The WTRAndretti Duo Caps the North American Season with a Record 10th Victory
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With their second straight Pro class championship already secured, Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal used the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America races the past two days to prepare for the upcoming World Finals. The results show they’re ready.
For the second straight day, Marcelli and Formal dominated in Friday’s 50-minute race at Autodromo Vallelunga outside Rome, claiming the overall and Pro class victory in the No. 101 Lamborghini Palm Beach, Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2. It was the record-setting 10th win in 12 outings this North American season as Marcelli and Formal punctuated their championship.
Their eyes, however, have been laser focused on the World Finals, which will pit drivers from Super Trofeo’s North American, European and Asia Pacific series in races on Saturday and Sunday at Vallelunga.
“We drove with our head. The pace was phenomenal again for both cars; we pulled away from the rest of the field,” said Formal, who finished 5.493 seconds ahead of WTRAndretti teammate Ryan Norman (No. 184 Lambrghini Palm Beach Huracán).
“We tried a lot of things for the World Finals today and I think let’s say we did two good steps, maybe one not so good,” Formal added. “But very happy, very positive and excited for the weekend.”
Marcelli said the addition of Norman as a second Pro entry this season for WTRAndretti has benefited everyone. On Friday, Norman finished second to Marcelli/Formal for the sixth time and he was the only driver to win in the Pro class this season other than the champions.
“The value of having a fast teammate is we have double the opportunity to try things,” Marcelli said. “Here in today’s race, I think we each had a little something different (in setup), all just in preparation for the big (World Finals) races this weekend.”
Shehan Chandrasoma, driving the No. 120 TPC Racing, Lamborghini Austin Huracán, made a blazing charge in the closing stint to secure the ProAm class victory. The win allowed Chandrasoma, the 2022 Am class champion, to move within a point of second in the final ProAm standings behind Luke Berkeley, who isn’t racing this weekend. Keawn Tandon, also not competing at Vallelunga, clinched the championship at the last round in Indianapolis.
Chandrasoma and co-driver Nikko Reger finished 4.357 seconds up on the No. 108 WTRAndretti, Lamborghini Nashville Huracán, which saw co-drivers Nick Persing and Nate Stacy log a stellar drive of their own by climbing from last on the 26-car starting grid to finish second in class and sixth overall.
“Nikko put the car in an amazing position. I got in the car, had a really good stint, made the pass for first and got our first win of the season,” Chandrasoma said.
To which Reger added, “The TPC guys, Shehan and everybody did such an amazing job. We’ve been fighting all year long; it’s been a grueling grind. We should’ve had more wins this season but this is quite the way to wrap up the year.”
In the Am class, David Staab (No. 148 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) won from the pole position to claim his third triumph of the season and nail down second in the class standings.
“It was just a matter of going out there and delivering on everything that we’ve been practicing for all year,” Staab said. “The PPM guys put together a perfect package for me today, where the car just felt perfect from beginning to end. Really appreciate all the hard work that the guys put into the engineering in the season.”
Graham Doyle (No. 110 WTRAndretti, Lamborghini Nashville Huracán) continued his late-season surge in LB Cup, capping a Vallelunga pole/race sweep with an easy victory. It was Doyle’s third win in the past four races, fourth victory of the season and locked him into second in the LB Cup final standings behind champion Mark Wilgus.
All from a teenager who’s racing cars for the first time this year.
“Laguna Seca back in May was my first race in an actual car, and throughout the season we just really improved,” Doyle said. “Wayne Taylor Racing, (sponsor) Dex Imaging have been huge in my success. They’ve really allowed me to progress in the sport of racing and I think the results are showing. I think it really showed this weekend what we have for next year.”
The first World Finals races stream live on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse YouTube page starting at 8:35 a.m. ET Saturday for the Am and LB Cup classes, and 9:55 a.m. for Pro/ProAm. Sunday’s races start at 5:55 a.m. (Am/LB Cup) and 8:50 a.m. (Pro/ProAm).