Victor Gomez said it was a “dream come true” to win the Lamborghini World Final Am class title after a tense pair of overall battles in the Am/LB Cup races at Misano.
Gomez became the third consecutive Super Trofeo North America driver to triumph in the global Am division, following in the footsteps of Ryan Hardwick and Steven Aghakhani.
The Puerto Rican overcame being second behind Massimo Ciglia in the aggregate standings after Race 1 by taking victory in the second 50-minute contest for Change Racing.
“This is a dream come true,” Gomez told Sportscar365.
“I definitely didn’t want to leave for Puerto Rico without being the world champion, so I gave it my all. I was driving 100 percent.
“We faced a lot of problems but my team played it smart, got the car fixed and got it done. I’m super grateful to have a team like Change Racing.
“My family came all the way over from Puerto Rico to support me. It’s just a dream come true and I’m so happy right now.”
Gomez raced in the Pro-Am class of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America this year and finished second in the points behind Brandon Gdovic and Bryan Ortiz, who went on to win the World Final in the Pro-Am category which held separate races this weekend.
The 25-year-old suggested that competing in the higher ranks of the North American regional series enabled him to enter the Am segment of the World Final with confidence.
“I think it prepped me for the World Final,” he said. “Being able to drive against such talented drivers in the U.S definitely helped me to achieve the title here in Italy.
“I would love to stay with the Squadra Corse family. I definitely want to stay in racing and I have endurance plans for the future.”
Gomez briefly took the lead away from Ciglia in the first race before the Oregon Team driver fought back to capture victory with a well-timed overtake at Quercia.
Gomez then positioned himself in front of the Italian during the early stages of Race 2 – but not enough places ahead to overcome the points deficit – until Ciglia had a spin.
This put two cars ahead of Ciglia and gave the championship advantage to Gomez, who went on to take a commanding win after the two leading drivers encountered setbacks.
Despite Ciglia making up one of the lost positions, his recovery wasn’t enough to prevent the Change Racing driver from clinching the title.
As Gomez later indicated, the withdrawal of Jordan Missig’s Wayne Taylor Racing car following an accident in Race 1 led to a nervous opening sequence of Race 2 that proved crucial in setting up his bid for the win.
“Even on the starting grid, things were a little bit confusing because Missig qualified first but he wasn’t able to make the race because he had a crash yesterday,” he said.
“So we had a little mix-up in the grid. I had a good start running out [due to Missig’s absence] then I got sandwiched at Turn 1.
“There were two cars sitting side-by-side so I decided to back out and play it smart for the long run.”