Richard Antinucci and O’Gara Motorsport have bounced back in a big way from disappointment on Friday morning, with the Italian American claiming the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America championship after a win in the second of two races at Sebring International Raceway.
Antinucci shared the No. 50 Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 with co-driver Edoardo Piscopo, and the pair won their fifth race in nine starts together as teammates this season.
Antinucci drove solo in the first two races, before Piscopo joined the O’Gara Motorsport team at Watkins Glen, and then joined Antinucci’s car starting at Virginia International Raceway.
In this morning’s first race, he didn’t even get to drive after a gearbox issue brought the No. 50 car into the pits before the start of the race, and a second place finish in the PRO class for Enrique Bernoldi allowed the Brazilian to close 12 points on Antinucci.
But Piscopo and Antinucci delivered a flawless drive this afternoon to score the win in the North American season finale, before the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Final kicks off on Saturday.
The race barely got going after the start, with multiple incidents around the track causing a first lap full-course caution. Down six cars and 18 minutes later, the race resumed.
Compared to the rather hectic opening race of the day, race two was fairly straightforward with the No. 50 out front except during the pit stop cycle, when Piscopo handed off to Antinucci following their stop on Lap 7.
PRO-AM class driver Corey Lewis enjoyed a stint in the overall lead after the stop in the No. 29 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2, but after pitting on Lap 11, Antinucci resumed the lead in the No. 50 car.
From there, Antinucci extended his gap from 4.507 seconds up to 8.591 seconds over Madison Snow, the race one winner, in the No. 14 BAD Lambo Racing Huracán.
Lewis was third overall and secured his tenth straight PRO-AM class win, with Kevin Conway and Andrea Amici fourth overall (No. 10 Prestige Performance Huracán) and Justin Marks (No. 99 Change Racing Huracán) completing the overall top five.
Bernoldi, who still had a remote mathematical chance to overtake Antinucci for the PRO title after entering 14 points down, ended sixth overall after starting 23rd in the No. 1 Prestige Performance Huracán, and fourth in PRO.
Taking a popular victory in the AM class, ending seventh overall, was the father-and-son team of Dr. Jim and Josh Norman in the No. 71 BAD Lambo Racing Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2. The duo live not far from Sebring in Tampa, Fla.
The other big winner on the day was Josh Hurley, who won his second race of the day in the No. 76 Musante-Courtney Racing Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 in the Gallardo class. Dylan Murcott, who clinched the Gallardo title earlier this season in the No. 84 Mitchum Motorsports entry, was one of several retirements on the day.
The U.S. teams will now join their Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo counterparts from Europe and Asia, in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Final on Saturday and Sunday.
RESULTS: Round 12