “I beat second place in Am by around 17 seconds and finished eighth overall, so not bad for my first season. I definitely see the progress. I can keep up with the ProAm cars now.”
Anthony McIntosh made his Lamborghini Super Trofeo debut this weekend and nearly came away with two wins in LB Cup. After finishing second by 0.604 seconds in Saturday’s race, McIntosh started from the class pole Sunday and never wavered, winning by 15.361 seconds in the No. 49 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán.
“This weekend is the first time I got in this car and it was good,” McIntosh said. “Every lap, I could feel I was getting better and better. The whole team was amazing, the car setup was amazing, all my other teammates completely helped me. It was probably the most welcoming experience I’ve ever had racing. I’ve only been racing a year but this is amazing!”
The LB Cup standings remain tight at the top. Slade Stewart (No. 14 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Lamborghini Newport Beach Huracán) leads Ofir Levy and Jon Hirshberg (No. 13 O’Gara Motorsport/Change Racing/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Rancho Mirage Huracán) by seven points.
The final races for the North American championship take place Nov. 2-4 in Portugal, with the World Finals combining North American and European Super Trofeo drivers and teams in races to follow Nov. 5-6.