BDR Competition driver Amaury Bonduel became the new Lamborghini World Finals overall champion by taking a podium in the second Pro/Pro-Am contest at Vallelunga.
The 24-year-old Belgian, who endured a winless Super Trofeo Europe season, was an unexpected clear winner of the Italian manufacturer’s annual end-of-year competition that combines entries from all three of its regional championships.
Solo driver Bonduel first took a perfect score on Saturday by claiming the Pro pole for both 50-minute races and winning the opening encounter in dominant fashion.
He then carried his momentum through to Sunday, producing another strong drive to finish third behind the winning DL Racing duo of Luca Segu and Federico Scionti, and the second-placed pairing of Oliver Soderstrom and Largim Ali.
Bonduel became the second consecutive solo driver to win the World Finals after Nelson Piquet Jr prevailed at Portimao last year.
Additionally, Frederik Schandorff and Alex Au claimed global Pro-Am honors with a weekend sweep.
The drivers of the No. 81 Target Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 started Sunday’s race from the overall pole and led most of the way, with Schandorff making a strong start ahead of VSR’s Loris Spinelli who was also in the Pro-Am category.
After the pit stops, Au inherited a five-second lead over Spinelli’s co-driver Andrzej Lewandowski, with Soderstrom the new Pro leader in third having leapfrogged Bonduel.
As a solo driver, Bonduel needed to serve an additional three seconds at his stop compared to the two-driver crews.
Amateur drivers Au and Lewandowski did well to remain at the head of the pack until 11 minutes to go, when the safety car was introduced after a spin into the gravel for the No. 14 Oregon Team car.
That brought the Pro contenders right onto their tail and resulted in several positional changes once racing resumed with six minutes remaining.
Segu took the restart in fifth but made an impressive charge into the lead, first squeezing past Bonduel through the esses before taking Soderstrom and Lewandowski in one go at the Turn 8 left-hander.
A few corners later, the DL Racing driver passed Au, who dropped to seventh in the overall order but still claimed the Pro-Am win. Lewandowski was less fortunate as he was tagged into a spin at Turn 8 on the final lap and slumped to 11th in class.
Segu finished 1.5 seconds ahead of Soderstrom, with Bonduel a further second back.
VSR’s Artem Petrov came through in fourth, ahead of Super Trofeo Europe champion Brendon Leitch who was Bonduel’s closest rival heading into the World Finals decider.
The highest-finishing Super Trofeo North America driver was Jake Walker in 15th, while the Asian series champions Marco Giltrap and Chris van der Drift were 12th.
After Lewandowski’s rotation, North American competitors Nate Stacy and Nicholas Persing moved on to the Pro-Am podium for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport.
RESULTS: Pro/Pro-Am Race 2