Richard Antinucci jested that he and his Antonelli-supported Dream Racing Motorsport crew were the best competitors “of the humans” racing at the Lamborghini World Final behind winners Karol Basz and Mattia Michelotto, whose car was “on another planet”.
Antinucci clinched the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Pro title on Friday and carried that momentum through to the two-part World Final on Saturday and Sunday.
The 40-year-old finished second in both World Final races behind the No. 6 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO driven by Basz and Michelotto.
Antinucci was pleased with his results despite missing out on a world title that would have been the first for an American Pro-class entry since Trent Hindman and Riccardo Agostini in 2017.
After struggling with a different World Final-specific setup during the second North American series race – having already clinched his third regional title – Antinucci explained that the problems were rectified for the global portion of the event.
“From Saturday onwards, for the warm-up before World Final qualifying, we went back to what we knew,” he told Sportscar365.
“It was pretty much front-running pace. This track has been beating up cars: two of my teammates had big damage on theirs. One had shocks and one had a cracked chassis.
“I had a broken front splitter that we only found yesterday. So it was hard to find exactly where we were.
“After the tough performance in Race 2 of North America, it took me a couple of minutes to get back to my best. And then I did a solid qualifying for both races.
“My teammate [Dario Capitanio] did really well in qualifying too and we felt that we could attack the [VSR] car.
“But I’ve been around the block too long to know that when a car out-qualifies you with three or four-tenths at the front, and you’re just one-tenth in front of the others, you know that he’s going to pull away.
“The way they achieved it with strong traction meant that they would even accentuate the advantage in the race.
“The No. 6 VSR car was on another planet and, jokingly, we were the best of the humans over the weekend. Overall, we were second-best. I thought we were the best all weekend and then these guys showed up on Saturday with a different lineup and chassis.”
Antinucci had a “very lonely” pair of races that ran to similar rhythms, with Basz and Michelotto each gradually increasing the gap to his No. 127 BitBull Lamborghini which had to serve an additional three seconds at each pit stop due to its solo driver status.
“I was managing, really,” said Antinucci in reference to the second stint of Race 2 when Michelotto sped away to secure the world title.
“This is a pretty hairy track. I didn’t have much more, and was basically just running consistent laps, which paid off. But I had nothing for the guys in front.
“The other guys were far too behind at that point, so there was not much I could do.
“I was actually in a very lonely race, even last night. I was almost embarrassed how they won. I don’t think that I could ever in my life, with my level of ability, do what they did today, so hats off to them. They did an incredible job.
“This is a team sport, so VSR plays a huge part in it. The drivers did a very good job to win under pressure. Unbelievable performance from the No. 6.”