Kyle Marcelli is coming off his first season of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America competition, having teamed up with Danny Formal in the Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing operation and ending the year a three-time race winner.
In the latest Pirelli Paddock Pass, the IMSA driver and former SRO GT World Challenge America class champion discusses his transition into the single-make series, his assessment of the season and what lies ahead heading into next year and beyond.
How would you rate your first season of Super Trofeo?
“I would rate it as a good season. It could have been better in some ways but when I look back and say that was a good season of competition.
“I went into the season with very little expectation. I hadn’t followed the series too closely in previous years so I didn’t know what the competition was going to be like or what the car is like to drive.
“But I did go in with excitement and with confidence and optimism that we would be competitive and be able to win races. I expected us to contest for the championship but after Watkins Glen that pretty much removed us from the championship equation.
“We had six podiums and three race wins so it was a good season.”
Was it a challenge coming to grips with the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo?
“The car is a lot of race car but at the same time it’s so thrilling to drive. It’s unlike any other race car. If you try to compare it to GT3, you really can’t. You certainly can’t compare it to GT4. It’s not like a prototype.
“It’s kind of like it’s own breed of race car. It’s a real thrill to drive and reminds me a lot of watching old Formula 1 videos where they had more power than grip. That’s in essence, what it’s like to drive.
“It’s a GT car that has more power than it has grip so you’re constantly managing the rear tires and managing your traction, which is largely in your right foot. It’s a lot of fun to drive both physically and mentally for that reason.”
The competition in the Pro class was at an all-time high. Did you feel that throughout the season?
“I would certainly say it was a competitive season. I can’t speak to previous years on the level of competition but this season I think at one point we had 11 Pro cars on the grid of 25+ cars in total.
“There was strong competition. It wasn’t easy to win a race and I think there were only a handful of multiple race winners this year.
“In hindsight, I think the two-driver format is the most competitive way to go.
“Early on in the season we questioned that. The first two races — COTA and VIR — we had a lot of rain and there were a lot of red flags in practice sessions. Drive time was at a minimum.
“Danny and I may have only had six or seven laps of practice before those races. At that point we were scratching our heads. ‘Is the two-driver format really the way to go?’
“You fast-forward to the end of the year. Once you know the car and have got the car in a good window setup-wise, the two-driver format is more competitive. That pit stop advantage is great.”
What are your plans for next year? Would you like to continue in Super Trofeo with WTR?
“The goal is to be working with Wayne Taylor Racing again. I think that program is shaping up to be similar. Nothing is confirmed yet but that’s our intention, is to move it forward.
“Wayne Taylor Racing has so much going on right now. I think the future there is bright. I want to stay in-house [at WTR].
“My goal is to be back in a GT3 car on a full-time capacity in IMSA WeatherTech. I think that opportunity is a little bit down the road with them. But certainly I want to stay in-house there.
“In the meantime, I think I’ll be doing some other stuff as well [in 2022].”