Richard Antinucci has praised the “very good group of people” that supported his Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Pro championship bid as a solo driver.
The 40-year-old clinched the title by winning the penultimate round of the season at Misano on Friday and backed up his achievement by taking victory in the final race.
Antinucci’s last Super Trofeo title before this year came with Change Racing in 2019, but on that occasion he shared a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO with Corey Lewis.
His solo 2021 campaign with Dream Racing Motorsport required him to observe a three-second additional wait at every pit stop to balance his No. 127 entry against those that consisted of driver pairings.
“Having not driven for a year, the key was to be on it straight away,” Antinucci told Sportscar365.
“And you need to have the key people around. People think it’s an individual sport but it’s really up to lots of people: there’s actually more people here than in a football team.
“That being said, I couldn’t do this alone. It was down to a very good group of people. And my team owners are both racers, so they have a lot of experience.
“I just do things to their experience and follow their guidance in tough moments, and getting that support throughout the season.
“This is my first time doing it alone. This one is a little more special because I did it on the track with a three-second time penalty to overcome. The team was incredible, and it was a great season.”
Antinucci also praised the recent help he has received from Antonelli Motorsport, which stepped in to run the Dream cars at Misano due to travel complications for the American squad.
Dream Racing Motorsport CEO Enrico Bertaggia is on-site at the World Final meeting but the rest of the team’s setup is dependent on support from Antonelli.
“Not all of my team could make it over, in this difficult time of the world with the pandemic,” said Antinucci.
“Dream Racing have a good relationship with Antonelli Motorsport and they entrusted them to run it. So it’s basically Dream Racing by Antonelli Motorsport this weekend, with their technical staff and support under the guise of Dream Racing.
“It’s a trio of people: BitBull sponsorship, Dream Racing team support, and the technical support from Antonelli. But everyone is very strong. There are lot of clever people here.”
Final Race Was “Hardest” Due to Setup Gamble
Antinucci admitted that he could be afforded no respite in Friday’s second Super Trofeo North America race after already clinching the title, due to a setup change that left him struggling for the “hardest” 50-minute race of the season in his eyes.
The No. 127 Dream Racing car is set to revert to the setup strategy that Antonelli deployed for Race 1, after using Race 2 to try out a new option that the team hoped to engage in this weekend’s pair of Pro/Pro-Am World Final races.
“We won seven out of 12 and took six poles this year, but today was the hardest one of all of them because we took a gamble to go for the World Final,” said Antinucci.
“I was really annoyed in the race, because I knew from lap one that we were in trouble. It was the longest 50 minutes out there, but then I fixed it and managed the tires to come through.”
Asked about the adjustments that were made for the second race, Antinucci replied: “It was just a big change and it backfired.
“We forecasted good and bad scenarios – this was a bad scenario – and we got lucky.
“But if we do it like this in the World Final, we can’t win it. So we’re going to go back to what we had when we were really quick.
“We still have the fastest lap time in practice overall, so we’ve got to get back to that. And we also have to start putting pressure on [Loris] Spinelli because he’s very fast: he was two or three seconds down the road from me and pulled 10 seconds on the Europeans.