Corey Lewis started the 2016 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season the same way he ended 2015 – winning.
Lewis made a spirited drive to the top step of the podium after starting from last place, claiming a 9.288-second Round 1 victory in the No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo representing Lamborghini Carolinas on Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“It wasn’t the way we usually like to start these race weekends, but it just so happened to be in qualifying we had a red flag and we didn’t get a time in,” Lewis said.
“We had a lot of work cut out for us in Race 1 and just kept our nose clean. We just tried to be be as consistent as we could and manage the traffic as best we could.
“It was an awesome job by Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas and Monster Energy drink.”
Shinya Michimi, a championship contender in Super Trofeo Europe last season, finished second overall with a late pass in the No. 1 Prestige Performance entry representing Lamborghini Paramus.
James Sofronas rounded out the overall podium with a third-place finish in the No 14 GMG machine representing Lamborghini Newport Beach. Sofronas was also the first Pro-Am finisher.
Lewis took the green flag from last place after a red flag in the first qualifying session prevented him from recording a time.
But that was no issue for Lewis, the 2015 Pro-Am Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America and World Final champion.
A blend of speed and patience helped Lewis make his way through the field on the 2.338-mile, 11-turn circuit in Monterey, California. But perfect pit stop strategy allowed Lewis to extend his lead and secure the win.
“They gave me a flawless car, and team owner Robby Benton called an amazing strategy to call me into the pits at the right time,” Lewis said.
“It was just smooth sailing to the end. I was making sure we didn’t make any mistakes and trying to maximize as much as we can.”
The team of Trent Hindman and Craig Duerson finished fourth overall and second in the Pro-Am division after starting from pole in their series debut in the No. 10 Prestige Performance Huracán representing Lamborghini Paramus.
2015 World Final Amateur champion Brandon Gdovic rounded out the top five overall and claimed the last step on the Pro-Am podium in the No. 46 DAC Motorsports entry representing Lamborghini Palm Beach.
Series rookie Luis Rodriguez Jr. brought home another victory for Change Racing as the top finisher in the Amateur class in the No. 29 Huracán representing Lamborghini Carolinas.
Damon Ockey, one of the top Amateur contenders in 2015, finished second in class in the No. 09 US RaceTronics entry representing Lamborghini Calgary.
Rob Hodes rounded out the Amateur podium with a third-place finish in his series debut in the No. 51 DAC Motorsports Huracán representing Lamborghini Palm Beach.
This is the inaugural season for the Lamborghini Cup class, for competitors entering the professional driving ranks. Ross Chouest earned the class victory and finished 10th overall in the No. 3 DXDT Racing entry representing Lamborghini Dallas.
Will James was second in Lamborghini Cup in the No. 11 eXclaim Racing entry representing Lamborghini Paramus, and Shawn Lawless rounded out the podium with a third-place finish in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsports entry representing Lamborghini Dallas.
The second and final race of the weekend will start at 8:30 a.m. (PT) Sunday, May 1. It will be live streamed in North America at motortrendondemand.com and on squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en/live-usa for international viewers.
RESULTS: Round 1