The Reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Pro Class Champions Remain Perfect in 2023
Danny Formal and Kyle Marcelli were as hot as the weather at VIRginia International Raceway on Saturday. For the seventh time in as many tries in 2023, the duo teamed to win in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America competition, this time on VIR’s 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course.
The co-drivers of the No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, Lamborghini Palm Beach Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2 dominated in blistering, humid conditions to take the victory and extend their enormous lead in the Pro class standings as they look to repeat as champions.
Formal started from the pole position he earned in Saturday morning qualifying, launched to the lead and built an eight-second gap before handing the car to Marcelli for the final stint in the 50-minute race. Despite frequently encountering lapped traffic, Marcelli pushed the advantage to 19.523 seconds by the checkered flag.
“Every race is different; no one stint, no one race is the same,” Marcelli said. “That was a challenge today. Not only are we dealing with the heat and the extreme temperatures, that was the first long run we did on this tire and, boy, you lose a lot of grip over the stint so it becomes quite a handful.
“The scariest part or the most high-risk part of my stint was just getting by all the slower category cars without damage. We sacrificed a bunch of lap time because of it but we just sort of managed the gap.”
Heading into Sunday’s second race at VIR, Marcelli and Formal have an unofficial 39-point lead over WTRAndretti teammate Ryan Norman, who finished second Saturday in the No. 84 Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán.
“The car is a missile, it’s seriously a rocket ship,” Formal said. “I’m so thankful to be part of this team and the streak continues. Tomorrow, we try to go for (win) No. 8.”
Pole Winners Race to Wins in All Classes
The pole-to-win scenario was repeated Saturday in every Super Trofeo class, with Luke Berkeley and Keawn Tandon snaring the victory in ProAm, Glenn McGee and Anthony McIntosh in Am and Mark Wilgus in LB Cup.
For Berkeley and Tandon in the No. 42 NTE Sport, Lamborghini Broward Huracán, it marked their second straight ProAm win following a triumph in the second race at Road America three weeks ago. They won by 27.858 seconds over Paul Nemschoff and Marc Miller, who collected their second podium finish of the season in the No. 41 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Lamborghini Newport Beach Huracán.
“Just solid pace, keeping it consistent,” was Tandon’s explanation for the win. “Luke did an amazing job handing me the car off and from there we just kept a good pace. That’s all we needed to do.”
In an unusual twist, Tandon now leads the ProAm standings by 22 points over Berkeley, the 2021 Am class champion who rejoined the series as Tandon’s teammate starting with the second round at Watkins Glen International in June.
“It’s been awesome; Keawn’s been a pleasure to drive with,” Berkeley said. “He really focuses and listens to everything I tell him, but he’s quick on his own. We won again, that’s two in a row. Let’s keep the streak going.”
McGee and McIntosh also raced to their second Am win in a row in the No. 69 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán. With six podium results in seven races, they’ve edged to a 13-point lead over teammate David Staab in the No. 48 PPM, Lamborghini Newport Beach Huracán.
“Tony and I have really gotten this track down well, I think,” said McGee, who started in the No. 69 before McIntosh took over at the mandatory pit stop. “We qualified well against the other Ams and we know this track is difficult so we made sure to take care of the car. … I did pretty good in traffic, brought in the car and Tony got in.”
Then, co-driver McIntosh added, “It was just a matter of manage the car in back of you, manage the gap, don’t do nothing spicy. Just bring it home. That’s what we did.”
Much like Formal and Marcelli in the Pro class, Wilgus has owned LB Cup in his rookie Super Trofeo season. Saturday’s win in the No. 50 Forte Racing Powered by US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán was his fifth to go along with a pair of second-place finishes. He finished 26.532 seconds ahead of Mark Brummond in the No. 89 NTE Sport, Lamborghini Salt Lake Huracán.
Wilgus holds a 45-point lead over Forte Racing teammate Ofir Levy, who finished third Saturday in the No. 13 Lamborghini Rancho Mirage Huracán.
“The competitors were strong but just driving against the heat is what I felt was the big thing,” said Wilgus. “I’ve never driven in a car that hot before, I don’t think. I just kind of built a gap through traffic and then was just hanging on for dear life after the pit stop, to be honest with you.”