The Two-Time North American Pro Class Champs Win the First Race at Vallelunga
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Even taking them to another continent to race can’t slow the juggernaut season that Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli have put together in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.
The Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport duo dominated the first race of the final 2023 round, held today at Autodromo Vallelunga outside Rome, Italy. They led throughout the 50-minute race in the No. 101 Lamborghini Palm Beach, Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2, winning by nearly eight seconds to collect their ninth victory in 11 outings this season.
Formal started from the overall pole position and quickly built a comfortable gap. He made the mandatory pit stop with 24 minutes remaining, turning the No. 101 over to Marcelli, whose lead was more than four seconds at the completion of the pit cycle.
From there, eased away to victory over teammate Ryan Norman in the No. 184 WTRAndretti Huracán. Since they’d already clinched the North American Pro class championship for a second consecutive year, Formal said he and Marcelli are fine-tuning their car for a bid to win the World Finals this weekend.
“The car was fantastic,” Formal said. “We’ve been working extremely hard to get the car ready for the World Finals and the car felt really good this stint. I’m very happy with my pace, very happy with the fast lap I was able to do, and then Kyle just started clicking off very, very good lap times on old tires. He did a fantastic job. Win No. 9 of the season, breaking our own record, so extremely grateful and happy.”
In the ProAm class, Blake McDonald and Patrick Liddy charged from eighth on the class starting grid to win in their first race together. Sharing the No. 171 Forte Racing Powered by US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán, McDonald held steady until being among the first to stop when the pit window opened. The veteran pro Liddy then ripped off sensational laps so that he was in third place as the pit cycle completed. Within two laps, he sailed into the class lead and won by more than 16 seconds over Shehan Chandrasoma and Nikko Reger in the No. 120 TPC Racing, Lamborghini Austin Huracán.
“It was a really fun stint,” Liddy said. “We kind of got out right in the traffic and it immediately was a battle. The car felt really good. I haven’t been in the car all season and it was really fun to pair up with Blake and get the win. Great driving from Blake and great job from the team.”
“Fun race, good to start World Finals week off like that,” McDonald added. “Patrick really made it look easy out there and I just did my best to kind of keep our position in the beginning. Super fun!”
Tyler Hoffman and Wesley Slimp drove to their second Am class win of the season in the No. 109 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán but not without late drama. Am points leaders Glenn McGee and Anthony McIntosh (No. 169 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) suffered a long pit stop that dropped them in the running order, but McIntosh roared back at the end to finish just 0.794 seconds behind Slimp.
“This has been a struggle learning this track for me,” Slimp admitted. “But it finally clicked and I was able to bring it home. Tyler did a great stint to get us out in front, we had a really clean pit stop and I was able to drive smooth, consistent laps – no mistakes. And we got it done.”
With the runner-up finish, McGee and McIntosh clinched the Am class championship.
Graham Doyle (No. 110 WTRAndretti, Lamborghini Nashville Huracán) rolled to his third win of the season in LB Cup, controlling the pace throughout and crossing the finish line 14 seconds ahead of class season champion Mark Wilgus (No. 150 Forte Racing, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán).
“It was an incredible race from start to finish,” Doyle said. “I started on pole today – actually got double pole for the weekend, so that was a good feeling – and held it from the start. Great pit stop, great work by the team. I think we really showed what we’re capable of and I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow.”
The final race of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America season streams live on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse YouTube page starting at 7:30 a.m. ET Friday.
The North American teams will then go head-to-head with their Super Trofeo counterparts from Europe and Asia Pacific in a pair of races for the World Finals, one each on Saturday and Sunday.