Taylor Proto made a late-race move around JC Perez, in changing conditions, to claim a dramatic overall victory for US Racetronics in Saturday’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America round at Virginia International Raceway.
The win for Proto and co-driver Edoardo Piscopo puts the duo into the sole lead of the Pro championship.
US Racetronics, meanwhile, captured victories in three of the four classes, in a banner race for the California-based team.
Weather was a big pre-race question, as a light rain quickly turned into more of a sustained shower fifteen minutes prior to the start, prompting the declaration of a wet race.
Pole-sitter Loris Spinelli in the No. 71 P1 Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO opened a nearly six-second lead before he spun in Turn 4 and that gave Trent Hindman the opportunity close that gap.
The two cars battled with Hindman taking the lead on the Lap No. 10 as both were adding almost three seconds per lap to their cumulative lead.
The No. 71 Lamborghini was the first to take advantage of the pits being open as they stopped with 28 minutes remaining and on the next lap, the No. 1 came in, so it appeared it was going to be a battle between JC Perez and Jonathan Cecotto.
An issue developed with the No. 1 in the pits and the car fell off the pace after that.
When the pit window closed with 20 minutes remaining, Perez was back in front of the entire field, on a drying track, with Proto close on his bumper.
Proto took advantage when he and Perez ran into traffic to make a daring inside move to power into the lead in the track’s famous esses with nine minutes remaining and went on to take the Pro class and overall victory.
It marked Proto and Piscopo’s second consecutive win and the third in the last five races, breaking the tie with Madison Snow and Corey Lewis for the lead of the championship.
“I saw the traffic coming up and maybe [JC] would have a compromised run in and I would be able to catch him at some point,” Proto said.
“As the road widened up, I saw just enough space to get past his quarter panel and I went right up the inside of the track and pushed into the esses.
“These were tough conditions and my co-driver did an amazing job of keeping the car on the track.”
Perez and Spinelli, meanwhile, claimed their fifth Pro-Am class win in seven races with the second place overall finish.
Several cars held the class lead in Am throughout the 50-minute race, with the No. 17 US RaceTronics Lamborghini of Brian Thienes breaking through for his first victory of the season.
LB Cup honors, meanwhile, went to Mark Proto and Parris Mullins, also of US Ractronics, their fourth of the season.
Both Sheena Monk and Justin Price led early in the class.
A moment of silence was held prior to the race for the victims and those who were injured in the tragic Genoa bridge collapse of earlier this week.
The Super Trofeo weekend concludes on Sunday with Round 8, beginning at 10:25 a.m. EDT. The race will be streamed on IMSA.tv and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/super-trofeo/north-america.
RESULTS: Race 1