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Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals: regional titles decided on opening day at Misano

30日 10月 2021

The Lamborghini Super Trofeo regional championship campaign reached its conclusion at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with both the Europe and North America titles decided on the final day of the season in Italy. A total of 52 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo cars took to the circuit in the last races before the traditional World Finals begins on Saturday.

Gilardoni and Pulcini pick up European title following dramatic final race

In the Europe championship, there was drama from start-to-finish as Oregon Team’s Kevin Gilardoni and Leonardo Pulcini clinched the title despite late-race contact with chief rival Max Weering’s Johan Kraan Motorsport team-mate Loris Spinelli at the end of Race 2. Gilardoni and Pulcini led the standings by eight points coming into the weekend but had their margin halved after retiring from Race 1 with a loose wheel. Weering also had issues in the opening encounter, finishing well down the order after picking up a puncture. The key beneficiary of this dual misfortune was the #33 Bonaldi Motorsport crew of Daan Pijl and 2019 Super Trofeo Europe champion Danny Kroes, who secured a double victory.

Spinelli and Weering took pole for Race 1 and duly led off the rolling start, maintaining their advantage throughout the first stint. Gilardoni ran ninth early on but was forced out when a wheel came loose on the #11 Oregon Team Huracán. Weering seemed to be in the clear until his own dramas in the closing minutes, his puncture left Target Racing’s Raúl Guzman – shared with Glenn van Berlo – in the lead until Pijl pulled off a superb dive down the inside of Turn 4 to seize the lead. At the same corner, the sister Bonaldi car of Maxime Oosten and Milan Teekens tried to pass Guzman as well, but contact was made, and Guzman went spinning. Completing the podium – and in doing so, winning the Pro-Am title – was VS Racing’s Andrzej Lewandowski, alongside Karol Basz.

The second 50-minute bout was as much a tactical race as it was a sprint, with Pulcini leaping away from pole position and building a six-second lead inside the opening eight laps. The #11 Oregon Team car was the class of the field in the first stint, but Pulcini lost valuable time amid backmarkers before his stop. When Gilardoni rejoined from the pits, Spinelli – who took over from Weering – held a slender lead, maintained after a safety car for the crashed Target Racing entry of Dmitriy Gvazava. Spinelli then appeared to drop his pace, which in turn backed Gilardoni into a frenetic pack comprising van Berlo, Kroes, Kikko Galbiati (Novamarine GSM Racing) and Leipert Motorsport’s Sebastian Balthasar. Gilardoni eventually made a move for the lead at Turn 4, but Spinelli fought back at Turn 9, with contact putting Gilardoni into a spin. That allowed Kroes and Pijl to take their second win of the weekend, with VS Racing’s Mattia Michelotto and Michael Dörrbecker taking second and Basz/Lewandowski third.

Kevin Gilardoni (#11 Oregon Team) said:“After finishing second in the championship last season, I said that there was only way to improve [this year] and that was to win it, so it was a win-or-nothing year. I just jumped into the car and pushed as hard as I could but unfortunately, we got a safety car. I tried to pressurise Loris and say ‘okay, let’s go’ but then he hit me, and I spun. But I think it was a really deserved title and I am so damn happy about this title, for the team and all my sponsors.”

Team-mate Leonardo Pulcini (#11 Oregon Team) added: “I had such a good start procedure and was able to build a good gap to the others, but then I got a lot of gentleman drivers before my pit-stop. But this title is an amazing achievement for us, for Kevin and for the team. I am so grateful for them and this moment. Now we celebrate this victory tonight and then focus on the World Finals for the rest of the weekend.”

In the Am class, Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Claude-Yves Gosselin wrapped up the title with a solid fourth place finish in Race 2, as closest contender Gabriel Rindone (Leipert Motorsport) did everything he could with victory. Imperiale Racing’s Hans Fabri took his second successive Lamborghini Cup title, with a third and a fourth.

Antinucci crowned North America Pro champion for the third time

Dream Racing Motorsport’s Richard Antinucci secured his third North America title in the best way possible, taking his sixth win of the season in Race 1, therefore wrapping up the championship with a round to spare. Antinucci led from pole position, beating team-mate Edoardo Liberati into the first corner, while Change Racing’s Jeroen Mul passed the #106 US RaceTronics car of Steven Aghakhani. Further back on the opening lap, there was contact between the pair of Am class rivals Alan Metni and Ashton Harrison at Turn 8, severely affecting Harrison’s race and ending Metni’s in the gravel.

Antinucci built a healthy lead from Liberati and maintained his lead either side of the pit-stop window. Behind, Antinucci’s nearest title rival Stevan McAleer’s hopes disappeared before he even got into the car as Mul slowed exiting Turn 7 with a fuel pump issue. Jacob Eidson, having taken over from Aghakhani following the latter’s well-judged overtake on Mul on the inside of Turn 4, began to close on Antinucci and Liberati’s team-mate Dario Capitanio entering the final stages. Capitanio, who was handed a post-race time penalty for a pit-stop infringement, then saw his race unravel following contact while trying to pass a lapped car, elevating Eidson to second behind Antinucci at the finish, with MCR Racing’s Max Weering completing the podium.

At the start of Race 2, Loris Spinelli (MCR Racing) led Antinucci into Turn 1 and built a healthy margin over the new champion before pulling into the pits with a wheel issue on his Huracán Super Trofeo Evo. That gave Antinucci the lead once more, but Eidson chased hard until he made his stop at the start of the pit window. A quicker pit-stop enabled Aghakhani to jump ahead of Antinucci courtesy of the two-driver car being stationary for three seconds less than solo driver Antinucci. But a slide out of the final corner gave Antinucci the opportunity he needed to slide into the lead at Turn 1. To add insult to injury, Aghakhani/Eidson received a 1.10s pit-stop time penalty which dropped the pair behind the Mul/McAleer Change Racing car as Antinucci claimed another comfortable win. 

All four class titles were secured at the end of Race 1, with Precision Performance Motorsport’s Brandon Gdovic and Bryan Ortiz winning the Pro-Am championship, Luke Berekley (Dream Racing Motorsport) picking up the Am title while Mark Kvamme and Terry Olson (Precision Performance Motorsport) was crowned Lamborghini Cup champion.

Richard Antinucci (#127 Dream Racing Motorsport) said:“I’m super excited and really grateful to my team Dream Racing Motorsport who have helped us all year in US racing, and then to our friends at Antonelli Motorsport who helped put this weekend together for us, it’s been an incredible season and run of results. I cannot be happier. I got a great start [in Race 1] with my team-mate helping me out at Turn 1 as well. After that, it was a bit tight and unfortunately, he had an incident late in the race, but until then, it was perfect teamwork. Bring on the World Finals!”

The action resumes from Saturday as the traditional end-of-season Super Trofeo World Finals begins in earnest. Qualifying will start from midday, with the first race scheduled to start at 16:30 CET. A total of four races being held before Sunday evening. North America and Europe will join forces with two combined Pro/Pro-Am races and a pair of Am/LB Cup races.