Danville, Va. – There was a little different look at the podium ceremony following Round 8 of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America at VIRginia International Raceway Sunday.
Three of the four class winners had not won in the last three rounds with one of them winning for the first time in 2018. The results shrunk some of the class championship margins while another win gave a team large cushion to use for the remainder of the season.
After Saturday’s race that was partially run in the rain, the competitors and teams had to deal with the hot, humid conditions that dealt with earlier in the week as they fired up their Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVOs at the start of Round 8.
The pole sitter, Corey Lewis (No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte), led the field to the start line with his team’s first pole of the year and took command of the PRO class for his entire stint by a comfortable margin over the No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus driven by Jonathan Cecotto. Following the mandatory pit window, the order remained the same with Madison Snow behind the wheel of the No. 29 and Trent Hindman in the No. 1.
Snow was able to hold him off for about five minutes before Hindman moved his car into position to pass, and move into the lead, on the famous Oak Tree Curve between Turns 11 and 12. From that point, he extended his lead to comfortably win by 8.709. It was the team’s second win of the year and first since Round 4 at Watkins Glen.
The victory was bittersweet for the team as they were in contention in Saturday’s race until a mechanical issue during the pit stop ended their day of contending for that elusive second win. Third place in the class when to Brandon Gdovic and Shinya Sean Michimi in the No. 46 PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach.
Those results tightened the championship race as Taylor Proto and Edoardo Piscopo (No. 50 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills) still hold the lead after eight rounds but their advantage is now just one over Lewis and Snow, 94-93. Gdovic and Michimi are in third with 89 while Hindman and Cecotto are in fourth with 80.
The PRO-AM class appeared early to have an upset in the making as Stevan McAleer (No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) was in front of JC Perez in the No. 71 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward machine which had won the last five races the team had finished.
That changed after the pit stop when Loris Spinelli jumped in the car to replace Perez. He took over the lead shortly after that stop and quickly increased his lead over the No. 10 and eventually moved into third place of the race overall. Spinelli laid down the fastest lap of the race on his final lap of the day with a speed of 112.106 miles per hour. At no other point in the race did any driver eclipse the 112-mph mark.
The team continues to tighten their season-long grip on the PRO-Am class standings as they now enjoy a 41-point (106-65) lead with four rounds remaining.
Ryan Hardwick (No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsports, Lamborghini Atlanta) broke open the AM class late in the race and won for the fourth time this season. Early in the race, he, Damon Ockey (No. 09, US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Calgary) and yesterday’s winner Brian Thienes, in the No. 17 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills, were fighting for the top spot. Hardwick managed to pull away with his three fastest laps of the race after his pit stop and won by 17 seconds.
The victory increased his points lead to seven (100-93) over Ockey and 24 over Thienes.
Sheena Monk has been knocking on the door for a victory all season long in the LB Cup class. That door opened Sunday as she won for the first time after entering Sunday’s race have finished second in the previous four races and five times overall on the season.
The driver of the No. 7 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus machine, started on the class pole and led early in the race before falling behind the No. 88 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla of Parris Mullins and Mark Proto to win easily. She was able to re-take the lead and garner the top spot on the podium for the first time.
Mullins and Proto remain in the lead of the class with 102 points while Monk is second with 86 as the season heads into its final four races.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America returns to action on the weekend of September 8-9 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for Rounds 9 and 10 of the season before finishing the year in Italy in November. Round 9 begins at 2:35 p.m. EDT / 11:35 a.m. PDT from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with Sunday’s Round 10 race scheduled to start 2:25 p.m. EDT / 11:25 a.m. PDT. Both races can be streamed on IMSA.TV and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/super-trofeo/north-america.
Trent Hindman - No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus
“These Wayne Taylor Prestige Performance guys work way too hard for me to stare at the back of the 29 car for an entire race. We did that at Road America and I was beating myself up for that pretty hard for that. We kept working on the car all weekend long and that was the most important thing. Yesterday we had a shot at a win, unfortunately mechanical stuff beat us so it was nice to bring it home today for these guys. Yesterday was out of everybody’s control and our guys grinded overnight to get to the bottom of the issue and we got the win today.”
Jonathan Cecotto - No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus
“I started in P2 (second position) and my job was to keep the gap in an attacking position for Trent, so he could finish off the work. It was a fantastic day for us. The car was perfect, and we deserved to win. A win feels good no matter where you are in the championship.”
JC Perez - No. 71 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward
“Today was all about consistency for me. Yesterday was hard for me. I wanted to give Loris the car in piece. He did what he does. He put the fastest lap of the race in his last lap. To have an overall third place finish is fantastic. I’m thankful to my coaches and teams as I have put them through a lot in the last three weeks with a bunch of crashes, so I glad we had a good day.”
Loris Spinelli - No. 71 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward
“My teammate was fantastic. The car was really good today and we took the overall third position at the end and I am happy.”
Ryan Hardwick - No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsports, Lamborghini Atlanta
“Today was a great race and we did what we aimed for coming into the weekend. I have always enjoyed this track and felt like I wanted to come in here and make a statement in this race. Damon (Ockey) really picked up the pace in qualifying and I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me over the weekend. Today in the drive, I felt super confident. I started second and applied the pressure the entire first half and as soon as he did his pit stop I laid down my three fastest laps and that is what gave me the advantage.”
Sheena Monk - No. 7 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus
“It feels so good to finally win. I’m not ashamed with our second place finishes and it has taken a while but we finally got over the hump. We had a good car today. I was able to find some speed in qualifying and because I got the pole that helped me battle through some incidents in the race to come back and get it done. This track is really tough but it’s a great track.”