Bryan Ortiz and Sebastian Carazo Win in the Am Class; Slade Stewart Tops in LB Cup
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The first races of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Grand Finals at Portimao, Portugal, saw two North American teams claim class victories.
Sebastian Carazo and Bryan Ortiz won the ProAm portion of the Pro/ProAm race combining drivers and teams from the North American and European Super Trofeo series Saturday at Algarve International Circuit. In the race for Am and LB Cup competitors, Slade Stewart, who sewed up the North American series championship in LB Cup the day before, was the winner in his class.
Starting ninth in class and 21st overall in the No. 147 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2, Carazo and Ortiz methodically moved through the field in the 50-minute Pro/ProAm race. Ortiz passed Antonin Borga (No. 29 Rexal FFF Racing Team Huracán) for the class lead with less than three minutes remaining and pulled away to win by 4.060 seconds.
“Being able to win here in the Grand Finals was incredible,” Carazo said. “It was a really hectic start. I kept it mostly clean at the beginning but then Bryan got in the car and he was something else. He was so quick going through the field.”
Saturday’s win helped soothe the pain for Ortiz and Carazo from not winning the North American season championship on Friday. They finished seven points behind teammates Bryson Lew and John Dubets.
“It was really fun but it was tough,” Ortiz said of his charge to the front. “We were in the back so it was a matter of making every lap like a qualifying run. … I think with like two laps to go, we were able to pass the last one. I’m extremely happy that we were able to stand on top of the podium today. It’s awesome putting Puerto Rico on top, having great competitors not only from the U.S. but from Europe.”
Stewart’s LB Cup win came in the race stopped seven minutes before its scheduled finish due to a two-car crash that left debris strewn across the track. The No. 8 Rexal FFF Racing Team Huracán was leading in LB Cup when the red flag came out but was assessed a postrace penalty for speeding in pit lane and dropped to sixth in class. That gave the win to Stewart, who had started third in the No. 114 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Lamborghini Newport Beach Huracán was in second when the race was halted.
So, a day after wrapping up the North American LB Cup championship, Stewart collected his fourth win of the season and took the class lead for the Grand Finals title.
“It was an awesome race,” he said. “I qualified P3 and got myself up to P2. Had a good fight going on in front of us, fun cars to play with. … We’re really, really excited to be where we are right now. It’s been a rough trip so we’ll take it.”
Nelson Piquet (No. 130 Ansa Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward Huracán), in second place, was the top North American finisher in the Pro class of the Pro/ProAm race. He finished 2.823 seconds behind the No. 61 Bonaldi Motorsport Huracán from the European series shared by Loris Spinelli and Max Weering. Spinelli drove in both the North American and European Super Trofeo series this year but elected to race in the European entry for the Grand Finals.
David Staab and Nikko Reger, co-drivers of the No. 148 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán initially were scored second in the Am class of the Am/LB Cup race, but a postrace penalty for avoidable contact on the opening lap dropped them off the podium. It moved Shehan Chandrasoma (No. 119 MCR racing, Lamborghini Austin Huracán) into second place, tops among the North American drivers. Alex Au (No. 120 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán) inherited third place to give the North American contingent two podium finishers.
The Grand Finals wrap up with the second races on Sunday, at 8 a.m. ET for Am/LB Cup and 10:50 a.m. for Pro/ProAm. Both races stream live on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse YouTube page.