Gdovic and Michimi Earn Victory at Their “Home” Track
ProAm Duo of Ockey and Eidson Drive to Seventh Victory of the Season
Danville, Va. -- Sunny skies and a dry racetrack were a welcome sight for the 16-car Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America field Sunday.
After yesterday's race in wet conditions, the Huracan Evos roared to the green flag at iconic VIRginia International Raceway for Round 8 of the season.
Polesitter Corey Lewis in the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte entry led the field to green. He was able to extend his lead as Sandy Mitchell in the No. 1 Prestige Performance / Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus went off the track in Turn 2 of the first lap and Paolo Ruberti (No. 27 Dream Racing, Lamborghini Dallas) was hit with a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.
That left Lewis to race ahead of Brandon Gdovic in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsport, Lamborghini Palm Beach entry for the first part of the race. Mitchell got back into the race before going wide at the Oak Tree Turn before the pit window opened and was right behind Gdovic.
The opening of the pit window was delayed for three minutes after the No. 63 of McKay Snow suffered a flat left rear tire, and a full course yellow came out for debris on the track. Lewis was the first Pro Class entry to pit and turned the car over to teammate Richy Antinucci.
As the pit cycle closed with 17 minutes remaining in the race, the No. 46 seized the lead with Shinya Michimi taking over for Gdovic. Round 7's winner – the No. 27 quickly moved up to second with Cedric Sbirrazzouli behind the wheel as the No. 29 fell off the pace and had to stop in the pits a second time.
Michimi then enjoyed a five- to seven-second lead over the final minutes of the race as the No. 46 won for the second time in 2019 and for the first time since Round 1 over the No. 27.
Lewis and Antinucci remain in the class lead in points with 102 marks, followed by Adrea Amici and Sandy Mitchell with 90.
Jacob Eidson and Damon Ockey in the No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver continued to close in on the ProAm class championship with their seventh win in eight races. Eidson started the race and quickly moved to the front of the class before handing the car over to Ockey during the mandatory pit window.
Ockey brought the car to the finish line with a little drama on the last lap, as he spun in the Oak Tree but was still able to finish third overall and enjoyed a 40-second win over Patrick Liddy in the No. 24 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla entry.
The duo has now accumulated 122 points on the season with William Hubbell in the No. 69 Prestige Performance / Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus entry in second with 78.
McKay Snow (No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte) and Steven Aghakhani (No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills) once again battled it out in the Am Class as they were separated by less than half a second for a majority of the first 20 minutes of the race. With 33 minutes remaining Snow's car suffered a flat left rear tire which brought out the aforementioned caution.
That allowed Aghakhani to take the lead. He was able to go to victory over Sheena Monk in the No. 7 Dream Racing, Lamborghini Palmyra entry to earn his third victory of the year.
Snow remains in first place in class with 105 points while Cameron Cassels is second with 85 and Aghakhani is third with 82.
LB Cup Class leader Mel Johnson had the first stint in the No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach entry, but was overtaken by the No. 43 Prestige Performance / Wayne Taylor Racing after contact in Turn 1 of the first lap.
The No. 43 Prestige Performance / Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus entry driven by Stephanie Cemo took the lead at that point until it changed 10 minutes into the race as Justin Price in the No. 22 Dream Racing, Lamborghini Atlanta entry moved to the front looking to make it a sweep on the weekend.
A slower pit stop by the No. 22 allowed the No. 08 with Thomas Lovelady behind the wheel to reclaim the lead following the pit window being closed. He was able to make it the fifth win of the season for the No. 08 as they held off a strong challenge from the No. 43 and Ashton Harrison.
Johnson, on his own, still leads the class with 90 points while Harrison and Cemo are second with 82.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America continues next at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for Rounds 9 and 10 with a pair of practice sessions and the qualifying for both of the 50-minute races on Friday, Sept. 13 with Race 1 on Saturday at 11:20 a.m. PDT. Round 10 is scheduled to start at and 9:25 a.m. PDT on Sunday.
Those races will be streamed on IMSA.tv or squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming with IMSA Radio commentary. NBCSN will be broadcasting this round from WRLS on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. EDT.
What They Said
Shinya Michimi - No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsport, Lamborghini Palm Beach
“I want to thank the team for having me back out this weekend as I have been running in Japan this season. I am happy about coming back to my home and favorite track in the United States and getting a pole a win.”
Brandon Gdovic - No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsport, Lamborghini Palm Beach
“Always great to have Shinya with us. He is a great driver. Today we had a great car and I tried to do everything I could to hold off the No. 1 car during my stint. Virginia is my home and VIR is the first road course I ever raced on. This is a special thing for me as this is my home track.”
Jacob Eidson - No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“It was a great race and the goal today was to do better overall than yesterday and we did. I had a great start and was able to gain some positions. I handed it over to Damon and we had another clean driver change. He made it a little exciting at the end, but we got the win and we are excited about that. We are usually trying to have a clean, drama-free race and that is why we are able to finish high.”
Damon Ockey - No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“I think we needed some more air time on TV, so I spun in the Oak Tree corner. Luckily, I kept the car running and was able to get back on the track and finish in first. Jake brought the car in great shape and I was able to put down some good laps and we got a P3 overall which is great.”
Steven Aghakhani - No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills
“Today the car was set up perfectly. The team and I did our jobs to get the win. Things happen in the race and we are happy to get the win after some bad luck in the last few races. The more I race, the more I learn about the car. I have learned more about the other drivers as well and that is a big key in finishing strong.”
Mel Johnson - No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“We got a pretty big hit into Turn 1 on the first lap. I thought we had some bad car damage, but we were able to keep pushing again and happy we were able to get back to first before the pit stop. I missed Road America and to get some points to keep me in first is good.”
Thomas Lovelady - No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“I wanted to maintain the gap between us and the car behind us and have a nice clean stint. And I was able to bring it home.”