JC Perez and Loris Spinelli claimed overall victory in Friday’s third round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series, which kicked off the weekend with a caution-free event at Watkins Glen International.
A total of 16 Huracán Super Trofeo Evos took the green flag with P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward’s Spinelli leading the field to speed.
Spinelli jumped to the lead with a fast start in the No. 71 and built a lead of more than three seconds over second place Trent Hindman in the No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus entry over the first seven laps.
Edoardo Piscopo driving the No. 50 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills machine rounded out the top three until the mandatory pit window opened on lap 11.
Spinelli pushed his drive time in the Lamborghini to the limit, pitting on lap 16 to turn the car over to his teammate JC Perez. The lap prior, Piscopo hit pit lane and turned the car over to his co-driver Taylor Proto in hopes of closing the gap on the leader.
Once the pit-stop cycle was complete, the No. 50 of Proto would come out in front of Perez’s No. 71 and hold the lead through the remainder of the race. However, despite taking the checkered flag first, Proto and the No. 50 US RaceTronics team would not take home the overall trophy. The team was assessed a 7.5 seconds penalty for a short pit stop.
That post-race assessed penalty would hand the overall and ProAm class victory to Perez, Spinelli and the No. 71 P1 Motorsports team. Proto and Piscopo would settle for second, with Hindman and co-driver Jonathan Cecotto in the No. 1 completing the overall podium.
The overall finish was not the only one affected by penalties for a short pit stop.
“Our run today was super weird,” Perez said. “We made a mistake at the pit stop and lost our lap and five seconds and I didn’t think I would be able to recover from that.
“I was able to push and fortunately the car in front of me had a penalty and it gave us the lead. It was a tough race and probably one of the best drives I have done in my life.”
The AM class saw Brian Thienes in the No. 17 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills cross the finish line first, but a 2.1-second penalty for a short pit stop would hand Ryan Hardwick in the No. 2 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta the class victory.
Damon Ockey in the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Calgary, who was also assessed a 1.8-second penalty for a short pit stop rounded out the AM class podium.
“I wasn’t sure how I fell to third, but the two cars in front of me went too fast in their pit stops on a penalty,” Hardwick said. “So, my job on the last laps was to close and I was able to get around Damon Ockey and we had an amazing battle.”
Brett Meredith in the No. 66 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach led the LB Cup class at the drop of the green flag, but pitted on lap 12 while the No. 88 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla of Parris Mullins continued.
Mullins would extend his lead over the rest of the AM class and after pitting on lap 15, handing the No. 88 over to co-driver Mark Proto.
Meredith would be unable to close the gap and would finish in second. Sheena Monk in the No. 7 Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus would round out the class podium.
The weekend’s second race will take place Saturday morning at 10:20 a.m. ET with Shinya Michimi in the No. 46 PPM Lamborghini Palm Beach on the pole. It can be streamed live IMSA.TV and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming.
RESULTS: Race 1