Championships Are Decided in the Pro, ProAm and LB Cup Classes at the Indianapolis Finale
By Mark Robinson
INDIANAPOLIS – While Ryan Norman was busy winning the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, teammates Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal were diligently taking care of wrapping up their second consecutive Pro class championship.
Norman was the overall and Pro winner in Sunday’s race to complete a weekend victory sweep. Marcelli and Formal, meanwhile, finished second for the second straight day, but it was more than enough to secure the 2023 Pro crown.
Piloting the No. 84 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, Lamborghini Palm Beach Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2, Norman passed Marcelli in the No. 1 WTRAndretti Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán for the lead on the first green-flag lap and never surrendered it. Formal finished the 50-minute race in the No. 1 and closed within 0.709 seconds at the checkered flag.
“That was probably one of the most intense races I’ve ever had,” said Norman, who saw a sizable lead evaporate following a full-course caution and felt pressure from Formal in the closing minutes. “I knew I had a short window to try and get that gap back again, but for me to do that, I had to use a lot of my tires. At the end there, I had like no tires left and was in traffic. Danny did a fantastic job pressuring me. … This is a big weight off my shoulders getting these wins this weekend.”
With just the final doubleheader round at Vallelunga, Italy, in November remaining, Marcelli and Formal hold an insurmountable 40-point lead over Norman.
“Just an incredible feeling to become back-to-back champions in such a cool series like Lamborghini Super Trofeo,” Formal said. “The Pro class was so competitive. Congratulations to the team. Ryan was a smoke show this weekend. … We’re leaving here championship winners again, going to the World Finals, going to Rounds 11 and 12 (of Super Trofeo North America) with no pressure.”
Two other Super Trofeo class championships were decided as well on Sunday. Keawn Tandon and Luke Berkeley won the race in ProAm to sew up that class title for Tandon and the No. 42 NTE Sport, Lamborghini Broward Huracán. Mark Wilgus finished second in LB Cup, good enough to clinch that title in the No. 50 Forte Racing Powered by US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán.
Berkeley was the finishing driver in the No. 42 Huracán and inherited the lead following the cycle of mandatory pit stops. He won the ProAm race by 0.761 seconds ahead of Nate Stacy and Nick Persing in the No. 8 WTRAndretti, Lamborghini Nashville Huracán.
“Keawn did an awesome job in the start to just chill behind the car that was first in class and save me some tires so I could fight to the end,” said Berkeley, who missed the first two races of the season before pairing with Tandon. “We went over some stuff with the team to help with some traction issues we had in yesterday’s race, and today the car was awesome. I’m super proud of Kewan; this is big for him and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Tandon was elated to clinch the championship in his first Super Trofeo season.
“It means the world,” Tandon said. “My first time ever in the car (this year). I just really appreciate NTE giving me the opportunity, my family, my friends. I just keep chipping away at it, going for the top and hopefully start battling for the Pro wins.”
Wilgus crossed the finish line first in LB Cup but a 10-second penalty assessed for an improper race start dropped him to second in the results behind Forte Racing teammate Ofir Levy, driver of the No. 13 Lamborghini Rancho Mirage Huracán. Wilgus holds a 43-point lead over Levy after 10 races.
“It was good times, a bit of a grind,” said Levy, an LB Cup race winner for the second time this season. “I kept getting a message that I was less than 10 (seconds) behind Mark and he had a penalty, but I just said, ‘Forget it, man, I’m going to push it to the end.’ It was fantastic. I ended up speeding up toward the end. Good times, I love it.”
Unable to overcome the 10-second penalty, Wilgus was pleased with the consolation prize of the season championship.
“To win an IMSA championship in kind of my first year really racing, that’s unreal,” he said. “I can’t believe it. I feel really fortunate. I’m super excited to go to Italy and race hard.”
In the Am class, Anthony McIntosh and Glenn McGee won for the fifth time this season and second this weekend to all but clinch the class championship in the No. 69 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán. They are 30 points ahead of PPM teammate David Staab (No. 48 Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) with a maximum of 32 points available at Vallelunga.
McGee passed teammate Wesley Slimp (No. 9 PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) working through Turns 2-3 for the class lead with just under five minutes remaining, following ProAm driver Alexandre Premat (No. 70 Forte Racing, Lamborghini San Diego Huracán) past the No. 9.
“Premat got (Slimp) a little upset going into (Turn) 1,” McGee explained. “I just softened the brake and rolled up to his bumper, and he gave me really good space. I took it to the grass on the outside and it worked.”
The final North American Super Trofeo rounds are set for Nov. 16-17 at Vallelunga, with the World Finals gathering teams from North America, Europe and Asia taking place Nov. 18-19. A recap of the Super Trofeo weekend airs at 2 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 30 on CNBC.