Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Preview: Barber Motorsports Park
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The thrill and excitement that surrounds the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championships returns as the 2019 season starts at Barber Motorsports Park on April 6-7 in the hills of Alabama.
The 2.38-mile, 15-turn circuit outside of Birmingham promises to provide the field of 18 Huracán Super Trofeo EVOs a test of skill for every driver and team.
The first two rounds of the 2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series can be streamed live on IMSA.TV and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming starting with Race 1 on Saturday at 2:50 pm EDT and Race 2 on Sunday at 1:55 pm EDT.
The races can be seen on NBCSN on Friday, April 19 at 1 p.m. EDT.
As in the past, there are four championships up for grabs in the series, and that is broken down into the PRO, PRO-AM, AM and LB Cup divisions. Defending champion teams and drivers return to the grid, but there will be new champions crowned in 2019.
Two North America class champions also finished as 2018 World Champions and have moved on to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – JC Perez and Loris Spinelli won eight races last year en route to winning the Pro-Am Class, while Ryan Hardwick won five in the AM Class to claim the title.
Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte and its drivers made a sweep of the Team, Dealer and Driver standings in 2018 as they got off to a hot start by winning the first two races of the year and also Round 11 at the World Finals.
Corey Lewis was one of the co-drivers of the No. 29 last year and he returns with a new teammate in Richy Antinucci after his co-driver of last year, Madison Snow, announced his retirement from the sport.
Besides his championship last year, Lewis also won the 2015 Lamborghini Super Trofeo PRO-AM World Championship. Antinucci is no stranger to the series, as he was the 2015 Super Trofeo North America Pro Driver Champion and won three times in the class in 2017.
The Precision Performance Motorsports (PPM), Lamborghini Palm Beach entry returns with Brandon Gdovic who finished fourth in the Pro Class last year in the same No. 46 car. This year, he is joined by Conor Daly who makes his way to the series after the previous four seasons in IndyCar.
“I couldn’t be more excited to take on another new challenge in my career with Precision Performance Motorsports,” Daly told Sportscar365.com. “The Lamborghini Super Trofeo series is incredibly competitive, and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to jump in with Brandon and go after the championship. Lamborghini has developed one of the best looking race cars out there right now, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel for the first time!”
“Conor and Brandon will be a powerful lineup, and the plan is to win the championship and at the same time, contribute to the performance of all our drivers in team cars with the experience they bring to the table,” said team manager Sunny Voelker.
Other entries include the No. 1 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus with Andrea Amici and Sandy Mitchell as the co-drivers.
Amici is a former two-time series champion winning the 2013 European Pro title and the Asia Pro championship last year. In 2012 and 2014, he finished third in the Pro Class in Europe. Mitchell comes to the team after finishing third in the Silver Cup Endurance Series last year.
“We know how Barber is though,” Amici said. “The track layout doesn’t give a lot of chances to overtake. It’s really winding, and it will be important to start in front. Our goal is points, so we’ll give our best, showing our speed without making mistakes.”
“I am extremely excited about the race weekend at Barber,” Mitchell added. “It will be my first race with Wayne Taylor Racing and in America. I really enjoyed driving the circuit when we were testing so I am feeling confident our No. 1 Prestige Performance Huracan will be challenging at the front of the field.”
The No. 34 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills car will be driven by Patrick Liddy and D. Bryce Miller. Liddy made his Super Trofeo debut last year and won Round 1 at Mid-Ohio before finishing second in the next three races before not competing the remainder of the year. Miller has past experience in Super Trofeo North America, as he finished third in the Pro-Am Class in 2017, winning once and finishing on the podium eight times in 10 races. In 2011 and 2012, he ran in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Series.
There are three entries in the class, with the most notable coming in the No. 69, Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus team of William Hubbell and Eric Curran. Hubbell finished in a tie for third last year in Pro-Am, while Curran comes to the team as a Prototype champion in the WeatherTech Championship in 2016 and 2018 and the owner of 31 professional victories.
“Going into 2019, it is pretty exciting,” Curran said. “I have worked with William for many years coaching him in several different series. To come in this year and to run with Wayne Taylor Racing and the Super Trofeo Series is an exciting thing. I have watched the series for years, love Lamborghini, love the Huracan. It is a really fun series, and it is great to be a part of it.”
The No. 94 P1 Motorsports, Lamborghini Broward entry will be co-driven by Dennis Lind and Brett Meredith.
Lind will be an official Lamborghini driver in 2019. This is an important recognition for the Denmark native, as he is the first driver to have participated in the Lamborghini Squadra Corse young driver program to be promoted to Factory Driver. Lind made his debut in 2016, winning European and world titles in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo and last year competed in Blancpain GT Series Asia, where he earned a victory in the championship, sharing the FFF Racing Huracán GT3 with Martin Codric.
Meredith finished a strong second in the LB Cup last year as he appeared in eight races, winning six times and finishing second in the other two. Even though he missed the other four races, he finished only 13 points out of the championship.
The No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Calgary will have Jake Eidson and Damon Ockey behind the wheel. Eidson will be making his Super Trofeo debut and won the 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup USA Platinum Class. Ockey dueled with the eventual World Champion Hardwick in the Am Class all season, finishing second in the standings by a mere four points. He won four races last year and had 10 podiums in the 12 rounds.
This class has six, all single-driver, entries which is the most of any class.
The lone returnee to the class from 2018 is Cameron Cassels in the No. 33 from Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus. He finished fifth in the class last year but saved his best for last, as he was second in Round 12 at the World Final at Vallelunga.
In 2018, he won the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge championship in the LMP3 class with Performance Tech Motorsports. Already in 2019, he and the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports LMP2 team won at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and was second at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Sheena Monk (No. 7, Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Palmyra) and Steve Dunn (No. 11, PPM, Lamborghini Palm Beach) are making a move to the class from LB Cup.
Monk finished fourth in that class last year, which included a class win at VIRginia International Raceway and five second-place finishes before having her season cut short after an incident at WeatherTech Laguna Seca in September caused her to miss the World Finals. Meanwhile, Dunn raced in the two rounds at Road America in 2018 and ended up winning the pole for each race.
“I am preparing and working hard physically and mentally to achieve this goal, and Precision Performance Motorsports is working hard to prepare the car to achieve this goal as well,” Dunn told Sports365.com. “The team has a wealth of top-notch people with experience with the Huracán platform to give me the best shot possible at the goal.”
Andy Cantu (No. 13, Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Houston) is new to the class, as is Matt Dicken (No. 36, Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte) who has experience in many other series, including the IMSA Prototype Challenge where he drove with Corey Lewis and finished sixth in 2018 and fourth the year before. He has also raced in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge.
The No. 63 from Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte will be piloted by McKay Snow, who is the brother of Madison Snow. He will be making his Super Trofeo debut and has experience in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series.
Five entries are on the grid in the LB Cup class.
Randy Sellari in the No. 3 Dream Racing Motorsport entry returns to the field. He finished fifth in the class in 2018 after spending most of the year running in PRO-AM, where he finished second, won Round 5 at Road America and registered five podiums in eight races.
Prestige Performance/WTR’s No. 43 entry in the LB Cup features the female pairing of Stephanie Cemo and Ashton Harrison who are both making their Super Trofeo debuts. Cemo has won five series championships in other disciplines since 2013, while Harrison was the only female driver in Mazda MX-5 Cup the last two years.
“We are so excited to jump into the Super Trofeo series at Barber Motorsports Park,” said Cemo. “The facilities are uniquely beautiful, and I’m sure the energy there will be infectious. 2019 is going to be a big year for women in motorsports. I am super, super excited to be running with Ashton and representing that female initiative of getting more women out there and behind the wheel.”
Harrison echoed those same sentiments as the season is about to get started.
“I am extremely excited for the opening rounds at BMP,” she said. “Harrison Contracting is based right outside of Atlanta and will have over 60 employees and customers out for the big event! For myself, I’m excited to be back at my home track. Barber is such a beautiful facility, and I cannot wait to execute what is sure to be a successful weekend for Stephanie and me.”
Jeffery Cheng returns to the GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach entry as he made his debut with them in 2015, in which he had a third-place finish at VIR. The entry will be one of two in the LB Cup for GMG as the No. 08 will be piloted by Mel Johnson.
US RaceTronics will also field the No. 24 in this class from Lamborghini La Jolla. Ron Atapattu will be the driver.