Regional Lamborghini Super Trofeo titles decided
on opening day of World Finals at Jerez de la Frontera
The Circuito de Jerez de la Frontera played host to the season finales of all three regional Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships, with the European, Asian and North American battles going down to the wire in the South of Spain.
Bonaldi Motorsport pairing Danny Kroes and Sergey Afanasiev secured the Europe title after finishing a close second to team-mates Stuart Middleton and Jack Bartholomew in Race 2, following a sixth place in the opening encounter. The Dutch/Russian combination ended the year marginally ahead of the Imperiale Racing duo of Kikko Galbiati and Vito Postiglione.
For the luckless Postiglione, it was yet another final round title defeat as a left-rear puncture for the #44 car – in the hands of Galbiati – just before the pit window opened in Race 2, blew any chance they had of claiming a maiden series triumph.
Interlopers Jonathan Cecotto and Frederik Schandorff dominated the first race from pole position and took a comfortable win by eight seconds from Target srl team-mates Alberto di Folco and Davide Venditti, who moved up a place following a post-race penalty for Middleton and Bartholomew.
Kroes and Afanasiev finished sixth and lost points to Postiglione and Galbiati, but the Bonaldi pairing kept their nose clean in the second race once the #44 hit trouble. Having followed Middleton and Bartholomew past the pole-sitting #98 Huracan of Gerhard van der Horst in the closing laps, Kroes/Afanasiev’s second place crowned them champions.
Change Racing’s Richard Antinucci and Corey Lewis missed a golden opportunity to put one hand on the North America title in the opening race after receiving a drivethrough penalty for being under the minimum pit-stop time. They finished fourth in the Pro category as the #101 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing partnership of Sandy Mitchell and Andrea Amici took victory.
That put the #101 tied on points with third place finisher Brandon Gdovic in the Precision Performance Motorsport Huracán; the pair in turn just four points off Antinucci and Lewis ahead of Race 2.
Mitchell and Amici had been due to start from pole, but the #1 ground to a halt with a suspected engine issue on the installation lap, forcing them to start from the back of the field. They recovered to fourth in Pro, but Antinucci and Lewis’ third place in the #129 was enough for the title, as Gdovic and Daly were unable to take the Pro win they needed.
The Asia series was settled in equally dramatic fashion as Gama Racing’s Chris van der Drift and Evan Chen did battle with FFF Racing’s Juuso Puhakka and Takashi Kasai. The VS Racing Pro-Am car of Yuki Nemoto claimed pole position and duly led the opening stint in the #266 car.
Nemoto then changed with Alex Au, who subsequently slipped behind both Chen and Puhakka once the mandatory stops were taken. Puhakka had more pace than Chen in the closing stages, but the latter did just enough in defence to edge the win by just two-tenths of a second. This meant that the two crews were tied on 144 points before the second race.
Race 2 was similarly tense as Puhakka led from pole before handing over to Kasai, who robustly defended from van der Drift as the pair disputed the lead exiting the Dry Sack hairpin. Van der Drift eventually made it into the lead after a superb switchback manoeuvre on the Japanese racer at Turn 9, and the Kiwi clinched the title with a second victory of the weekend for the #268 Huracán.
The class championships were also settled on Friday. In the Europe series, the Pro-Am category was won by Shota Abkhazava in the #12 ArtLine Team Georgia entry, with the Lamborghini Cup title going to siblings Benoît and François Semoulin. The Am class win went to AGS Events’ Nico Gomar.
In North America, US RaceTronics duo Jacob Eidson and Damon Ockey already secured the Pro-Am title before the weekend, while the Am category was won by McKay Snow, but a solitary point over teenager Steven Aghakhani. The Lamborghini Cup went the way of Mel Johnson.
In the Asian championship, the Pro-Am title was won by Afiq Ikhwan Yazid/Toshiyuki Ochiai. Huilan Han won the Am title and Clement Li took victory in the Lamborghini Cup.
The rest of the weekend will focus on the season-ending World Finals, with both qualifying sessions for the Pro/Pro-Am and the Am/LB Cup classes taking place on Saturday morning. Race 1 for the Am/LB Cup will take place at 15:00 CET, with Race 2 on Sunday starting at 11:30. Race 1 for the Pro/Pro-Am category starts at 17:00 CET on Saturday with the final race of the year taking place at 15:00 on Sunday.
All races will be live streamed on the Squadra Corse YouTube channel and Facebook pages.