Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli in victory lane. (IMSA photo)
ALTON, Va. – Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli chose the perfect moment to find their way back to the winner’s circle at the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. The duo won Sunday’s race at VIRginia International Raceway to clinch the Pro class championship.
With 14 minutes remaining in the race, Formal made a bold pass for the lead through the VIR esses in the No. 1 Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2. He cruised to victory by 6.808 seconds, scoring the fifth win of the season for him and Marcelli.
By stretching his points lead to 33 with just two races remaining in the North American season, he also clinched the season championship.
“Very happy to be able to return a championship to Wayne Taylor Racing in the Pro class; 2017 was the last time they got it,” Formal said. “So thankful for Kyle. He gave me a car with the rear tires like new. The car was a rocket. As soon as I came out of the pits, I knew we had the pace.”
Marcelli started the 50-minute race in third place and was still there when the mandatory pit stop window opened. Formal moved into second place after the pit cycle, hot on the heels of Dario Capitanio in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán.
Formal wasted no time in making the decisive pass, maneuvering inside Capitanio heading into Turn 4 and getting through unscathed. Marcelli was impressed with the energy of his teammate.
“It was picture perfect,” Marcelli said of the pass that gave the No. 1 his first win since June at Watkins Glen. “I knew Danny had the rhythm. All weekend he has been 100 percent here at VIR; this has been his track. Risk is very rewarding and Danny is not afraid to take risks. A fantastic move to take the lead and he clearly had the rhythm after that.”
Capitanio and Edoardo Liberaiti finished second in the No. 27 Huracán with Billy Johnson third in the No. 71 TPC Racing Lamborghini Washington Huracán.
ProAm leaders Bryson Lew and John Dubets completed their second weekend in a row to extend their points lead in the class. Starting from the class pole in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán, Dubets lost the ProAm lead early after contact with teammate Bryan Ortiz in the No. 47 Huracán.
But Dubets regained the top spot with a blistering pass over Tom Long in the No. 25 Harrison Contracting Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini Paramus Huracán, then handed the car over to Lew to wrap up the win, his sixth of the season. Dubets and Lew lead Ortiz and Sebastián Carazo by 11 points with two races remaining.
“We came in (this weekend) and it was all a struggle,” Dubets said. “From practices going crazy to lack of track time to just getting in the car and having no idea where we would land and what the car would do. Coming out with results like this is just a reflection of this team’s never-give-up attitude and will to win.”
Shehan Chandrasoma doubled down on Am wins at VIR to tighten the battle for the championship in that class. Employing an undercut pit strategy in Sunday’s races in the No. 19 MCR Lamborghini Austin Huracán, Chandrasoma overtook the pole-sitting No. 48 Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán during the pit sequence to take a victory of 17.706 seconds over No. 48 co-drivers David Staab and Nikko Reger. Staab and Reger lead Chandrasoma by four points heading into the final of the North American doubleheader in Portimao, Portugal.
“Back to back gains in VIR, I was able to get close to the lead now again,” said Chandrasoma. “I beat second place in Am by around 17 seconds and finished eighth overall, so not bad for my first season. I definitely see progress. I can keep up with the ProAm cars now.”
Anthony McIntosh made his Lamborghini Super Trofeo debut this weekend and nearly took two LB Cup wins. After finishing second by 0.604 seconds in Saturday’s race, McIntosh started from pole in his class on Sunday and never wavered, winning by 15.361 seconds in the No. 49 Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán.
“This weekend is the first time I’ve gotten in this car and it was good,” said McIntosh. “Every lap, I could feel like I was getting better and better. The whole team was amazing, the car setup was amazing, all my other teammates totally helped me. It was probably the most welcoming experience I’ve ever had in a race. I’ve only been racing a year but this is amazing!
The LB Cup standings remain tight at the top. Slade Stewart (No. 14 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Lamborghini Newport Beach Huracán) leads Ofir Levy and Jon Hirshberg (No. 13 O’Gara Motorsport/Change Racing/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Rancho Mirage Huracán) by seven points.
The final races for the North American championship will take place November 2-4 in Portugal, with the world finals combining North American and European Super Trophy drivers and teams in the races that will follow November 5-4. November 6th.