***Loris Spinelli had the fastest time of the day across a pair of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America practice sessions at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The P1 Motorsports driver, who is paired with JC Perez for a Pro-Am effort, was 0.143 seconds faster than Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jonathan Cecotto on the combined time sheets.
***Cecotto was the quickest Pro class runner, while the other class leaders were a pair of US RaceTronics drivers: Damon Ockey in Am and Parris Mullins in LB Cup.
***Practice 2 concluded early due to a torrential downpour that moved into the Lexington, Ohio area just before the session was scheduled to conclude.
***Chris Ward, Senior Manager, Motorsport for Automobili Lamborghini America said Friday’s announcement that IMSA would continue to sanction the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series through 2021 had been in the works for some time. “We’ve been working on it for awhile,” Ward told Sportscar365. “It was the natural solution for us. The integration of our Super Trofeo program and the GT3 program, we want them to be so intertwined that it was natural option for us.”
***While not having played host to an official round, Super Trofeo North America’s foundation was laid at Mid-Ohio in 2013, when several cars were on hand for an exhibition, prior to the championship’s formal launch at Lime Rock Park later that month. “Not in my wildest dreams would I think I’d be going back six years later on the back of a Daytona and Sebring win with our GT3 car. None of us could have dreamt that,” said Ward.
***This weekend marks the North American competition debut for the Huracan Super Trofeo EVO, which features an all-new aero package, enhanced safety features and improved performance features that make it significantly quicker than the previous model.
***The EVO, which is mandatory for all competitors either as an upgrade kit or a brand-new car, made its global debut in the Super Trofeo Asia season-opener at Sepang last month, followed one week later by the first round of Super Trofeo Europe in Monza. 10 of the 18 cars entered this weekend at Mid-Ohio are new chassis.
***While the aerodynamic upgrades are required, the new power steering pump and new exhaust system are optional for teams that are upgrading their existing cars to the new EVO package. It is understood that the vast majority of teams have elected to run the optional parts.
***The series expects to see an increase in entries for the next round at Watkins Glen with series officials citing strong sales and interest in the platform in recent months that have exceeded expectations.
***While having closed up following team principal Robby Benton’s move to Team Penske in a NASCAR management role, Change Racing has been resurrected, thanks to team owner Eddie Littlefield and Lamborghini Carolinas. The team has participated in every round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America since the series’ inception.
***Benton, who was announced as the team manager of Team Penske’s NASCAR operation in January, is not directly involved with this program.
***Longtime Change driver Corey Lewis is sharing the wheel of the team’s Pro-class entry with Madison Snow, who is fresh off GT Daytona class victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in a Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
***Lewis told Sportscar365 that he and the team plan to be at every round this season, but his co-driver beyond Mid-Ohio has not been established.
***P1 team owner/driver Perez is set for a dual-Super Trofeo season campaign alongside Spinelli in an Antonelli Motorsort-prepared Lamborghini in the European championship. The pairing currently sit third in the Pro-Am class standings following the opening two rounds at Monza.
***In a change for 2018, both the Pro and Pro-Am classes now require two-driver lineups. Previously, several teams employed single drivers, most notably DXDT Racing’s Austin Versteeg, who as a Pro-Am, claimed several overall victories last year.
***CBS Sports Network will once again serve as the television home for the series featuring tape-delayed broadcasts and commentary from IMSA Radio. Joining the IMSA Radio crew in the booth this year as an analyst is veteran driver Bryan Sellers who campaigns a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
***The series’ contract with CBS Sports Network is up at the end of this year, and series officials say they are exploring all options including staying with CBS or making a move to the NBC family of networks to be in line with IMSA’s recently announced television shift.
***Watch the opening race of the season Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT on IMSA.tv, with Race 2 set to be streamed live on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. ET. Check your local listings for dates and times for the CBS Sports Network broadcast.